EMF communities and authorities around the globe can take very different views on what guidelines are appropriate to use under what circumstances. Whilst many governments tend to take a back seat and follow the most lenient approach, a lot of independent medical and scientific bodies have a much more realistic and cautious view when it comes to long term EMF exposure. In reality, the right sets of guidelines should be used for the right purpose. We have gathered some of the most commonly quoted EMF guidelines across the world. These are also the guidelines we use when carrying out our EMF risk assessments.
ICNIRP guidelines are designed for short term EMF exposure protection at high intensity. It is supposed to protect from physical effect such as muscle twitching. It is not fit for purpose when it comes to evaluating biological impact of a long term EMF exposure at lower intensity. Yet, it is still the only standard adopted by the UK government and is used as the legal reference for general public exposure limits in the UK.
"SAGE" stands for Stakeholder Advisory Group on ELF EMFs and describes precautionary approaches to ELF EMFs. It is a standard that is being used mainly for 50/60Hz AC magnetic flux density in general areas of a residential homes. It does not differentiate between day and night exposure. The study was mainly focusing on a relationship between extremely low frequency EMF and childhood leukemia.
IGNIR EMF guidelines are the latest set of reference levels based on a peer-reviewed scientific research on EMF and provides the strictest protection from electrosmog. It is widely used across the EMF consulting community and many professional EMF specialists refer to it. This EMF standard is not used for occupational compliance testing, it is designed to offer a long term EMF exposure protection in general public and residential areas.
Today the EMF Standard of Building Biology Testing Methods is used as a guide for professional and independent EMF testing of homes worldwide, including Europe, the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Building biology EMF consultants, associations, institutes, laboratories and manufacturers of EMF testing equipment base their recommendations on it. The Standard is also the basis for many continuing education courses and expert seminars as well as publications and books.