High exposures to electromagnetic fields (EMF) can occur near certain medical devices in the hospital environment. A systematic assessment of medical occupational EMF exposure could help to clarify where more attention to occupational safety may be needed. This paper seeks to identify sources of high exposure for hospital workers and compare the published exposure data to occupational limits in the European Union. A systematic search for peer-reviewed publications was conducted via PubMed and Scopus databases. Relevant grey literature was collected via a web search. For each publication, the highest measured magnetic flux density or internal electric field strength per device and main frequency component was extracted. For low frequency fields, high action levels may be exceeded for magnetic stimulation, MRI gradient fields and movement in MRI static fields. For radiofrequency fields, the action levels may be exceeded near devices for diathermy, electrosurgery and hyperthermia and in the radiofrequency field inside MRI scanners. The exposure limit values for internal electric field may be exceeded for MRI and magnetic stimulation. For MRI and magnetic stimulation, practical measures can limit worker exposure. For diathermy, electrosurgery and hyperthermia, additional calculations are necessary to determine if SAR limits may be exceeded in some scenarios.
Keywords: Electromagnetic fields; Exposure; Hospital; Magnetic resonance imaging; Occupational.