Electric & Magnetic Fields
What you should know about EMF safety and research

Understanding electric and magnetic fields

Electricity is essential to our modern world. But over the years, public concern has arisen from confusing and sometimes conflicting research about the electric and magnetic fields in everyday life.

Electric and magnetic fields are invisible fields created by both natural and man-made sources. A natural source of EMF is the earth’s magnetic force field, while man-made sources include anything that conducts or consumes electricity — such as an alarm clock, refrigerator or power line. The strength of both electric and magnetic fields weaken quickly as you move away from the source, just like heat from a fire.

Typical 60Hz fields near electrical equipment

Magnetic fields indoors
(Measured in milligauss, a unit of magnetic field intensity)
Source: EMF Rapid, June 2002, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Microwave oven

At 6 inches

100-300

At 1 foot

1-200

At 2 feet

1-30

Clothes washer

At 6 inches

4-100

At 1 foot

1-30

At 2 feet

1-6

Portable heater

At 6 inches

5-150

At 1 foot

1-40

At 2 feet

1-8

Television

At 6 inches

N/A

At 1 foot

7-20

At 2 feet

2-8

Hair dryer

At 6 inches

1-700

At 1 foot

1-70

At 2 feet

1-10

Electric range

At 6 inches

20-200

At 1 foot

8-30

At 2 feet

2-9

Magnetic fields outdoors
(Measured in milligauss, a unit of magnetic field intensity)
Source: EMF Rapid, June 2002, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Distribution lines

Transmission lines

1-70 under the line

5-30 edge of right of way

What does the research say?

Scientists have been researching potential health effects from EMF exposure since the 1960s. Multi-disciplinary review studies have consistently concluded there is insufficient evidence to establish causality between EMF and adverse human health hazards.

Because of the lack of evidence, no “safe” or “unsafe” levels of exposure to EMF have been established by the government or health organizations.

PGE is committed to your safety

At PGE, safety is our main focus. We understand you may have concerns about EMF at home, in the workplace and around power lines. PGE works to address those concerns by:

  • Employing EMF industry best practices in siting power facilities

  • Keeping informed on the latest research from universities, federal and state health agencies, industry sponsored programs and international health organizations

  • Serving as a source of information for elected officials, government agencies and electric utility regulators

  • Sharing accurate and objective information about EMF with our customers.

EMF research

PGE is committed to continually learning about the possible effects of EMF exposure. These reliable third-party sources that provide the latest information on EMF research.