Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study, theoretical study, review/survey)

Perception of ELF electromagnetic fields: excitation thresholds and inter-individual variability. med./bio.

Published in: Health Phys 2007; 92 (6): 591-595

Aim of study (acc. to editor)

To study the perception threshold of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields in 1,071 individuals (349 men and 359 women aging 16 to 60 years, 117 girls and 123 boys aging 9 to 16 years, and 123 individuals older than 60 years).

Background/further details

The survey discusses the results of author's previous research (see "related articels" et al.).



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: current linearly increased until perception of current

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration current linearly increased until perception of current
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup electrodes on both forearms of the test persons
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
current density 9.9 µA/cm² minimum calculated - for women
current density 209 µA/cm² maximum calculated - for women
current density 43.7 µA/cm² minimum calculated - for men
current density 248 µA/cm² maximum calculated - for men
current density 14.4 µA/cm² minimum calculated - for children
current density 187 µA/cm² maximum calculated - for children
cf. remarks - - - - current: 15 µA min. value

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • during exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Women were found to be significantly more sensitive than men. Children turned out to be more sensitive than men but similar to women. An analysis of the age dependence showed that both boys and girls were similarly sensitive to electric currents at ages 9 to 11 years. The data indicate that existing safety limit values for touch currents need critical review.
Numerical simulations confirmed that the basic limit values of intracorporal electric current densities as recommended by ICNIRP are conservative to prevent cellular excitation.

Study character:

Study funded by

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