Biological effects and health consequences of ELF and RF fields



Publication Details

Saunders, R. D., Croft, R. J. & van Rongen, E. (2014). Biological effects and health consequences of ELF and RF fields. In A. Brahme (Eds.), Comprehensive Biomedical Physics (pp. 323-353). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier BV.


This chapter reviews the biological effects and the consequences for health that result from exposure to extremely low-frequency (ELF) fields and radiofrequency (RF) radiation - time-varying electromagnetic fields (EMFs) up to 300 GHz. The well-established effects of exposure to ELF frequencies result from the interaction of induced electric fields and currents with electrically excitable nerve and muscle tissue, whereas exposure to sufficiently intense RF radiation results in whole-body and/or localized tissue heating. The chapter reviews these effects and the effects of exposure to much lower EMF levels such as those encountered in the environment. The final section summarizes existing health-risk assessments and the current International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation guidelines on exposure.

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