Keywords: 50 Hz magnetic field, background magnetic fields, exposure time integrals, exposure standards, exposure guidelines, overhead transmission lines, high-, voltage overhead lines
Monitoring the magnetic field in houses under 50 Hz high-voltage overhead transmission lines
This paper deals with a one-week monitoring of the 50 Hz magnetic field on the ground floor and the first floor of houses under 150, 220 and 380 kV high-voltage overhead three-phase AC transmission lines. The field strength varied with the current intensity, the conductor height, and the storey of the house. Because current intensity varies with time the magnetic field depended on the time of day and the day of the week. The recorded magnetic field ranged from 0.1 µT to 4.5 µT. The maximum value was at least 20 times weaker than the 100 µT exposure level recommended by the guidelines of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) and about 140 times smaller than the 640 µT of the European Prestandard (CENELEC). The B-field was, for 99.9% of the measuring time, larger than the 0.2 µT cut-off point used to define categories of exposed and unexposed subjects in EMF epidemiological studies and, for 99.3% of the time, was greater than the 0.3 µT level used by US private engineering companies as the 'prudent avoidance' exposure limit. The weakest average magnetic field was at least 40 times larger than the 0.02 µT background value.