Fetal exposure to low frequency electric and magnetic fields

Phys Med Biol. 2007 Feb 21;52(4):879-88. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/52/4/001. Epub 2007 Jan 17.


To investigate the interaction of low frequency electric and magnetic fields with pregnant women and in particular with the fetus, an anatomical voxel model of an 89 kg woman at week 30 of pregnancy was developed. Intracorporal electric current density distributions due to exposure to homogeneous 50 Hz electric and magnetic fields were calculated and results were compared with basic restrictions recommended by ICNIRP guidelines. It could be shown that the basic restriction is met within the central nervous system (CNS) of the mother at exposure to reference level of either electric or magnetic fields. However, within the fetus the basic restriction is considerably exceeded. Revision of reference levels might be necessary.

MeSH terms

  • Body Burden
  • Central Nervous System / radiation effects*
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Fetal Development / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / adverse effects
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / standards
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiometry* / adverse effects
  • Radiometry* / methods
  • Radiometry* / standards
  • Relative Biological Effectiveness