We carried out the study to assess, using field surveys and personal dosimetry, the potential exposure of pharmacists and pharmaceutical assistants to 60 Hz magnetic fields in a medical center of Taiwan. Field surveys were conducted twice in the pharmacy where two workers were randomly selected and solicited to wear personal dosimetry instruments for a full-shift assessment of personal exposure. We used an EMDEX II for on site measurements and did not consider any specific instrument or equipment for health care services as potential sources of magnetic field. The results showed that the average magnetic flux densities for the selected areas were between 0.63 mill-Gauss (mG) and 2.23 mG, while the full-shift time-weighted-average exposure for the two selected workers was 4.98 mG and 6.54 mG, respectively. Both inadequate consideration for the field survey of the temporal variability in magnetic flux densities over the workday and that the monitored workers spent almost half of the full-shift working in places outside of the study areas may have contributed to such discrepancy in results between field survey and personal dosimetry. This study suggests that the potential for elevated exposure to 60 Hz magnetic fields in health care settings does exist, and that using job title as a surrogate for magnetic fields exposure classification might entail certain degrees of misclassification. Although limited in its scope and sample size, the study presented here seems to demonstrate the inadequacy of using stationary workplace measurements for the assessment of personal occupational exposure to 60 Hz magnetic fields.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis