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Non-ionizing radiation

Non-ionizing radiation does not have enough energy to harm the hereditary material in cells, but produces heat.

Non ionizing radiation
Photo:
UiB

Non-ionising radiation is radiation with an energy below 12.6 eV, and this radiation does not have enough energy to break down chemical bonds when it meets biological materials.

Non-ionising radiation is divided into two main areas - optical radiation and electromagnetic fields. Optical radiation covers infrared radiation, visible light, blue light and ultraviolet radiation. Electromagnetic fields covers static fields up to radio frequency fields (radio waves), including radio transmitters, mobile phones, microwave ovens, computer screens and fields from power lines.

The health hazards of working with artificial optical radiation and electromagnetic fields must be risk assessed prior to starting work.

Optical radiation has a short range in biological tissue, and the main effect is thermal heating of the tissue. Health damage to the skin and damage to the cornea can occur. Especially when working with laser sources and with a lot of blue light (used for hardening dental materials in fillings), precautionary measures must be taken. Eye protection suitable for laser and blue light is an important measure to prevent this, and the requirement in the regulation is that safety glasses must be constructed and designed to prevent acute or chronic effects of non-ionising radiation to the eyes.

Non-ionizing radiation are divided into the following areas:

Ultra violet radiation (UV)

100-400 nm

(3000-750 THz)

Visible light

400-700 nm

(750-430 THz)

Infrared radiation (IR)

1 000 000 nm (1 mm)

(430 THz- 300 GHz)

Radiation in micro-wave band

300 GHz- 300 MHz

(1-1000 mm)

Radiation in the radio frequency band

300 MHz- 30 kHz

(1-10000 m)

Low frequent electromagnetic radiation

300 kHz-300 Hz

(1-1000 km)

Extremely low frequent electromagnetic radiation

3 kHz-3 Hz

(100-100 000 000 km)

Static field

3-0 Hz

(>100 000 000 km)

Non-ionizing radiation also includes radiation from lasers.

Exposure limits for 50 Hz electric and magnetic fields

Table 1. Summary of exposure limits for 50 Hz electric and magnetic fields

Exposure group

Electric fields

(kV/m)

Magnetic fields

(µT)

Occupationally exposed

10

1,000

The population in general

5

200

Investigation level*

 

0.4

*The investigation level is not a limit value (the limit value is 200 µT), but is established because the authorities desire to take into account the scientific uncertainty that still exists in this area.