Electromagnetic fields

Advice on exposure to electromagnetic fields in the everyday environment, including electrical appliances in the home and mobile phones.

These documents cover:

  • static fields used in various industries
  • medical devices such as magnetic resonance imaging
  • low frequency electric and magnetic fields that arise from the generation, transport and use of electricity
  • radio waves used to broadcast radio and TV and by telecommunication equipment such as mobile phones and base stations
  • quantities and units used to measure exposure to electromagnetic fields
  • exposure guidelines

Static fields

Static electric and magnetic fields include the natural fields that occur in the atmosphere and the man-made fields produced by direct current electricity and magnetic resonance scanners.

Low frequency electric and magnetic fields

Electric and magnetic fields are produced by the generation and use of electricity.

Radio waves

Sources of radio waves in homes and offices include mobile phones, wi-fi, smart meters. Other sources of radio waves include TV and radio transmissions, radar and satellite communications, which use radio waves to operate.

Radio waves belong to the category of non-ionising radiation (NIR). This is the term given to the part of the electromagnetic spectrum where there’s insufficient quantum energy to cause ionisations in living matter.

Updates to this page

Published 9 July 2013
Last updated 3 October 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added '5G technologies: radio waves and health' document.

  2. First published.