Working with time-varying Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMF)

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1 Working with time-varying Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMF) STFC Safety Code No 23 Rev. 1.3, Issued on December 2014 Note - This document may have been superseded by a more recent version.

2 Revisions 1 Initial release February Update to action values May Amendments to audit checklist May Add Document retention policy Appendix December 2014 Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 2 of 15

3 Working with time-varying Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMF) Contents 1. Purpose 2. Scope 3. Definitions 4. Responsibilities 4.1 Directors responsible for activities employing strong EMF sources 4.2 EMF Protection Advisers 4.3 Managers responsible for strong EMF radiation sources 4.5 STFC staff and tenants 4.5 SHE Group 4.6 Occupational Health Advisers 5. References Appendices Appendix 1: Summary of the effects of EMF Radiation Appendix 2: Summary of ICNIRP Basic Restrictions and Investigation Appendix 3: Principles of EMF Risk Control Appendix 4: Training Appendix 5: Audit checklist Appendix 6:Document Retention Policy Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 3 of 15

4 Working with time-varying Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMF) 1. Purpose The purpose of this code is to ensure that hazards associated with strong and timevarying electromagnetic fields (EMFs) up to a frequency of 300 GHz are managed so as to minimise so far as is reasonably practicable the health and safety risks to staff and others. Frequencies up to 300 GHz encompass the Radio Frequency (RF) and microwave parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Devices generating EMFs are widely used at the STFC laboratories. Typical applications can be found in the radio frequency systems of particle accelerators, radars, imaging systems and radio transmission systems. More general applications are found in microwave ovens and communication devices. It has been recognised that electromagnetic radiation from these devices may, under certain conditions, give rise to health hazards. Since many of the alleged longer term risks are difficult to quantify and subject to ongoing research, medical examination is unlikely to identify clinical findings from exposure, and so establishing safe levels of EMF exposure is not straightforward (see Appendix 1). This document is an interpretation of relevant laws and standards and cannot cover all conceivable situations. The STFC intends, so far as is reasonably practicable, to comply with the guidance issued by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which was adopted by the NRPB (now the Health Protection Agency: Radiation Protection Division) in March 2004, see 5. ICNIRP guidance is based on the interaction of EMFs with body tissues and refers to direct and indirect health effects in establishing Basic Restrictions (see Appendix 2). Such values are typically based on quantities such as energy absorbed by the body (Specific energy Absorption Rate [SAR]) which is not readily measurable. To provide practical guidance, frequency-dependent Reference levels have been developed based on electric and magnetic field strengths and currents which can be more readily measured. The European Directive relating to EMFs, the Physical Agents Directive, introduced in April 2004, has not yet been implemented within UK law. The present STFC code will be reviewed when this Directive is implemented. The directive establishes a Limit Value corresponding to the aforementioned ICNIRP Reference Level and a lower Action Value which are employed in this code. 2. Scope This code establishes requirements for controlling the exposure of STFC staff, visitors, facility users, tenants, contractors and the public to strong EMFs at all STFC sites. The code applies to any equipment generating EMFs at or above the Action Limits defined by this code. Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 4 of 15

5 This code is intended to cover equipment specifically designed to produce strong EMFs for example, high-power RF systems driving particle accelerators and radar sets. It is not intended to cover every piece of equipment that could conceivably emit electromagnetic radiation. The following classes of normal domestic electrical equipment are specifically excluded from this code by virtue of their exemption from ICNIRP recommendations although their manufacture is subject to legislative emission standards: Cellular/mobile phones; Personal mobile radios ( walkie-talkies ); Microwave ovens used for heating food; Video display terminals; and Standard WiFi wireless internet systems. As are 240V AC mains electricity infrastructures: substations; distribution boards; building wiring etc. Inevitably, what should and should not be covered by this code is a matter of technical judgement of EMF Protection Advisors. The hazards associated with strong static magnetic fields are addressed by a separate SHE code. 3. Definitions 3.1 Limit Value The Limit Value is the frequency-dependent EMF field strength above which staff and others should not be exposed (see Appendix 2, Table 1). Staff and others exposed to EMFs above this level should be medically assessed by Occupational Health. 3.2 Action Value The Action Value is the frequency-dependent EMF field strength above which formal consideration through risk assessment and EMF surveying must be given to the health and safety of staff and others exposed to EMFs. The frequency-dependent Action Values are established at the recommended general public exposure field strengths (see Appendix 2, Table 2). 4. Responsibilities 4.1 Directors responsible for activities employing strong EMF sources shall: Appoint in writing one or more suitably qualified and experienced EMF Protection Advisers (EPAs) for those areas employing EMF generating equipment or devices (see Appendix 4 for EPA training requirements). The letter of appointment should define the geographic/equipment scope of their responsibility and should be recorded in SHE Directory. It would be normal for the technical manager responsible for the day-to-day operation of the equipment to be appointed the EPA. 4.2 EMF Protection Advisers (EPAs) shall: Provide advice to management responsible for strong EMF sources on technical modifications, changes to work practices or engineering controls that could eliminate Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 5 of 15

