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An electromagnetic meter is used to measure electromagnetic field radiation (EMF). In April 2012, a new Health and Safety directive made it the responsibility of employers to ensure that levels of employee exposure to non-ionising radiation are kept below an ELV (Exposure Limit Value).
The directive applies to Britain and Northern Ireland; full details can be found on the Government’s HSE website. An important part of the EMF radiation risk assessment is the tools required to monitor the strength of electromagnetic fields produced by industrial equipment, fans and specialist medical equipment such as MRI scanners.
EMF is outputted by electrically charged objects. It manifests itself as a physical field that can have an affect on nearby objects such as other electrical items and humans when they are exposed to particularly strong electromagnetic fields.
To measure the general level of an EMF, meters designed to test this form of radiation are used. These generally come in two different forms: single-axis and tri-axis. Although both of these products are designed to measure the same thing, there's some differences between them. Single-axis EMF meters are generally cheaper, but require more effort when testing as they have to be rotated on three axes to find readings. Tri-Axis EMF meters are generally more expensive, but they perform analysis of all three axes simultaneously to speed up testing procedures.
Depending on whether the outputted electromagnetic field comes from AC or DC current installations depends on the type of EMF meter that should be used. AC current EM fields are generally measured using standard EMF meters, while DC current installations will require the use of gaussmeters or magnetometers. The general frequency of the EM field being tested is also extremely important when measuring. Common EMF meters are generally constructed to measure frequency between a range of 50 to 60Hz which the common electrical frequency used in UK and US wiring. Some EMF fields will however operate on different frequencies and some EMF meters can measure much lower frequencies to accommodate for this.
EMF meters have also grown in popularity greatly when used in paranormal investigation. Many ghost hunters now use the EMF meter as a means of detecting strange EMF fields where there shouldn't be any, and it is believed by many that the EMF meter can be used to detect the electrical charge being output by paranormal activity.