Affordable evaluation of low frequency electric fields from the standpoint of Directive 2013/35/EU
Since the 1st of July 2016, the Directive 2013/35/ EU on the employees’ health protection in terms of non-ionizing electromagnetic
radiations acquired the force of law.
An accessible methodology for the characterization of a workspace is proposed here, in terms of exposure to low-frequency electric fields.
Firstly, the means whereby an external electric field can induce electrical processes in the human body are presented, followed by a comparative summary of differently expressed exposure levels (ICNIRP, European Directive, IEEE-ICES).
Further on two electric field sensors are presented that can easily be hand-crafted in any laboratory, useful for extending the capabilities of a budget, low-frequency handheld spectrum analyzer. A realistic exposure metric is developed that cumulates the influence of all E-fields in the environment. A case study is presented on the cumulative assessment of exposure to low frequency electric fields produced in a laboratory-class where a network of 16 computers was working.
A simple numerical approach based on FEMM 4.2 has also been developed for evaluating the E-field produced by overhead high voltage transmission lines.
This paper is an extended version of the original contribution to the IMEKO TC 4 2016 symposium in Budapest, Hungary.
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