6 EMF hazards or minimise their impact so far as reasonably practicable, including the use of appropriate signage for all areas where field strengths are above Action Values Regularly survey the field strength of equipment generating strong EMFs that could affect staff and others within their scope of responsibility and ensure that risk assessment controls are appropriate. Specific consideration should be given to undertaking EMF measurements following any changes that could reasonably be expected to affect the field characteristics of equipment, for example following maintenance/servicing or after modification. Surveys should be documented and identify all areas above the Action and Limit Values Ensure that only monitoring equipment calibrated to recognised standards is used to measure strong EMFs and to determine compliance with the limits specified in Appendix Managers responsible for strong EMF radiation sources shall: Ensure that no equipment capable of radiating strong EMF radiation is brought on to STFC sites without the approval of the relevant EPA, including equipment borrowed or provided by others, so that managers can ensure that suitable precautions are taken before the equipment is used Where equipment generating strong EMF radiation is designed and manufactured in house, ensure that the Limit and Action Values are considered and that the appropriate EPA is consulted before the equipment is brought into use Ensure that the advice of an EPA is sought and that documented risk assessments are conducted for all work through which persons may be exposed to EMFs above Action Levels (see SHE Code 6: Risk Management) and that suitable controls are established to minimise exposure. These controls should include undertaking a suitable and documented EMF survey Where equipment generates EMFs above the Action Values (see Appendix 2) in places to which personnel have access, ensure that suitable warning signage is in place and that exposure is minimised through suitable engineering controls, work practices and local operating instructions Ensure that all persons working in areas or with equipment where strong EMF radiation can be generated, in particular EMFs above Action Values, are aware of the hazards and of the need to follow the advice of the local EPA and local control measures Establish control measures to ensure the safety of all staff, visitors, facility users, and contractors to areas where strong EMFs may exist (see Appendix 3). Individuals with pacemakers or other medical implants should not be allowed to enter areas where known EMF hazards exist. Warning signage should be located at all entrances to such areas (see Appendix 3) Ensure that all instances where staff or others are exposed to EMFs greater than the relevant Limit Values (see Appendix 2) are reported according to SHE Code 5: Incident reporting and investigation to SHE Group, and that any staff or others exposed to EMFs above the Limit Value are referred to Occupational Health for medical assessment STFC staff and tenants shall: Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 6 of 15

7 4.4.1 Comply with any local operating instructions relating to equipment which is capable of exposing staff and others to strong electromagnetic fields When responsible for visitors, facility users or contractors, ensure that the visitors/users/contractors comply with relevant local operating instructions and that the visitors/users/contractors make STFC staff aware of any devices/equipment they bring on to STFC sites capable of exposing personnel to strong electromagnetic fields When responsible for visitors, contractors or facility users in an area where strong EMFs are present, ensure that their attention is drawn to notices warning that no one with a pacemaker or other implanted medical device should be allowed into the area Report all incidents relating to strong EMFs to SHE Group (see STFC SHE Code 5, Incident Reporting and Investigation). 4.5 SHE Group shall: Maintain an STFC register of EPAs and their areas of responsibility. 4.6 Occupational Health advisers shall: Undertake medical assessments of those exposed to EMFs above the Limit Value and establish health assessments for those working in strong EMFs Provide advice for persons who have implanted medical devices such as cardiac pacemakers about the hazards of exposure to strong EMFs. 5. References 5.1 This document should be read in conjunction with the NRPB Publication Review of the scientific evidence for limiting the exposure to electromagnetic fields (0-300GHz) : Documents of the NRPB Volume 15 Number 3: 2004 which is available from SHE Group. 5.2 ICNIRP Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to time-varying Electric, Magnetic, and Electromagnetic Fields (up to 300 GHz). 5.3 Use of the ICNIRP EMF Guidelines 5.4 The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have undertaken investigations into the Biological Effects and Potential Hazards of Radio Frequency Electro Magnetic Fields see: 4.pdf, and 1982 ANSI standard (ANSI C ), which permitted exclusion from compliance with the MPE limits if the localized specific absorption rate (SAR) of a low-power device could be shown to be 8 watts/kilogram (8W/kg) or less, or if the input power of the radiating device at frequencies between 300 khz and 1 GHz was 7 watts or less. This (potential) exemption has not be recognised in the UK by the HPA in their guidelines Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 7 of 15

