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Characterization of Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields from Diesel, Gasoline and Hybrid Cars under Controlled Conditions

Radiation Protection Department, Soreq NRC, Yavne 81800, Israel
Department of Epidemiology, UCLA School of Public Health, University of California (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville VIC-3010, Australia
Rehovot Center for Gifted Children, Rehovot, Israel
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin Röösli
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1651-1666;
Received: 29 December 2014 / Accepted: 23 January 2015 / Published: 30 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Fields and Health)
PDF [1098 KB, uploaded 2 February 2015]


This study characterizes extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field (MF) levels in 10 car models. Extensive measurements were conducted in three diesel, four gasoline, and three hybrid cars, under similar controlled conditions and negligible background fields. Averaged over all four seats under various driving scenarios the fields were lowest in diesel cars (0.02 μT), higher for gasoline (0.04–0.05 μT) and highest in hybrids (0.06–0.09 μT), but all were in-line with daily exposures from other sources. Hybrid cars had the highest mean and 95th percentile MF levels, and an especially large percentage of measurements above 0.2 μT. These parameters were also higher for moving conditions compared to standing while idling or revving at 2500 RPM and higher still at 80 km/h compared to 40 km/h. Fields in non-hybrid cars were higher at the front seats, while in hybrid cars they were higher at the back seats, particularly the back right seat where 16%–69% of measurements were greater than 0.2 μT. As our results do not include low frequency fields (below 30 Hz) that might be generated by tire rotation, we suggest that net currents flowing through the cars’ metallic chassis may be a possible source of MF. Larger surveys in standardized and well-described settings should be conducted with different types of vehicles and with spectral analysis of fields including lower frequencies due to magnetization of tires. View Full-Text
Keywords: EMF; ELF; magnetic fields; cars; transportation; hybrid EMF; ELF; magnetic fields; cars; transportation; hybrid

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Hareuveny, R.; Sudan, M.; Halgamuge, M.N.; Yaffe, Y.; Tzabari, Y.; Namir, D.; Kheifets, L. Characterization of Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields from Diesel, Gasoline and Hybrid Cars under Controlled Conditions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 1651-1666.

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