Fact Sheet: Electric and magnetic fields (EMF)

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Oct 18, 2013 (3 years and 2 months ago)

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Fact Sheet: Electric and magnetic fields (EMF)
Key Facts: EMF and SP AusNet
EMF levels at the Brunswick Terminal
Station after the upgrade is complete will
remain almost identical to the site’s current
levels. In fact, the upgrade will marginally

decrease EMF levels in some instances.
All of SP AusNet’s facilities fully comply with
the relevant National Health and Medical

Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines.
EMF levels differ through the site.
The following table sets out the EMF at

various locations around the Brunswick

Terminal Station site.
EMF and health: the science
There has been considerable research on

EMF world-wide during the past 30 years

without establishing any adverse health effects,
but some scientists suggest research should be
continued.
ARPANSA has reviewed the complete body of
scientific studies on EMF and their impacts on
human health to date and conclude:
“The scientific evidence does not firmly establish
that exposure to 50 Hz electric and magnetic
fields found around the home, the office or near
power lines is a hazard to human health.”
For more information on the Brunswick Terminal Station upgrade, please visit
www.sp-ausnet.com.au
You can contact the project team via email
brunswickts@sp-ausnet.com.au
or phone 1800 463 6287
The upgrade design – achieving Australian standards
The upgrade to the Brunswick Terminal Station is vital to helping secure the needs of a
growing Melbourne population and increasing peak power demands. The upgraded site
will service 65,000 additional customers, bringing the total to around 90,000.
SP AusNet designed the upgrade to ensure electric and magnetic fields (EMF) levels
around the facility are well below the Australian and international guidelines and standards.
To achieve this, two assessments were undertaken prior to the planning stage, one by

SP AusNet and another by an external engineering consultant.
These investigations assessed the current EMF profile and modeled the expected

EMF profile once the upgrade is complete. These assessments informed the final design
and are publicly available along with other technical reports. These outcomes were also
further assessed by the Moreland City Council, which engaged an expert in the field to
review the technical results.
To read the technical reports visit the Brunswick Terminal Station page at

www.sp-ausnet.com.au/
Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) at various aspects

around the Brunswick Terminal Station site
Location
Predicted field at

commissioning
Ultimate predicted field
Western perimeter

fence (King Street)
2 to 9 mG
3 to 9 mG
Southern perimeter
fence (Alister Street)
Less than 2 mG along the

majority of this fence.
Peak of 40mG at the south west
corner.
Less than 2 mG along the

majority of this fence.
Peak of 28mG at south west

corner.
Eastern perimeter

fence (along Merri

Creek & Sumner Park)
Less than 1mG for approximately
50 per cent of the fence (the

southern half).
Wide low peak towards the

northern end of 11mG.
Maximum peak of 68mG over

underground feeders.
Peak towards the centre of

the fence, of 18mG.
Less than 1mG for approximately
50 per cent of the fence (the

southern half).
Wide low peak towards the

northern end of 11mG.
Maximum peak of 95mG over

underground feeders.
Peak towards the centre of

the fence, of 18mG.
Northern perimeter
fence
A wide peak of approximately
32mG.
A wide peak of approximately
32mG.
Along residential

frontages in King St
In the range of 2 to 4 mG.
In the range of 2 to 4 mG.
Along residential

frontages in Alister St
In the range of 3 to 5 mG.
In the range of 3 to 5 mG.
*This chart is derived from AURECON Report 218322 “Brunswick Terminal Station: EMF assessment”.
SP Ausnet understands the community concerns about EMF and is committed to address these in its policies and practices.
What are Electric and

Magnetic Fields (EMF)?
Wherever there is natural or man-made electric
-
ity, there are also electric and magnetic fields.
Electric and magnetic fields are invisible and
occur everywhere there is electricity. Electrical
power distribution and use generates both elec
-
tric and magnetic fields. In Australia, these fields
are generated at a frequency of 50 hertz.
An electric field is created by the electric

voltage of an object. The strength of this field
is dependent on the voltage. The electric field
reduces in strength as you move away from the
object. The effect of the electric field generally
stops at nearby objects such as trees, fences
or walls. This means that outdoor electric fields
make an insignificant contribution to electric field
levels inside the home. Electrical wiring, lighting
and appliances such as electric blankets and
televisions create electric fields indoors.

