Anticipating and addressing workplace static magnetic field effects at levels <0.5 mT

R. J. Emery, J. R. Hopkins, M. A. Charlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Magnetic resonance, once a research tool limited to the basic sciences, has experienced an increase in popularity due to its unique ability to analyze certain living systems in vivo. Expanding applications in the biomedical sciences have resulted in magnetic sources being located in research institutions nationally. Space and resource limitations sometimes necessitate siting magnetic resonance units in proximity to other institutional operations. For magnetic field shielding and personnel protection considerations, the generally accepted 0.5 mT (milliTesla) limit for implanted cardiac devices is commonly used as the conservative basis for decisions. But the effects of magnetic fields on equipment can be easily observed at levels far below 0.5 mT, often resulting in concern and apprehension on the part of personnel in the surrounding areas. Responding to recurrent worker concerns spawned by noticeable effects on equipment at exposure levels <0.5 mT can strain finite radiation safety program resources. To enhance the ability to anticipate possible facility incompatibility issues associated with the installation of magnetic sources, a literature review was conducted to summarize documented equipment effects. Various types of equipment were found to be impacted at levels ranging down to perhaps 0.001 mT. Armed with this information, practicing radiation safety professionals can better anticipate facility incompatibility issues and improve their responses to worker concerns initiated by observed effects on equipment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S72-S76
JournalHealth Physics
Issue number5 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnetic fields
  • Operational topic
  • Radiation, nonionizing
  • Safety standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Anticipating and addressing workplace static magnetic field effects at levels <0.5 mT'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this