Non-ionizing Radiation

Non-ionizing radiation is electromagnetic radiation that does not have sufficient energy to remove electrons from the outer shells of atoms. Types of non-ionizing radiation are: ultraviolet (UV), visible light, infrared (IR), microwave, radio (and television), and extremely low frequency (ELF, sometimes referred to as EMF or ELF-EMF). Non-ionizing radiation is produced by a wide variety of products in the home and in the workplace, from lasers to power lines, tanning beds to household appliances, cellular phones to ham radios.

The primary health effect from high exposure levels of non-ionizing radiation arises from heat generation in body tissue. Worldwide, scientists have conducted years of research looking for other potential health effects and many of these efforts are ongoing. In spite of this, we know less about non-ionizing radiation than we do about ionizing radiation. Most of the health effects that have been observed occur at much higher levels than those to which most people are exposed.

DWMRC has the responsibility and authority to control all sources of radiation, including non-ionizing sources. The Utah Radiation Control Board may adopt rules to control these sources if they constitute a significant health hazard. Currently, the Board has not written rules to control or limit exposure to the various types of non-ionizing radiation. However, because of recent public concerns regarding potential health effects from ELF-EMF, the Board directed Division Staff to review available research to see if additional controls were warranted. Staff prepared a position paper that was adopted by the Board. The Board concluded that existing scientific evidence is not sufficient to warrant legislation or regulation at this time. DWMRC will continue to monitor this area for evidence indicating additional regulations are needed. Division Staff can also be contacted by EMAIL or phone for additional information.