What are EMFs and Optical Radiation?

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and optical radiation surrounds us. EMFs are generated wherever there is electrical power. They can be described as low frequency fields, produced by electrical currents and voltages, and radiofrequency fields, produced by antennas and communication devices.

Optical radiation (OR) includes ultra-violet, visible, infra-red and laser beams. Sources of public exposure include artificial lighting, laser products, entertainment displays, heat lamps, tanning studios and the sun. While some controls exist, the potential for acute and long-term harm remains.


What Safety Legislation Exists?

In a number of exposure situations, this non-ionising radiation is not at a level that would cause adverse health or interference effects.

However, in some environments, EMF and OR exposure presents a risk.

Legislation, in the form of The Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016 and The Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010, exists to ensure the safety and health of people in these situations.

What does the EMF and OR Committee do?

The Electromagnetic Field and Optical Radiation (EMFOR) Committee provides a focal point within SRP for the practical implications of radiation protection for electromagnetic field and optical radiation exposure. 

The Committee is made up of a group of experts that take into consideration international best practice and legislation for the provision of advice.  It uses scientific results from the peer-reviewed literature to generate position statements and guidance related to non-ionising radiation exposure.

Where Can I Find More Information?

There is a raft of sector-specific guidance, regulatory articles and equipment-specific standards that impact in one way or another on exposure to non-ionising radiation.

For further information, please see the links to articles, worksheets and position statements in the panel.


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