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Non-ionising radiation

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Non-ionising radiation (NIR) is the term used to describe the part of the electromagnetic spectrum covering two main regions, namely optical radiation (ultraviolet (UV), visible and infrared) and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) (power frequencies, microwaves and radio frequencies).

The draft guide to the Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016 and information on exemptions is now available.

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Optical radiation

Optical radiation is another term for light, covering ultraviolet (UV) radiation, visible light, and infrared radiation. The greatest risks to health are probably posed by:

  • UV radiation from the sun. Exposure of the eyes to UV radiation.
  • The misuse of powerful lasers.

More on optical radiation

Electromagnetic fields

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) arise whenever electrical energy is used. So for example, EMFs arise in our home from electrical appliances in the kitchen, from work processes such as radiofrequency heating and drying and in the world at large from radio, TV and Telecoms broadcasting masts and security detection devices.

More on electromagnetic fields


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