Environmental electromagnetic compatibility tests

Electromagnetic environmental compatibility (also known as electromagnetic compatibility to the environment, EMCE) refers to the compatibility of electromagnetic field emissions (EMF) with the environment – in particular human beings – and sets limits to ensure safety and prevent possible damage to health. An exposure scenario describes the effect of electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields on e.g. humans at a dedicated location.

The establishment of cellular networks and mobile communication in particular raises the question of the effects of exposure to high-frequency electromagnetic fields (HF-EMF) on people in a room. A metrological determination is indispensable for checking compliance with limit values and the development of immissions. Due to the expansion of cellular networks to include LTE, which has already been completed almost everywhere, as well as the launch of 5G and the associated significant increase in the number of transmitter stations, especially those carried by the body, monitoring of the immissions affecting humans is once again coming increasingly into focus.

The main effects can be summarised as follows:

  • Based on the definition of electric field strength, forces are exerted on charges wherever an electric field is detectable. It is essential here whether there are also effects on body tissue.

Thermal effect: The heat input of electromagnetic fields into tissue occurs through dielectric heating. The polarized (water) molecules in the cells are rotated at the frequency of the adjacent field and their friction with each other generates heat. The thermal limits applied in EMCE always refer to this cell heating. The heat input into biological tissue depends on numerous factors:

  • Power flux density of electromagnetic fields at the location of the exposed person, influenced by
  • Power and directional characteristic of the radiation source
  • Absorption, reflection, diffraction and scattering of beams between radiation source and radiation receiver
  • Distance
  • Exposure time

Non-thermal effects: Here, a distinction must be made between non-thermal effects occurring at higher radiation intensities, although relevant heating was prevented by cooling, and those occurring at low radiation intensities, which in themselves do not cause relevant temperature increases. Non-thermal effects do not occur in the entire high-frequency range, but only at specific resonance frequencies.

In general, low-frequency electric fields hardly penetrate into a conductive body, but end at its surface, for example at the surface of the human body, plants or buildings. Field strengths from about 1 kV/m can be perceived by sensitive people as harmless tingling or vibration of the hair, but in the body the field strength remains far below the threshold of 2 V/m, above which health damage can occur. Low-frequency magnetic fields, on the other hand, penetrate buildings and the body. High-frequency electric fields generate a displacement, which penetrates the body and flows predominantly in the upper skin layers as a conduction current through the blood vessels and blood vessels.


Our services

CETECOM offers services related to the safety aspects of people and equipment in electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields.

This includes the following areas:

  • Public:
    • Evaluation of electrical, magnetic and electromagnetic fields in the low and high frequency range with regard to the exposure of the general population, e.g. in accordance with 26th BImSchV – twenty-sixth ordinance to implement the Federal Immission Control Act (Ordinance on Electromagnetic Fields)
  • Employers:
    • Occupational health and safety in the presence of electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields in controlled environments – EMFV – WORK PROTECTION REGULATION on electromagnetic fields (formerly BGV/BGR B11, DGUV15/16)

Our measurements of electric fields cover frequency ranges between 0 Hz and 6 GHz, in individual cases also higher frequencies. For magnetic fields, frequencies up to 250 MHz are tested and evaluated.

We cover power generation systems, energy transfer systems (transmission lines, also HVDC), electrical machines and systems as well as intentional radio equipment from radio equipment to mobile base stations and radar stations, as well as other field-emitting devices and systems.