February 2008 Team Member Article

What are the differences between electric and magnetic fields?

The difference between an electric field and a magnetic field is  that electric field is caused by voltage and magnetic field is
caused by current. An electrical device will have an electrical field even when turned off and must be turned on to create a
magnetic field.

Electric fields are disrupted by objects that conduct electricity such as the body, natural mass and structures. Magnetic fields
can pass through most objects so it is harder to shield them.


Electrical field strength is measured in volts (V/m) or in kilovolts per meter (kV/m). 1 kV = 1000 V. A person may feel a shock
when touching something that conducts electricity.

Magnetic fields are measured in of gauss (G) or tesla (T)1 T = 10,000 G. A milligauss is 1/1,000 of a gauss. A microtesla is 1/1,
000,000 of a tesla. 1 G = 1,000 mG; 1 T = 1,000,000 T . High Magnetic fields can cause ocular & auditory hallucinations,
nausea and feelings of paranoia.

Are there other types of Electromagnetic energy?

Radio waves, microwaves, light waves and X-rays are all types of electromagnetic energy. This energy is expressed in hertz

Low Frequency EMF

Geomagnetic & DC - 0 Hz geological, medical & industrial processing
(SELF)0 HZ- 3 Hz Sub Extremely Low Frequencies- MRIs, DC Subways
(ELF) 3 Hz - 3000 Hz Extremely Low Frequencies- AC Power Sources, motors, PC sound cards
(VLF) 3 - 30 kHZ Very Low Frequency (VLF)-  radio, submarine, earth
(LF) 30 - 300 kHz Low Frequency –Aircraft navigation

High Frequency EMF

(MF) 300 kHz - 3 MHz Medium Frequency- Mobile, Amateur radio, aeronautical
(HF) 3 MHz - 30 MHz High Frequency-Mobile & Stationary communications
(VHF 30 MHz - 300 MHz Very High Frequency -FM radio & TV
(UHF) 300 MHz - 3 GHz Ultra High Frequency-TV, Microwave, cellular phones,  
(SHF) 3 - 30 GHz Super High Frequency - Satellite & radar

Melinda Smith
February 2008
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