8 Appendices Appendix 1: Summary of the effects of EMF Radiation EMF radiation can be absorbed by body tissue and can give rise to temperature increases in exposed tissue. Many other possible biological effects of electromagnetic fields have been postulated although it is generally accepted that the most significant effects, and those best understood to date, are thermal. Normally blood vessels dilate to allow the excess heat to be removed by blood flow. The main risk is therefore to parts of the body with poor blood supply, such as the lens of the eye. Exposure of the head to pulsed radiation such as radar can result in an apparent audible sound such as a chirp or a buzz in some individuals although this is not considered to be harmful. The effects of low-level microwave exposure (<1 mw/cm 2 ) are the subject of ongoing research with some suggestions that such levels may cause reversible disturbances of the central nervous system, like headaches, emotional instabilities, and changes in the electroencephalogram, and alterations in blood chemistry. However, such phenomena have not been sufficiently investigated and the link between low level EMF exposure and health effects has not been proven. Electrically conducting materials such as spectacle frames or medically implanted metal objects (screws, valves and plates) may become hot when exposed to strong EMF or RF fields, leading to damage of the surrounding tissue. Burns can occur when the EMF induced current enters the body through contact between a small area of the body (such as a finger) and an electrical conductor. Low frequency RF radiation below a few MHz may interact with the body through electrical charges induced on ungrounded or poorly grounded metallic objects such as vehicles, wires or fences. When a person comes in contact with such an object a current can pass to ground through the body. The current depends on the total charge which in turn depends on the frequency and field strength as well as the geometry and capacitance of the object and the person's impedance to ground. Interference with Implantable Medical Devices such as Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) EMFs can interfere with the proper operation of pacemakers and ICDs. Electric field interference with pacemakers has been observed at levels as low as 1½ 2kV/m. However, modern dual-chamber pacemakers appear unaffected at levels as high as 20kV/m. The European Committee for Electro-technical Standardization (CENELEC) are in the process of producing a standard for the Assessment, measurement and calculations of human exposure at the workplace bearing Active Implantable Medical Devices (AMIDs) in electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields with frequencies from 0 to 100 GHz. Further information can be found in references presented in section 5. Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 8 of 15

9 Appendix 2: Summary of ICNIRP Basic Restrictions and Investigation Levels The following Tables, with technical definitions, are taken from the publication Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to time-varying Electric, Magnetic and Electromagnetic Fields (up to 300 GHz) (see Section 5, References). To facilitate their use a summary chart presents the electric and magnetic field strengths as commonly measured and presented by EMF meters for Action and Limit Values. The basis for the frequency dependent data presented in these tables is the Specific energy Absorption Rates (SAR) of these EMFs for human exposure. Table 1: Reference Levels [Limit Values] for Occupational Exposure to Time-Varying Electric and Magnetic Fields (Unperturbed RMS Values) Table 2: Reference Levels [Limit Values] for General Public Exposure to Time-Varying Electric and Magnetic Fields (Unperturbed RMS Values) Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 9 of 15

10 Summary chart of the data presented in Tables 1 and 2, electric and magnetic field strengths, as function of EMF frequency. Electric field strengths Magnetic field strengths Key Red Blue Solid line Dashed line Electric field strength Magnetic field strength Limit Value for occupational exposure Action Value established at the recommended general public exposure field strengths Technical definitions Specific energy Absorption (SA) The energy absorbed per unit mass of biological tissue, (SA) expressed in Joules per kilogram (J/kg); specific energy absorption is the time integral of specific energy absorption rate. Specific energy Absorption Rate (SAR) The rate of energy absorption per unit body mass, usually expressed in Watts per kilogram (W/kg); SAR is the dosimetric measure that has been widely adopted at frequencies above about 100 khz. Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 10 of 15

