EMF Detector for EMI workplace survey

Hi all!

I am working in an innovation center/makerspace with high-end technologies and machinery (industrial level equipment). A few weeks ago I experienced some symptoms when I got near a laser cutter and it made me acutely aware that I need to [/should have already…] done an EMI check of the whole space. I have since seen an electrophysiologist and thank god, no serious issues were detected, however, I know EMI is still a potential risk that I am not willing to take! I contacted the American Boston Scientific technical experts office and was sent some information regarding what to look for when conducting a workplace EMI survey, however, they were unable to give me a reference for a good EMF detector to use. All I was told was that it should be able to differentiate between electronic and magnetic fields. 

I was wondering if anyone on here has conducted such surveys and/or can recommend a trusted detector?

I really appreciate any guidance!


3 Comments

EMI

by Persephone - 2022-07-24 17:20:39

I can't really offer anything here, Hala3, but I personally struggle with the concept of EMI/ EMF all the time. Should I be concerned about the wifi signal that is always present in my home, or about using my cell phone? I think I'm over that, but wait, my monitor that I must keep nearby requires a cell signal. I'm not trying to diminsh your concerns, and I don't know anything about laser cutters, but see if your medical team can provide additional guidance - I understand that they don't want to recommend some "workplace monitoring instrument" because that could be fraught with peril for them, but please do work directly with your medical team to figure out a path forward.

EMI detector

by AgentX86 - 2022-07-24 18:04:25

Something that really works for everything you're looking for isn't going to be easy to find, nor cheap.  The ones I know of aren't designed for untrained technicians, either.  Magnetic interferrence (much worse than EM, in this case) can be a real PITA to tease out of the EM stuff.

EM interference, like bluetooth or Wifi won't be a problem. Their power is infintessimal. 

High-power transmitters can be a problem but they can be for anyone.  TV and FM transmitters have lock-outs to make sure there is no one near when the transmitter is energised.

yes and no

by dwelch - 2022-07-26 02:46:45

Same story but decades ago.  Shake table.  Management one day thought what if we have a customer/visitor in the building....Lab manager said, what do you mean we have an employee with a pacemaker.  Same story we called medtronic, etc, etc.  Now I do not know where the lab manager got the device, but he rented a gauss meter and in our case I would have to hug the transformer while the shake table was running, had to be within a few inches.  

Basically they kept me from the shake table for a couple of weeks (in the 9 years there i was only in that room for like two or three tests anyway, so basically someone else did my job for me that day).  And then they put a plaque up that was a warning about medical electronic devices in this room.

Im not sure i could even find the lab manager today and this was like 20 years ago or more.  I wonder if one of the metrology houses that calibrate lab equipment might have one. If i were to do this now that is where I would start.

So yes I have been through this, I remembe at the time 1 gauss being the magic number.  But I do not have direct knowledge about where to buy/rent a meter.

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