Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are found everywhere. They are part of the natural environment and present in the atmosphere.
They are also produced wherever electricity or electrical equipment is in use. Health concerns have been increasingly brought to the fore due to numerous technological advances (e.g. mobile communications (cell phones), computers, microwaves) of which electric and magnetic fields are a by-product.
Meeting the needs of our customers and responsible design
Auckland’s growth and the increased demand for electricity from consumers require the continuous upgrade and reinforcement of our electricity distribution network to meet the needs of the community. We take very seriously the health and safety of our customers and staff.
We are not an authority on EMFs and we therefore defer to the national and international authorities for best practice and health guidelines for EMF levels. The NZ guideline used for acceptable exposure levels is the Ministry of Health National Radiation Laboratory guideline which in turn refers to the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
The NZ recommended safe continuous exposure limit for magnetic fields for the general public is 200 microteslas (µT). This exposure limit is the same as those specified in Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The EMF levels of our electricity network lines and equipment comply with and are well below those limits.
All electrical equipment produces EMFs
When turned on, or in standby modes, your computer, television, hair dryer, clock radio and refrigerator, for example, all produce EMFs. The strength of EMFs reduces rapidly with distance from the source.
Common household and office appliances produce EMF levels which are comparable with Vector’s electricity equipment and substations. For example, an electric kettle produces up to 1µT, a computer up to 2µT, a Vector substation (at peak load and at the boundary) less than 0.1µT for a small substation, ranging up to around 5µT for a very large installation.
Further information about EMFs
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