Electromagnetic Fields Exposure: History
Please note this is an old version of this entry, which may differ significantly from the current revision.

In different situations, electromagnetic fields (EMF) are consumed every day in several sociable purposes. Additionally, they are employed securely in medical treatments. Conversely, when these fields are operated inadvertently, it can crop unfavorable outcomes. These consequences are intimately linked to the type of the EMF and the exposed substance. The strength of the field as well as its frequency typify EMF, whereas the physical and geometric properties describe matter.

  • EMF exposure
  • safety standards
  • medical device integrity

1. Introduction

Through the growth in the exercise of electromagnetic fields (EMF) in everyday life, various investigation works concerning their consequences have been dedicated in different domains. One of the most significant concerns is in the health domain. Studies have focused on the effects of electromagnetic (EM) sources on humans and health care devices. Two questions generally guide assessments of the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields. The first is to assess induced fields in the tissues and physical consequences to assess possible health effects according to international safety standards [1][2][3]. The second challenge is to assess the risk of disruption of medical devices, integrated or associated with the body, used in therapy or involved in interventions.
Concerning the body tissues’ exposure to the EMF atmosphere, the international health safety standards relative to exposure to external EMF are an established function with different parameters. These include, furthermore to the field characters (strength and frequency) and the interval, the tissue density and its physical properties. Such properties hang on the fragment of the tissue reflected and the class of the theme exposed along with the display conditions. These safety health standards fix limits connected to the effects of exposure to EMF accounting for the mentioned parameters. Regarding the emitted EMF, typically the mainly involved devices are those exerting significant stray fields as wireless energy and signal transmission devices. These implicate wide spreads of power and frequency. Two important categories are involved: digital communication and wireless power transfer. The circumstances of telecommunications involve ordinary EMF sources—for instance, radiofrequency (RF) waves emitted by antennas, Wi-Fi points, smartphones, mobile phones and Bluetooth tools. As the expended frequencies are high, and the exposed item regards the body tissues, controlling their safety conditions is necessary; see, e.g., [4][5][6][7][8][9]. In the case of wireless charging systems, applications vary from small devices such as telephone sets to high-powered devices, such as electric vehicles (EV). Various works have been carried out concerning the analysis of safety in the case of low power; see, e.g., [10][11][12][13]. High power tools such as those discussed in [14][15][16][17][18][19][20] present solid nearby EMF and can yield large fields in the body tissues, and we must identify the situations in which the charging scheme can conform to security; see, e.g., [21][22][23][24][25][26]. Note that the effects of exposure to EMF are different in these two application categories. In that of wireless communication tools (WCT), the field asset is relatively modest, but the exploited frequency is great, and the part of the body exposed is mainly the head area. In such circumstance, the most important biological effect (BE) is concentrated on the brain. In the situation of wireless inductive power transfer (IPT), as in EV battery-charging systems, the field intensity may be strong and display high leakage; the frequency is small; and the exposure regards bodies near the device. In these conditions, BE concerns the initiation of EMFs in the body.
Concerning disturbances in the operation of medical devices, these are generally shielded against external fields to avoid disturbing the on-board electronics. Nevertheless, in the case of devices whose operation is based on electromagnetic fields that could be disturbed by external fields or objects involved in medical instruments near or inside the device, typical examples are static fixed-function wearable measuring tools—e.g., [27][28][29]—active organ stimulation tools—e.g., [30][31]—and magnetic resonance imagers (MRI) used in image-guided therapies and interventions. Actually, these image-guided operations can use several types of imagers, e.g., [32][33][34][35][36][37][38]. Among these imagers, only two are free of ionizing radiation: the MRI and ultrasound imager (USI) [34][35][36][37][38]. However, the USI can only work without air or bones. The MRI seems to be the best solution, but as mentioned before, it is subject to perturbation by external EMF or objects involved in medical instruments near or inside the imager. To control the integrity of the MRI, an analysis of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is needed [39][40][41][42][43][44][45]. In general, in all of the above-mentioned medical devices that are subject to disturbance by EMF, an EMC control is necessary to verify the integrity of the medical device against the external field.
In both the above-described situations of biological tissues and medical devices, the most effective means for verification of the external field effect seem to be numerical tools based on mathematical modeling of the equations involved. The subject modeled can be the tissue of the body part (represented by an equivalent phantom) or the structure of the part of the medical device concerned.
The methodology followed in this contribution concerns mainly such verification of external field effects. In both cases of tissues and devices, the electromagnetic model facilitates the estimates of local distributed fields allowing the verification of the field thresholds relative to the tissues as well as the EMC analysis in the devices. Moreover, in the case of tissues, the bio-thermal model connected to the electromagnetic model allows the calculation of the temperature rise to verify the thermal threshold in the tissues.
This contribution aims to analyze compliance with the standards relating to health domain troubles due to exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). This concerns the exposed living tissues of the body and the interaction with medical devices acting on the body.

