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Open AccessArticle

Extremely Low Frequency-Magnetic Field (ELF-MF) Exposure Characteristics among Semiconductor Workers

Department of Occupational Health, Daegu Catholic University, Gyeongsan 38430, Korea
Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University, Seoul 03087, Korea
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Institute of Health and Environment, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Department of Public Health, Keimyung University, Daegu 42601, Korea
Wonjin Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, Seoul 02221, Korea
Department of Statistics, Dongguk University, Seoul 04620, Korea
Department of Biochemistry and Health Science, Changwon National University, Changwon 51140, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 642;
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 31 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
We assessed the exposure of semiconductor workers to extremely low frequency-magnetic fields (ELF-MF) and identified job characteristics affecting ELF-MF exposure. These were demonstrated by assessing the exposure of 117 workers involved in wafer fabrication (fab) and chip packaging wearing personal dosimeters for a full shift. A portable device was used to monitor ELF-MF in high temporal resolution. All measurements were categorized by operation, job and working activity during working time. ELF-MF exposure of workers were classified based on the quartiles of ELF-MF distribution. The average levels of ELF-MF exposure were 0.56 µT for fab workers, 0.59 µT for chip packaging workers and 0.89 µT for electrical engineers, respectively. Exposure to ELF-MF differed among types of factory, operation, job and activity. Workers engaged in the diffusion and chip testing activities showed the highest ELF-MF exposure. The ELF-MF exposures of process operators were found to be higher than those of maintenance engineers, although peak exposure and/or patterns varied. The groups with the highest quartile ELF-MF exposure level are operators in diffusion, ion implantation, module and testing operations, and maintenance engineers in diffusion, module and testing operations. In conclusion, ELF-MF exposure among workers can be substantially affected by the type of operation and job, and the activity or location. View Full-Text
Keywords: extremely low frequency-magnetic fields (ELF-MF); fabrication (fab) and chip packaging assembly; semiconductors extremely low frequency-magnetic fields (ELF-MF); fabrication (fab) and chip packaging assembly; semiconductors
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Choi, S.; Cha, W.; Park, J.; Kim, S.; Kim, W.; Yoon, C.; Park, J.-H.; Ha, K.; Park, D. Extremely Low Frequency-Magnetic Field (ELF-MF) Exposure Characteristics among Semiconductor Workers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 642.

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