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Non-ionizing radiation is described as a series of energy waves composed of oscillating electric and magnetic fields traveling at the speed of light. Non-ionizing radiation includes the spectrum of ultraviolet (UV), visible light, infrared (IR), microwave (MW), radio frequency (RF), and extremely low frequency (ELF). Lasers commonly operate in the UV, visible, and IR frequencies. Non-ionizing radiation is found in a wide range of occupational settings and can pose a considerable health risk to potentially exposed workers if not properly controlled.
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.