OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE OF NMR SPECTROMETRISTS TO STATIC AND RADIOFREQUENCY FIELDS

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Abstract

Occupational exposure to static and radiofrequency fields emitted by nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers was assessed through systematic field metering during operation of 19 devices in nine research centers. Whereas no measurable levels of radiofrequency radiation were registered outside the spectrometers, significant exposure to static field was detected, with maximum values recorded at the user's hand (B = 683.00 mT) and head-thorax (B = 135.70 mT) during spectrometer manipulation. All values were well below the exposure limits set by the European standard for workers protection against the effects of acute field exposure only. As for potential effects of chronic exposure, waiting for more complete knowledge, adoption of technical and operational strategies for exposure minimizing is advisable. In this respect, the data revealed that compared with standard magnetic shielding, ultrashield technology allows a 20-65-fold reduction of the field strength received by the operator.

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