Electric Fields vs. Magnetic Fields

Electric fields are produced by voltages and are measured in volts/meters. Electric fields can be shielded somewhat by trees, buildings, fences and other objects.

Magnetic fields are produced by electric currents and are measured in units called milligauss. Magnetic fields easily pass through most objects.

The strength of both electric and magnetic fields drops off rapidly as you move away from the source of the field.

Research Conclusions on the Impacts of EMFs

Scientists have been researching EMFs and their effects on health for over 20 years. The majority of research has found no statistical link between EMFs and certain health effects. For example:

  • A study conducted for the U.S. Department of Labor concluded that there is no convincing evidence to support any health hazard.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy’s $65 million EMF Research and Public Information Dissemination (RAPID) Program, concluded that "scientific evidence suggesting that EMF exposures pose any health risk is weak."
  • An October 1996 study completed by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that based upon their comprehensive evaluation of EMF studies, the available evidence does not show that exposure to magnetic fields presents a human health hazard.

DP&L is committed to providing safe and reliable electric service to customers and the public, and a safe working environment for its employees. We will continue to monitor research and provide information for our employees and customers.

Are there standards for EMFs from power lines?

Neither the federal government nor the state of Ohio has set limits for electric or magnetic fields. The bulk of the scientific evidence does not support the need for standards or suggest what, if any, level of EMFs should be regulated. The Ohio Power Siting Board has regulations that include EMFs as a siting consideration.