Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Neurophysiological and behavioral effects of a 60 Hz, 1,800 µT magnetic field in humans. med./bio.

Published in: Eur J Appl Physiol 2012; 112 (5): 1751-1762

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of a 60 Hz magnetic field exposure on human physiology, neurophysiology and motor functions using a single experimental procedure.

Background/further details

73 subjcets participated (46 males, 27 females) in two sessions (sham exposure and exposure) on separate days composed of four sequences of testing. Four testing blocks per session were performed: 15 min before the beginning of exposure, 15 and 45 min after the beginning of expoosure and 15 min after the end of the exposure.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 60 Hz
Exposure duration: 1 h - with the field turned off for up to 1 minute at different time intervals depending on the recording method used (e.g. EEG)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 60 Hz
Exposure duration 1 h - with the field turned off for up to 1 minute at different time intervals depending on the recording method used (e.g. EEG)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup two orthogonal coils with a diameter of 1.6 m, spaced 1.2 m apart; each coil consisting of 80 turns of AWG-10 wire mounted with a nonconductive cooling/heating system; test person sitting on an elevated armchair in the middle of the coil system; test person wearing earplugs; for some tests the armchair was pulled back, opening access to a force plate underneath the chair; test person stepped on it and took a standardized position
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 1,800 µT - - - -

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data revealed a reduction of standing balance with magnetic field exposure (only during the eyes closed condition suggesting that the exposure acts on proprioceptive and/or vestibular functions), as well as an increase of physiological tremor amplitude. In contrast, no effect appeared on other investigated parameters (e.g., EEG or voluntary motor control).
These findings suggest that 1 h of 60 Hz magnetic field exposure (1800 µT (ICNIRP limit value for the controlled environment: 1000 µT)) may modulate human involuntary motor control without being detected in the cortical electrical activity.

Study character:

Study funded by

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