Choosing threshold levels for electromagnetic hazards

Excell, Peter S (2002) Choosing threshold levels for electromagnetic hazards.


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The concept of electromagnetic hazards is today frequently taken to refer to direct effects on biological tissue. However, several other effects are possible and have been the subject of a substantial amount of research in earlier decades. One of these is the hazard of ignition of flammable gas/vapor mixtures due to sparks resulting from radiofrequency currents flowing in metallic structures. Although the physics of the mechanism linking power from a radio transmitter to ignition of a flammable mixture is relatively straightforward, compared with bioelectromagnetic effects, there are many uncertainties and poorly-understood steps in the process, leading to considerable difficulties for committees tasked with setting safety limits. The author has experience of such committees, notably that concerned with British Standard 6656, and the way in which these difficulties were addressed may give useful insights for the regulation of other hazards.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ©2002 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE. This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.The paper was published by IEEE Technology and Society Magazine in 2002 and was sponsored by IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology. The definitive version is available at
Keywords: electromagnetic hazards, radiofrequency currents, flammable gas/vapor mixtures, British Standard 6656, safety limits
Divisions: ?? GlyndwrUniversity ??
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2011 09:13
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2017 20:06

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