2. EMF Exposure

In different situations, EMFs are consumed every day in several sociable purposes. Additionally, they are employed securely in medical treatments. Conversely, when these fields are operated inadvertently, it can crop unfavorable outcomes. These consequences are intimately linked to the type of the EMF and the exposed substance. The strength of the field as well as its frequency typify EMF, whereas the physical and geometric properties describe matter.

2.1. Nature of EMF Sources

Essentially, the outcomes due to EMF exposure can be split into two different groups regarding the frequency ranges. One comprises the range of 103–1014 Hz for which waves can be divided into radio, microwaves and infrared that return non-ionizing radiation. The other interests the range of 1015–1022 Hz divided into ultraviolet, X and gamma rays, which create ionizing radiation. It is likely in this case to have hostile health effects by creating tissue damage. EMFs of diverse frequencies, in the scale of non-ionizing class, function in numerous situations and still can disorder society.
In general, the emitting tools most involved in EMF non-ionizing exposure are, as mentioned before, those exercising noteworthy escaped fields such as wireless energy appliances including wide strength and frequency ranges. Two typical classes of such devices are WCT and IPT apparatuses. The case of WCT includes regular sources of RF, 105–3. 1011 Hz, while the case of IPT uses relatively low frequencies (less than 200 kHz).

2.2. Interactions of Sources and Living Tissues

In general, EMF sources can be divided into two classes: those working close to body tissues, producing an interacting near field greatly confined in a tissue portion of the body, and sources happening far away from the body that generate a total-body homogenous exposure. Roughly, far field relates to source-recipient distance superior to a wavelength, and its forte reduces quickly through distance. Interaction of the field with body tissues is influenced by the frequency, the field strength, the exposure time and the dielectric properties of absorbing matters. The character of interactions can produce effects due to short- or long-term exposure.

