Technical Reports

Safety of High Speed Guided Ground Transportation Systems Broadband Magnetic Fields: Their Possible Role in EMF-Associated Bioeffects

  • 01
  • Aug
  • 1993
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
KEYWORDS: Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF); Exposures; Electrical Transportation Systems; Maglev; Potential Adverse Health Effects; Broadband EMF Frequency Characteristics; EMF Biological Effects; Occupational Epidemiologic Data
ABSTRACT: This report reviews electric and magnetic field (EMF) exposures from electrical transportation systems, including electrically powered rail and magnetic levitation (maglev). Material also covered includes research concerning biological effects of EMF exposure, with special emphasis on broad spectrum or broadband magnetic fields. A primary objective of this report was to consider, based on present knowledge, the potential for adverse health effects from maglev-associated EMF. Because maglev technology is known to generate magnetic fields at a variety of frequencies, this document addresses the broadband EMF frequency characteristics (including pulses, intermittent fields, and other transient phenomena). One objective of this review was to consider whether, based on present knowledge, exposure to maglev-associated magnetic fields would warrant any special consideration related to possible adverse health effects. There may be unique combinations of ac and dc fields associated with maglev operation, but there is no evidence that such combinations have any special properties in terms of their potential EMF biological effects. From currently available occupational epidemiologic data for electrical transport workers, available clinical and laboratory data on EMF biological effects, and available information on maglev-generated magnetic fields, we conclude that maglev is not likely to represent greater risk, if any, than that from electrical transport systems already in use.
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