International Safety Standards

In the United States, there are no federal standards limiting occupational or residential exposure to 60-Hz EMF.At least six states have set standards for transmission line electric fields; two of these also have standards for magnetic fields (see table below). In most cases, the maximum fields permitted by each state are the maximum fields that existing lines produce at maximum load-carrying conditions. Some states further limit electric field strength at road crossings to ensure that electric current induced into large metal objects such as trucks and buses does not represent an electric shock hazard.

State Transmission Line Standards and Guidelines

Electric Field

Magnetic Field


On R.O.W.*

Edge R.O.W.

On R.O.W.

Edge R.O.W.


8 kV/ma
10 kV/mb

2 kV/m

150 mGa (max. load)
200 mGb (max. load)
250 mGc (max. load)


8 kV/m


7 kV/m

1 kV/me

New Jersey

3 kV/m

New York

11.8 kV/m
11.0 kV/mf
7.0 kV/md

1.6 kV/m

200 mG (max. load)


9 kV/m

*R.O.W. = right-of-way (or in the Florida standard, certain additional areas adjoining the right-of-way).
kV/m = kilovolt per meter. One kilovolt = 1,000 volts.
a For lines of 69-230 kV.
b For 500 kV lines.
c For 500 kV lines on certain existing R.O.W.
d Maximum for highway crossings.
e May be waived by the landowner.
f Maximum for private road crossings.
Two organizations have developed voluntary occupational exposure guidelines for EMF exposure. These guidelines are intended to prevent effects, such as induced currents in cells or nerve stimulation, which are known to occur at high magnitudes, much higher (more than 1,000 times higher) than EMF levels found typically in occupational and residential environments. These guidelines are summarized in the tables on the right.


International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is an organization of 15,000 scientists from 40 nations who specialize in radiation protection.
Source: ICNIRP, 1998.

ICNIRP Guidelines for EMF Exposure

Exposure (60 Hz)

Electric field

Magnetic field

General Public

8.3 kV/m
4.2 kV/m

4.2 G (4,200 mG)
0.833 G (833 mG)

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) is a professional organization that facilitates the exchange of technical information about worker health protection. It is not a government regulatory agency.
Source: ACGIH, 2001.

ACGIH Occupational Threshold Limit Values for 60-Hz EMF


Electric field

Magnetic field

Occupational exposure should not exceed
Prudence dictates the use of protective
clothing above
Exposure of workers with cardiac
pacemakers should not exceed

25 kV/m
15 kV/m

1 kV/m

10 G (10,000 mG)

1 G (1,000 mG)

Source: ACGIH, 2001.


The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) concluded that available data regarding potential long-term effects, such as increased risk of cancer, are insufficient to provide a basis for setting exposure restrictions.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) publishes “Threshold Limit Values” (TLVs) for various physical agents. The TLVs for 60-Hz EMF shown in the table are identified as guides to control exposure; they are not intended to demarcate safe and dangerous levels.

Maximum allowed EMF value in terms of hours

Maximum allowed EMF value in terms of hours

The International Education Effort

emf-standards Many researches were conducted over the recent years addressing the ELMF issue. A partial assortment are available for download from this website.

Of a special interest is the effort to educate the public about the state of the common knowledge. The message is simple. Since the extent of the potential damage is not clear enough, general measures of caution need to be taken by the public to reduce the exposure and the risk involved.

In the USA, the National Institute of Environment Health Service published (2002) the EMF booklet on the right. The complete document can be downloaded.

New Zealand, published a similar booklet addressing the ELMF issue. The Ministry of Health and the National Radiation Laboratories published the following document. Please see the recommendation below.

The complete document can be downloaded from the download library in our website.


Magnetic Fields

Magnetic Fields

Magnetic Fields

Magnetic Fields