This entry is adapted from the peer-reviewed paper 10.3390/standards3020018


  1. International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. Guidelines for limiting exposure to time-varying electric and magnetic fields for low frequencies (1 Hz–100 kHz). Health Phys. 2010, 99, 818–836.
  2. International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. Guidelines for limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields (100 kHz to 300 GHz). Health Phys. 2020, 118, 483–524.
  3. C95.1-2019; IEEE Standard for Safety Levels With Respect to Human Exposure to Electric, Magnetic, and Electromagnetic Fields, 0 Hz to 300 GHz. IEEE: Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2019.
  4. Joshi, M.S.; Joshi, G.R. Analysis of SAR induced in Human Head due to the exposure of Non-ionizing Radiation. Int. J. Eng. Res. Technol. (IJERT) 2016, 5, IJERTV5IS020466.
  5. Sallomi, A.H.; Hashim, S.A.; Wali, M.H. SAR and thermal effect prediction in human head exposed to cell phone radiations. Sci. Int. 2018, 30, 653–656. Available online: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339415489 (accessed on 19 April 2023).
  6. Hamed, T.; Maqsood, M. SAR Calculation & Temperature Response of Human Body Exposure to Electromagnetic Radiations at 28, 40 and 60 GHz mm Wave Frequencies. Prog. Electromagn. Res. M 2018, 73, 47–59.
  7. Baker-Jarvis, J.; Kim, S. The Interaction of Radio-Frequency Fields With Dielectric Materials at Macroscopic to Mesoscopic Scales. J. Res. Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol. 2012, 117, 1–60.
  8. Razek, A. Assessment and Categorization of Biological Effects and Atypical Symptoms Owing to Exposure to RF Fields from Wireless Energy Devices. Appl. Sci. 2023, 13, 1265.
  9. Bernardi, P.; Cavagnaro, M.; Pisa, S.; Piuzzi, E. Specific absorption rate and temperature elevation in a subject exposed in the far-field of radio-frequency sources operating in the 10–900-MHz range. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 2003, 50, 295–304.
  10. Okoniewski, M.; Stuchly, M.A. A study of the handset antenna and human body interaction. IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech. 1996, 44, 1855–1864.
  11. Shiba, K.; Higaki, N. Analysis of SAR and Current Density in Human Tissue Surrounding an Energy Transmitting Coil for a Wireless Capsule Endoscope. In Proceedings of the 2009 20th International Zurich Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Zurich, Switzerland, 12–16 January 2009; pp. 321–324.
  12. Christ, A.; Douglas, M.G.; Roman, J.M.; Cooper, E.B.; Sample, A.P.; Waters, B.H.; Smith, J.R.; Kuster, N. Evaluation of wireless resonant power transfer systems with human electromagnetic exposure limits. IEEE Trans. Electromagn. Compat. 2013, 55, 265–274.
  13. Lin, J.C. Safety of Wireless Power Transfer. IEEE Access 2021, 9, 125342–125347.
  14. Covic, G.A.; Boys, J.T. Trends in Inductive Power Transfer for Transportation Applications. IEEE J. Emerg. Sel. Top. Power Electron. 2013, 1, 28–41.
  15. Hutchinson, L.; Waterson, B.; Anvari, B.; Naberezhnykh, D. Potential of wireless power transfer for dynamic charging of electric vehicles. IET Intell. Transp. Syst. 2019, 13, 3–12.
  16. Ibrahim, M.; Bernard, L.; Pichon, L.; Razek, A.; Houivet, J.; Cayol, O. Advanced modeling of a 2-kw series–series resonating inductive charger for real electric vehicle. IEEE Trans. Veh. Technol. 2015, 64, 421–430.
  17. Cirimele, V.; Diana, M.; Freschi, F.; Mitolo, M. Inductive Power Transfer for Automotive Applications: State-of-the-Art and Future Trends. IEEE Trans. Ind. Appl. 2018, 54, 4069–4079.
  18. Razek, A. Review of Contactless Energy Transfer Concept Applied to Inductive Power Transfer Systems in Electric Vehicles. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 3221.
  19. Ibrahim, M.; Bernard, L.; Pichon, L.; Laboure, E.; Razek, A.; Cayol, O.; Ladas, D.; Irving, J. Inductive Charger for Electric Vehicle: Advanced Modeling and Interoperability Analysis. IEEE Trans. Power Electron. 2016, 31, 8096–8114.
  20. Cirimele, V.; Diana, M.; Bellotti, F.; Berta, R.; El Sayed, N.; Kobeissi, A.; Guglielmi, P.; Ruffo, R.; Khalilian, M.; La Ganga, A.; et al. The Fabric ICT Platform for Managing Wireless Dynamic Charging Road Lanes. IEEE Trans. Veh. Technol. 2020, 69, 2501–2512.
  21. Ding, P.; Bernard, L.; Pichon, L.; Razek, A. Evaluation of Electromagnetic Fields in Human Body Exposed to Wireless Inductive Charging System. IEEE Trans. Magn. 2014, 50, 1037–1040.
  22. Wen, F.; Huang, X. Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields from Parallel Wireless Power Transfer Systems. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 157.
  23. Wang, Q.; Li, W.; Kang, J.; Wang, Y. Electromagnetic Safety Evaluation and Protection Methods for a Wireless Charging System in an Electric Vehicle. IEEE Trans. Electromagn. Compat. 2019, 61, 1913–1925.
  24. Cirimele, V.; Freschi, F.; Giaccone, L.; Pichon, L.; Repetto, M. Human Exposure Assessment in Dynamic Inductive Power Transfer for Automotive Applications. IEEE Trans. Magn. 2017, 53, 5000304.
