Electric and magnetic fields are all around us – they are part of the natural environment and are present in the atmosphere.
They’re also produced wherever electricity or electrical equipment is in use.
The rapid increase of technology like mobile phones, computers and microwaves – all of which produce electric and magnetic fields – has increased health concerns about electromagnetic fields.
Here you can find out more about the safety of electromagnetic fields, including some helpful links to international research.
The New Zealand guideline used for acceptable exposure levels is the Ministry of Health National Radiation Laboratory Guideline which in turn refers to the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
In New Zealand, the recommended safe continuous exposure limit for magnetic fields for the general public is 100 microteslas (µT). This exposure limit is the same as those specified in Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The EMF levels of Northpower's electricity lines network and equipment comply with and are well below those limits.
It’s an interesting fact that common household and office appliances produce EMF levels which are comparable with Northpower's electricity equipment and substations. For example, an electric kettle produces up to 1µT, a computer up to 2µT, a small Northpower substation (at peak load and at the boundary) less than 0.1µT and a very large installation up to about 5µT.
Whangarei and Kaipara district's growth and the increased demand for electricity from consumers requires the continuous upgrade and reinforcement of our electricity lines distribution network to meet the needs of the community. We take the health and safety of consumers and staff very seriously, and ensure compliance to international standards at all times.
Northpower is not an authority in EMFs and we recommend any enquiries be directed to the national and international authorities for best practice and health guidelines for EMF levels.
When turned on, or in standby modes, household equipment like your computer, television, hair dryer, clock radio and refrigerator all produce EMFs. The strength of EMFs reduces rapidly with distance from the source.
You may find the following links helpful: