Dr. Magda Havas, PhD Environmental Studies Research Papers

Kingston Ontario Magnetic Fields

Posted on October 8, 2009

Havas, M. and J. MacKay. 2004. Street level Magnetic Fields within the City of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Biological Effects of EMFs, 3rd International Workshop, Kos, Greece, 4-8 October, 2004. pp 318-325.


Magnetic flux density associated with power lines was measured in three communities within the City of Kingston (population 123,000), Ontario, Canada during a two-week period in August 2003. Spot measurements were taken during the day (0900–1700 h) and in the evening (1700–2100 h) Monday to Friday at intersections, along the sidewalk, and at the front door of buildings on both sides of the street. The mean magnetic flux density for downtown commercial, downtown residential, and suburban residential was 28, 3.2, and 4.0 mG respectively. Of the almost 4000 measurements taken in this study, 76% were above 2 mG, the lower limit associated with childhood leukemia in epidemiological studies. More specifically, the downtown commercial, downtown residential, and suburban communities had 97%, 68% and 42% of readings above 2 mG respectively. As many as 64% of the measurements in the commercial district were above 12 mG, which has been associated with enhanced growth of human breast cancer cells in vitro and 54% were above 16 mG, which has been associated with increased risk of miscarriages. Day and evening measurements within each community were similar with some exceptions. Magnetic flux densities at intersections were similar or slightly higher than values measured along residential streets and were significantly higher than street values in the Kingston’s commercial district. Exposure to street level magnetic fields may be considerable in some communities posing a potential risk to delivery personnel, street vendors, utility employees, maintenance workers, police, and others who spent time in this environment. These outdoor environments are important sources of electromagnetic field exposure for certain types of occupations but they may also contribute signficiantly to non-occupational exposure and should be included when calculating exposure estimates.

Table 2. Magnetic Flux Density (mG) for the City of Kingston, ON, Canada.

Magnetic Fields on city streets in Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Magnetic Fields on city streets in Kingston, Ontario, Canada