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Environment, Health and Safety Division


Non Ionizing Radiation

Non-ionizing radiation is described as a series of energy waves composed of oscillating electric and magnetic fields traveling at the speed of light. Non-ionizing radiation includes the spectrum of ultraviolet (UV), visible light, infrared (IR), microwave (MW), radio frequency (RF), and extremely low frequency (ELF). Lasers commonly operate in the UV, visible, and IR frequencies. Non-ionizing radiation sources at the Berkeley Lab are everywhere. They include, Magnetic Fields, Radio Frequency, Microwaves, WiFi etc. EH&S Laser Safety Officer/Non-ionizing Safety Officer evaluates these non-ionizing sources. Examples would be establishing a 5 gauss control zone around Tesla magnetic sources (i.e. super conducting magnets, ion gauges, MRI units), investigating staff concerns over exposure to Electro Magnetic Fields (power lines), determining possible leakage from RF waveguides, etc. The majority of survives are performed at staff requests. Laser radiation is a form of non-ionizing radiation and is covered separately in the laser chapter (16) of Pub 3000, Contact Robert Fairchild, ext 2278 if you would like to request an evaluation.

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