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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 21(4); 2010 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2010;21(4): 487-494.
Exposure to Power Frequency Magnetic Fields in the Emergency Department
Sang Eun Shim, Hyuk Joong Choi, Hyung Goo Kang, Tae Ho Lim, Bo Seung Kang
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Hanyang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Guri, Korea. olivertw@hanyang.ac.kr
We use many electronic devices for treating patients in our emergency department. Several studies have reported an association between electromagnetic field exposure and risk of cancer and other diseases. Our purpose was to measure the intensity of power-frequency magnetic fields in the emergency department and evaluate the conditions exceeded regulation guidelines for power-frequency magnetic fields.
Extremely low frequency magnetic fields were measured at 78 ordinary working spots in our tertiary hospital's emergency department (ED) and evaluated according to national regulatory guidelines and SWEDAC. Each spot was measured four times. During measurement, every electrical device in the emergency department was turned on.
The average intensity of the magnetic fields in our emergency department was 0.99+/-1.27 mG. The maximum intensity was 8.3 mG, which was found in the pediatric section.
The power-frequency magnetic field intensities of the various sections of our ED did not exceed national regulatory guidelines. However, pediatric and the minor emergency section showed magnetic fields intensities far above 2 mG. We found these high values outside the pediatric and waiting sections, where the electrical cabinet panel was located. We conclude that the electrical cabinet panel should be shielded and that similar studies are needed for other emergency departments.
Key words: Electromagnetic fields, Hospital emergency services, Environmental exposure
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