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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 150143, 8 pages
Research Article

An Assessment of Hazards Caused by Electromagnetic Interaction on Humans Present near Short-Wave Physiotherapeutic Devices of Various Types Including Hazards for Users of Electronic Active Implantable Medical Devices (AIMD)

Laboratory of Electromagnetic Hazards, Central Institute for Labour Protection-National Research Institute (CIOP-PIB), Ulica Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warszawa, Poland

Received 30 April 2013; Revised 30 July 2013; Accepted 5 August 2013

Academic Editor: Martin G. Mack

Copyright © 2013 Jolanta Karpowicz and Krzysztof Gryz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Leakage of electromagnetic fields (EMF) from short-wave radiofrequency physiotherapeutic diathermies (SWDs) may cause health and safety hazards affecting unintentionally exposed workers (W) or general public (GP) members (assisting patient exposed during treatment or presenting there for other reasons). Increasing use of electronic active implantable medical devices (AIMDs), by patients, attendants, and workers, needs attention because dysfunctions of these devices may be caused by electromagnetic interactions. EMF emitted by 12 SWDs (with capacitive or inductive applicators) were assessed following international guidelines on protection against EMF exposure (International Commission on Nonionizing Radiation Protection for GP and W, new European directive 2013/35/EU for W, European Recommendation for GP, and European Standard EN 50527-1 for AIMD users). Direct EMF hazards for humans near inductive applicators were identified at a distance not exceeding 45 cm for W or 62 cm for GP, but for AIMD users up to 90 cm (twice longer than that for W and 50% longer than that for GP because EMF is pulsed modulated). Near capacitive applicators emitting continuous wave, the corresponding distances were: 120 cm for W or 150 cm for both—GP or AIMD users. This assessment does not cover patients who undergo SWD treatment (but it is usually recommended for AIMD users to be careful with EMF treatment).