An electric field is measured in kilovolts (kV)/ m.

When an electric current flows through a

wire a surrounding magnetic field is created.

The strength of the magnetic field depends on
the current flow. Magnetic fields also reduce as
you move away from the object carrying cur
-
rent. However, unlike electric fields, magnetic
fields do not stop at adjacent objects such as
trees, fences and walls. Common magnetic field
sources in the home include electrical wiring and
appliances such as microwaves and hairdryers,
with contributions from outdoor powerlines.

A magnetic field is measured in milliGauss (mG)
or microTesla (uT).
The table below illustrates typical magnetic

field measurements and ranges associated with
various appliances and power lines.
Location
Typical field for user
Range of measurements
Houses close to
above-ground

transmission lines

(220, 330, 500 kV)
10 mG
1–20 mG
Hairdryer
25 mG
10–70 mG
Electric Blanket
20 mG
5–30 mG
Oven
6 mG
2–30 mG
Computer
5 mG
2–20 mG
Toaster
3 mG
2–10 mG
Television
1 mG
0.2–2 mG
*Field levels vary with make and model of appliances. This chart is a guide only.
SP Ausnet understands the community concerns about EMF and is committed to address these in its policies and practices.
Who regulates EMF in Australia?
In Australia, Australian Radiation Protection and
Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is the federal
government agency responsible for protecting
the health and safety of people, and the environ
-
ment, from the effects of EMF. It also sets the
standards and guidelines for exposure to EMF.
Other bodies involved with standards and

guidelines for human exposure to EMF:
NHMRC: National Health & Medical Research
Council
www.nhmrc.gov.au

ICNIRP: International Commission on Non-
Ionising Radiation Protection
www.icnirp.de/

IEEE/ICES: Institute of Electrical & Electronic
Engineers / International Committee on Elec
-
tromagnetic Safety
www.ices-emfsafety.org/

What are the guidelines and

standards regarding Electric

and Magnetic Fields?
ARPANSA has advised that the “Interim

Guidelines on Limits of Exposure to 50/60 Hz
Electric and Magnetic Fields” (1989) issued
by the National Health and Medical Research
Council (NHMRC) are the guidelines currently
applicable in Australia. In 2006, ARPANSA also
released an Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) draft
standard for public consultation. International
standards are set by the 2010 ICNIRP Guidelines
and the 2002/2007 IEEE/ICES Standard.
The table below summarises the various

Australian and international magnetic field

exposure limit standards and guidelines for

the general public for the general public.
NHMRC
Guideline
1989
ARPANSA
Draft
Standard
2006
ICNIRP
Guideline
2010
IEEE
Standard
2002
1,000 mG
1,000mG
2,000 mG
9,040mG
For more information on EMF and the

draft ARPANSA standard please visit

http://www.arpansa.gov.au
SP Ausnet understands the community concerns about EMF and is committed to address these in its policies and practices.
Our commitment
SP AusNet has an obligation to provide electricity
safely, reliably and economically. Therefore, in

accordance with the recommendations of the

Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA), we:
Operate our transmission system prudently
within Australian health guidelines
Closely monitor high quality scientific research
Take community views into account when
siting facilities.
During a public consultation process in 2011,

a number of King Street residents requested

SP AusNet to assist with magnetic field

measurements at their homes. The measurement
results indicated that all measured field levels

(in and outside of the homes) are typical of that
in many Melbourne homes and they were not
influenced by equipment inside Brunswick

Terminal Station.