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Is Magnetic Fields from Electric Vehicles Safe?


Photo by Tony Hisgett
For many years, the danger from electromagnetic fields from cellphones have been in the center of controversies and debates.  Then what about electric vehicles that utilizes much more powerful battery packs?

This week, researchers from seven countries have concluded that we can feel safe both in electric-powered cars and in those powered by hydrogen, petrol and diesel. None of them exposes passengers to higher electromagnetic fields than those recommended in international standards.

SINTEF has led and participated in the research project, involving nine other European companies and research institutes.

"There is a good deal of public concern about exposure to magnetic fields. The subject crops up regularly in the media. With the number of electric-powered vehicles increasing, this project is very relevant," says Kari Schjølberg-Henriksen, a physicist at SINTEF.

The test was carried out using eleven types of electric cars. The intensity of magnetic fields in seven different electric cars, one hydrogen car and one petrol car were measured in order to ascertain whether they approach the recommended limiting values for human exposure.

Measurements taken inside the vehicles—using a test dummy with sensors located in the head, chest and feet—showed exposure at less than 2 percent of the non-ionizing radiation limit at head-height. The highest electromagnetic field readings—still less than 20 percent of the limit—were found near the floor of the electric cars, close to the battery. Sensors picked up a burst of radiation that same level, when the cars were started.

We definitely need a few more research and perhaps continued monitoring to ensure the safety of drivers in these type of vehicles.

Is Magnetic Fields from Electric Vehicles Safe? Reviewed by Brandon on 6:50 PM Rating: 5

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