Non-ionising radiation


Non-ionising radiation (NIR) is the term used to describe the part of the electromagnetic spectrum covering 2 main regions:

  • Optical radiation - ultraviolet (UV), visible and infrared
  • Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) - power frequencies, microwaves and radio frequencies

Optical radiation

Optical radiation is another term for light, covering:

  • ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  • visible light
  • 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

Electromagnetic fields

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) arise whenever electrical energy is used.

For example, EMFs arise in:

  • our home from electrical appliances in the kitchen
  • work processes such as radiofrequency heating and drying
  • the world at large from radio, TV and Telecoms broadcasting masts and security detection devices

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

Non-ionising radiation FAQs

Frequently asked questions on non ionising radiation.

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