  25. Park, S. Evaluation of Electromagnetic Exposure During 85 kHz Wireless Power Transfer for Electric Vehicles. IEEE Trans. Magn. 2018, 54, 5100208.
  26. Asa, E.; Mohammad, M.; Onar, O.C.; Pries, J.; Galigekere, V.; Su, G.-J. Review of Safety and Exposure Limits of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) in Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) Applications. In Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference & Expo (ITEC) 2020, Chicago, IL, USA, 23–26 June 2020; pp. 17–24.
  27. Guk, K.; Han, G.; Lim, J.; Jeong, K.; Kang, T.; Lim, E.-K.; Jung, J. Evolution of Wearable Devices with Real-Time Disease Monitoring for Personalized Healthcare. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 813.
  28. Xin, Y.; Liu, T.; Sun, H.; Xu, Y.; Zhu, J.; Qian, C.; Lin, T. Recent progress on the wearable devices based on piezoelectric sensors. Ferroelectrics 2018, 531, 102–113.
  29. Yetisen, A.K.; Martinez-Hurtado, J.L.; Ünal, B.; Khademhosseini, A.; Butt, H. Wearables in Medicine. Adv. Mater. 2018, 30, 1706910.
  30. Bernardi, P.; Cavagnaro, M.; Pisa, S.; Piuzzi, E. Safety Aspects of Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Pacemaker Holders. In Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications 2009, Turin, Italy, 14–18 September 2009; pp. 869–872.
  31. Thotahewa, K.M.S.; Redouté, J.; Yuce, M.R. Electromagnetic and Thermal Effects of IR-UWB Wireless Implant Systems on the Human Head. In Proceedings of the 2013 35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Osaka, Japan, 3–7 July 2013; pp. 5179–5182.
  32. Kovács, A.; Bischoff, P.; Haddad, H.; Kovács, G.; Schaefer, A.; Zhou, W.; Pinkawa, M. Personalized Image-Guided Therapies for Local Malignencies: Interdisciplinary Options for Interventional Radiology and Interventional Radiotherapy. Front. Oncol. 2021, 11, 616058. Available online: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fonc.2021 (accessed on 19 April 2023).
  33. Zhao, J.; Zhi, Z.; Zhang, H.; Zhao, J.; Di, Y.; Xu, K.; Ma, C.; Liu, Z.; Sui, A.; Wang, J. Efficacy and safety of CT guided 125I brachytherapy in elderly patients with non small cell lung cancer. Oncol. Lett. 2020, 20, 183–192.
  34. Park, B.K. Ultrasound-guided genitourinary interventions: Principles and techniques (Review Article). Ultrasonography 2017, 36, 336–348.
  35. Pinto, P.A.; Chung, P.H.; Rastinehad, A.R.; Baccala, A.A., Jr.; Kruecker, J.; Benjamin, C.J.; Xu, S.; Yan, P.; Kadoury, S.; Chua, C.; et al. Magnetic resonance imaging/ultrasound fusion guided prostate biopsy improves cancer detection following transrectal ultrasound biopsy and correlates with multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging. J. Urol. 2011, 186, 1281–1285.
  36. Fiard, G.; Hohn, N.; Descotes, J.L.; Rambeaud, J.J.; Troccaz, J.; Long, J.A. Targeted MRI-guided prostate biopsies for the detection of prostate cancer: Initial clinical experience with real-time 3-dimensional transrectal ultrasound guidance and magnetic resonance/transrectal ultrasound image fusion. Urology 2013, 81, 1372–1378.
  37. Veltri, A.; Garetto, I.; Pagano, E.; Tosetti, I.; Sacchetto, P.; Fava, C. Percutaneous RF thermal ablation of renal tumors: Is US guidance really less favorable than other imaging guidance techniques? Cardiovasc. Intervent. Radiol. 2009, 32, 76–85.
  38. Bassignani, M.; Moore, Y.; Watson, L.; Theodorescu, D. Pilot experience with real-time ultrasound guided percutaneous renal mass cryoablation. J. Urol. 2004, 171, 1620–1623.
  39. Chinzei, K.; Kikinis, R.; Jolesz, F.A. MR Compatibility of Mechatronic Devices: Design Criteria. In Proceedings of the Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention—MICCAI’99, Cambridge, UK, 19–22 September 1999; pp. 1020–1030.
  40. Tsekos, N.V.; Khanicheh, A.; Christoforou, E.; Mavroidis, C. Magnetic resonance-compatible robotic and mechatronics systems for image guided interventions and rehabilitation: A Review Study. Annu. Rev. Biomed. Eng. 2007, 9, 351–387.
  41. Khairi, R.; Razek, A.; Bernard, L.; Corcolle, R.; Bernard, Y.; Pichon, L.; Poirier-Quinot, M.; Ginefri, J.C. EMC analysis of MRI environment in view of Optimized performance and cost of image guided interventions. Int. Jour. App. Electromag. Mech. 2016, 51, S67–S74.
  42. Boutry, C. Biodegradable passive resonant circuits for wireless implant applications. DSc Dissertation, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, 2012.
  43. Razek, A. Towards an image-guided restricted drug release in friendly implanted therapeutics. Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys. 2018, 82, 31401.
  44. Hsu, Y.H.; Chen, D.W.; Tai, C.D.; Chou, Y.C.; Liu, S.J.; Ueng, S.W.; Chan, E.C. Biodegradable drug-eluting nanofiber-enveloped implants for sustained release of high bactericidal concentrations of vancomycin and ceftazidime: In vitro and in vivo studies. Int. J. Nanomed. 2014, 9, 4347–4355.
  45. Razek, A. Assessment of Supervised Drug Release in Cordial Embedded Therapeutics. Athens J. Technol. Eng. 2019, 6, 77–91.
This entry is offline, you can click here to edit this entry!
Video Production Service