Dosimetric assessment of simultaneous exposure to ELF electric and magnetic fields

Norbert Leitgeb, Roman Cech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the low-frequency range, both electric and magnetic fields interact with biological tissue by inducing intracorporal electric current densities, although ruled by different physical laws and, hence, with different intracorporal orientation and pathways. Presently, standards require a separate assessment of electric and magnetic fields even in the case of simultaneous exposure and, hence, ignore the superposition of intracorporal current densities. Numerical simulations with the Visible Man model show that this can lead to underestimating current densities in the central nervous system (CNS) by up to 29%. While the superposed electric current densities in the CNS still meet the basic restrictions, the situation changes if a fetus with its own CNS requires the same level of protection. When the compliance volume is extended to the trunk, the reference-level electric-field exposure exceeds the basic restrictions by 38%. Depending on the kind of summation of the vectorial contributions, simultaneous exposure to the 50 Hz-5 kV/m electric field and 100-T magnetic field may lead to a 2.1-fold to 2.6-fold excess of the basic restriction. While this does not prove noncompliance, it indicates that fetal CNS exposure modeling is needed for clarification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-674
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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