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Protection of Workers Exposed to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields: A Perspective on Open Questions in the Context of the New ICNIRP 2020 Guidelines

Workers in occupational settings are usually exposed to numerous sources of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and to different physical agents. Risk assessment for industrial workplaces concerning EMF is not only relevant to operators of devices or machinery emitting EMF, but also to support-workers, bystanders, service and maintenance personnel, and even visitors. Radiofrequency EMF guidelines published in 2020 by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) may also be indirectly applied to assess risks emerging from EMF sources at workplaces by technical standards or legislation. To review the applicability and adequacy to assess exposure to EMF in occupational settings in the European Union, the most current ICNIRP guidelines on radiofrequency EMF are reviewed. Relevant ICNIRP fundamentals and principles are introduced, followed by practical aspects of exposure assessment. To conclude, open questions are formulated pointing out gaps between the guidelines' principles and occupational practice, such as the impact of hot and humid environments and physical activity or controversies around ICNIRPS's reduction factors in view of assessment uncertainty in general. Thus, the article aims to provide scientific policy advisors, labor inspectors, or experts developing standards with a profound understanding about ICNIRP guidelines' applicability to assess hazards related to radiofrequency EMF in occupational settings.

The complete article is published in the Journal "Frontiers in Public Health" (2022).

Bibliographic information

P. Jeschke, C. Alteköster, K. H. Mild, M. Israel, M. Ivanova, K. Schiessl, T. Shalamanova, F. Soyka, R. Stam, J. Wilén:
Protection of Workers Exposed to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields: A Perspective on Open Questions in the Context of the New ICNIRP 2020 Guidelines. 
in: Frontiers Public Health 2022. pages 1-16, PDF file, DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.875946

download file "Protection of Workers Exposed to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields: A Perspective on Open Questions in the Context of the New ICNIRP 2020 Guidelines" (PDF, 2 MB, Not barrier-free file)

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