Summary of the situation report bulletin (1/2016) published online

The Finnish Government Decree (388/2016) relating to the Directive 2013/35/EU on the “minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields)” came into force on 1 July 2016. Moreover, a practical guide has been issued, with advice on how to control hazards caused by electromagnetic fields in workplaces.

I have once again found some interesting publications for this bulletin. As many times before, the first papers are about field exposure and childhood leukemia, this time including one on the European Commission-funded ARIMMORA project, which I expect to produce further interesting publications later on.

Another paper reports on a study that investigated the perceived quality of life, among other things, in people with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields. Hopefully, research will find means to help those suffering from these symptoms.

Finally, I would like to mention that this is the first situation report bulletin produced outside Tampere University of Technology. I found interesting new challenges outside TUT, but the situation report bulletin will continue despite the change.

Hope you enjoy reading this summary in English!

Summary of Situation Report Bulletin on Animals Exposed to Power Lines published online

This situation report on power lines and animals was initiated in a Board discussion in which a regular situation report bulletin was reviewed prior to its publication. The question of potential effects of power lines on animals keeps coming up from time to time, and we found that, at least in Finnish, not much has been published on this topic. This gave us the idea to compile a special situation report dedicated to studies on animals.

The studies summarized in this bulletin focus exclusively on animals exposed to power lines, with all other animal-related studies left out of consideration. Emphasis was put on recent studies, and a variety of database searches were carried out to achieve extensive coverage. More time was spent on this than usual, as the search spanned a time period of a considerable number of years.

The first paper in this bulletin discusses bee hives in the vicinity of power lines. It reviews a number of previous studies and draws conclusions based on the findings. The Finnish guidelines recommend that bee hives should be located at the edge of a right-of-way. Also, hives reinforced with metal should, where necessary, be provided with electric-field shielding in the form of wire mesh connected to the ground. The article on bees is followed by several on dairy cows, investigating, for example, milk production in pregnant and non-pregnant cows, and hormone levels.

I hope you enjoy reading this summary in English!

Summary of Situation Report Bulletin on Animals Exposed to Power Lines published online

This situation report on power lines and animals was initiated in a Board discussion in which a regular situation report bulletin was reviewed prior to its publication. The question of potential effects of power lines on animals keeps coming up from time to time, and we found that, at least in Finnish, not much has been published on this topic. This gave us the idea to compile a special situation report dedicated to studies on animals.

The studies summarized in this bulletin focus exclusively on animals exposed to power lines, with all other animal-related studies left out of consideration. Emphasis was put on recent studies, and a variety of database searches were carried out to achieve extensive coverage. More time was spent on this than usual, as the search spanned a time period of a considerable number of years.

The first paper in this bulletin discusses bee hives in the vicinity of power lines. It reviews a number of previous studies and draws conclusions based on the findings. The Finnish guidelines recommend that bee hives should be located at the edge of a right-of-way. Also, hives reinforced with metal should, where necessary, be provided with electric-field shielding in the form of wire mesh connected to the ground. The article on bees is followed by several on dairy cows, investigating, for example, milk production in pregnant and non-pregnant cows, and hormone levels.

I hope you enjoy reading this summary in English!

Summary of the situation report bulletin (2/2015) published online

Once again, my editorial starts with a look at the Directive 2013/35/EU on the “minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields)”. The preparation of national regulations implementing the Directive is still underway, but I expect it to be finished soon, as the regulations shall be brought into force in the summer.

According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM) website, Finland is also working on a legislation project relating to non-ionizing radiation, including extremely low-frequency electric and magnetic fields. This work is part of the overall reform of the radiation legislation, having the purpose of transposing the new EU directive on radiation safety into national law.

I have again found some interesting publications for this bulletin. The first three are about field exposure and childhood leukemia, with my attention particularly drawn to the publication focusing on magnetic field exposure from underground cables. When reading this paper, an important point to note is that both AC and DC cables are included. The nature of exposure is, therefore, at least to some extent, different than that in the vicinity of conventional overhead power lines.

I hope you enjoy reading this summary in English!

SESKO Achievement Award & Thanks

To mark its 50th anniversary, the Finnish National Electrotechnical Standardization Organization SESKO presented, on December1, 2015, the first ever SESKO Achievement Awards to two people in recognition of their work in electrotechnical standardization. The award winners were Professor Leena Korpinen from Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and Specialist Janne Nyman from SGS Fimko Oy. The award comprises a certificate, a badge and a medal.

I said (in my thank you speech) the following:

“I would like to say a big thank you for this acknowledgement of my work in standardization. In my opinion, standardization is something that is important for all of us. The results can be seen even in the most basic daily activities, such as charging mobile phones: increased hardware compatibility makes life easier.

For scientific research in the technical field, standards offer a firm foundation for measurements, for example, thus improving the quality of research. Also, they are reliable sources of information to be used in teaching. I enjoy participating in standardization work and making use of standards in my teaching and research.

It is a great honor to receive such an award.

Thanks”

The background of the SESKO Achievement Award from SESKO www-page:

“Leena Korpinen received the SESKO Achievement Award for her contribution to electrotechnical standardization and for the long-standing, wide-ranging collaboration with SESKO. She has promoted awareness of electrotechnical standards, especially among researchers and students in the field. Finland’s leading researcher in electromagnetic fields, professor Korpinen has, since the early 1990s, taken part in the standardization work of the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) relating to electromagnetic fields and their potential risks as well as in the relevant committees at SESKO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). When SESKO started the work on smart grid standardization in 2012, she was among the first to contribute.

Leena Korpinen has had an important role in promoting collaboration between SESKO and the educational sector and was one of the organizers of the first “Standardeilla tuloksia” (Standards for Results) seminars held in 2006 at educational institutions in the cities of Vaasa and Tampere. At the 2007 SESKO spring seminar, she explored the ways of dialogue between standardization and research.

In 2009, Professor Korpinen pioneered the first Finnish training course for the certification of personnel recovering fluorinated greenhouse gases (SF6) from high-voltage switchgear. Here, she used the standards on the characteristics of SF6.

The TUT anniversary seminar on electric and magnetic fields in our working and living environment, organized by Ms. Korpinen in 2013, stressed the importance of international collaboration. It was stated, for example, that global research and world-wide harmonization of standards can create added value for the users of standards, especially in terms of measurement methods for electromagnetic fields.“