11 Appendix 3: Principles of EMF Risk Control In view of the potential hazards of exposure to EMF radiation a number of control measures should be considered. These are presented below: a) It must be ensured as far as reasonably practicable that where equipment likely to generate a strong EMF radiation is purchased or borrowed, that the supplier provides details of the likely EMF output characteristics and recommended control measures. Such data should already be provided if the equipment is CE marked, but nevertheless it is recommended that the equipment is re-tested locally to confirm its EMF output. b) The immediate vicinity of unmanned, high-power sources of EMF radiation (e.g. radiotransmitters) shall be suitably fenced off to prevent unauthorized access. c) Equipment generating strong EMF radiation shall be positioned as far away as reasonably practicable from areas normally occupied by staff and others. d) There shall be no unnecessary metal objects near any radiating EMF device. The presence of such objects may result in high-intensity fields in certain locations. e) Shielding or screening of equipment shall be carried out as necessary to reduce EMF radiation exposure. f) Equipment generating high-power microwaves shall not be tested without an appropriate load connected to its output. The power generated should never be allowed to radiate freely into occupied areas. g) Safety procedures to be followed by operators of equipment generating strong EMF radiation shall include the following requirements: Replacement components, in particular, waveguides, gaskets, flanges, etc., must be such that the equipment s EMF radiation characteristics remain acceptable; Testing of an EMF-radiating device either before or after completion of repair work must be carried out in accordance with this SHE code work and should normally be carried out after protective shields, waveguides and other components have been put back in their designated locations as far as reasonably practicable; Adjustments of voltages, replacement or dismantling of EMF-radiation-generating components or refitting waveguides should be undertaken by people trained and competent to undertake such tasks (see Appendix 4); and Maintenance staff and operators of EMF radiation generating devices shall be suitably aware of the potential hazards of EMF radiation. h) Managers responsible for new or existing EMF-radiating-equipment subjected to modification/maintenance should ask the relevant EPA to undertake EMF surveys with appropriate test equipment. i) Warning signs as shown below indicating the presence of EMF radiation shall be posted as appropriate where exposure above Action Values may occur. Warning signs can be obtained from SHE Group. Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 11 of 15

12 j) Warning signs, as shown below, prohibiting individuals with pacemakers or similar devices from entering areas where EMFs exist shall be posted at all entrances. Warning signs can be obtained from SHE Group. k) EMF-generating equipment may present additional hazards such as X-ray emission and electrical dangers which will have to be evaluated separately (see SHE codes specific to these additional hazards). Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 12 of 15

13 Appendix 4: Training Role Initial Training Refresher Frequency Comments Manager of area/activities in which EMF hazards exist Health Protection Agency (HPA), EMF Safety Awareness, 1 day training. (HPA), EMF Safety Awareness 5 yearly EMF Protection Advisor (EPA) Training in undertaking EMF strength measurements generally provided by providers/manufacturers of measuring equipment. Detailed familiarisation with the content of this code. Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 13 of 15

14 Appendix 5: Audit Checklist Ref Item Rating Comments 1 (Section 4.1.1) Have Directors appointed in writing EPAs for all equipment/areas generating strong EMFs? 2 Have documented EMF surveys been undertaken for all equipment generating strong EMFs? Have these been repeated following significant change/modification or maintenance of the equipment? 3 (Section 4.2.3) 4 (Section 4.3.4) 5 (Section 4.3.3) 6 (Section 4.3.5) 7 (Section 4.3.7) (Section 4.4.4) 8 (Section 4.3.7) (Section 4.6.1) 9 (Section 4.4.3) 10 (Section 4.3.5) (Section 4.4.1) (Section 4.4.2) Is EPA EMF survey meter within calibration date and calibrated to a recognised EMF standard? Are EMF warning signs located in all areas where EMF strength exceeds the Action Value? Have documented Risk Assessments been conducted for all equipment/areas where EMF exceed Action Values? Are staff working in areas above the Action Value aware of the effects of EMF exposure? Are SHE incidents involving EMF reported? Have medical assessments been conducted for all staff exposed to EMFs above the Limit Value? Are controls in place to prevent the exposure of staff and others with implanted medical devices to EMFs? Is warning signage visible at the entrances to such areas? Are staff aware of and following local operating instructions established to control exposure to EMFs? Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 14 of 15

15 Appendix 6: Document Retention Policy Records Established Minimum Retention Period Responsible Record Keeper Location of records Comments/Justifications EMF Surveys Current + 50 Years Line Management Appointments: Local Record Systems Probably 50 Years from Date of last entry health issues EMF Protection Advisor Most Recent Director SHE Directory Appointment Letter Issue Number: 1.3 Issue Date: 09/12/2014 Author: Graeme Finlan/P McIntosh/D Findlay Page 15 of 15

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