ELF-MF Exposure, Actual and Perceived, and Associated Health Symptoms: A Case Study of an Office Building in Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Liran Shmuel Raz-Steinkrycer, Jonathan Dubnov, Stelian Gelberg, Peng Jia, Boris A. Portnov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Empirical studies link exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) to several health symptoms. However, it is unclear whether these symptoms are associated with actual or perceived exposure. In this study we attempted to answer this question by studying the health complaints of employees working in a multi-story office building located near a major high-voltage power line. ELF-MF measurements were conducted in the building using a triaxial sensor coil device on all 15 floors. In parallel, questionnaires were administered to evaluate the prevalence of various health symptoms among the employees. Multivariate logistic regressions were used next to quantify the associations between actual and perceived ELF-MF exposure and the employees’ health complaints. The analysis revealed that feelings of weakness, headache, frustration, and worry were associated with both measured and perceived ELF-MF exposure (p < 0.01), while perceived ELF-MF exposure was also found to be associated with eye pain and irritation (OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.2–1.6), sleepiness (OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.1–1.5), dizziness and ear pain (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 1.0–1.4). We conclude that high-voltage power lines produce both physiological and psychological effects in nearby workers, and, hence, proximity to such power lines should become a public health issue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11065
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF)
  • health complains
  • work exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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