- What are electromagnetic fields?
- Static and low-frequency fields
- What are static and low-frequency electric and magnetic fields?
- Direct and alternating voltage
- Effects of static and low-frequency fields
- Reports & Evaluations
- Radiation protection relating to the expansion of the national grid
- Basics transfer of electrical power
- High-frequency fields
- What are high-frequency fields?
- Applications high-frequency fields
- Radiation protection in mobile communication
- What is mobile communication?
- Reports and evaluations
- What is optical radiation?
- UV radiation
- What is UV radiation?
- Sun but safe!
- Effects of UV radiation
- Protection against UV radiation
- UV index
- Infrared radiation
- What is ionising radiation?
- Radioactivity in the environment
- Where does radioactivity occur in the environment?
- What is the level of natural radiation exposure in Germany?
- Air, soil and water
- Building materials
- Industrial residues (NORM)
- BfS laboratories
- Applications in medicine
- Radiation protection in medicine: international activities
- Applications in daily life and in technology
- Radioactive radiation sources in Germany
- Register high-level radioactive radiation sources
- Type approval procedure pursuant to RöV and StrlSchV
- Cabin luggage security checks
- Radioactive materials in watches
- Ionisation smoke detectors (ISM)
- What are the effects of radiation?
- Effects of selected radioactive materials
- Consequences of a radiation accident
- Cancer and leukaemia
- Genetic radiation effects
- Individual radiosensitivity
- Epidemiology of radiation-induced diseases
- Ionising radiation: positive effects?
- Risk estimation and assessment
- Radiation protection
- Basic informations
- Occupational radiation protection
- Nuclear accident management
- What is an emergency?
- What happens in an emergency?
- Federal and state tasks
- In the event of an emergency
- Measuring networks
- Exercises for emergency situations
- Defence against nuclear hazards
- Service offers
- Radon measurements
- Incorporation monitoring
- Biological dosimetry
- Online library
- About us
- Science and research
- Research concept
- Scientific collaborations
- EU research framework programme
- BfS research programme
- Third-party funded research
- Departmental research
- Selected research projects
- Selected research results
- Professional opinions
- Science Council
- Laws and regulations
- BfS Topics in the Bundestag
Limit values for stationary low-frequency and direct current installations
To date, electric energy has been transmitted from the power plant to the consumer almost exclusively through high-voltage lines carrying alternating current at a frequency of 50 hertz. In the course of the energy transition, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) installations are also planned in Germany.
|Installation Type||Electric Field Strength E|
(kilovolt per metre)
|Magnetic Flux Density B|
|HVDC (0 Hz)||-||500a|
|Low-frequency installation (50Hz)||5||100|
|a With amending the 26th BlmSchV in 2013, also the immissions of high voltage direct current (HVDC) installations have been regulated by law. The limit has been chosen so as to avoid interference with electronic implants by static magnetic fields.|
The 26th BlmSchV entered into force in 1996 and was amended in 2013. In addition to limit values, the ordinance also contains precautionary requirements.
The "Bund/Länder-Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Immissionsschutz (LAI)" (Federal/Länder Working Group on Immission Protection) has published information on the implementation of the Ordinance on Electromagnetic Fields with the purpose of promoting a uniform enforcement by the authorities, but also of providing operators or those affected with minimum requirements.
Bases for the limit values
Upon exposure of the human body to low-frequency electric or magnetic fields, electric fields and currents are produced in the tissues. When certain – frequency-dependent - thresholds are exceeded, nerve and muscle cells are acutely stimulated. The limit values are defined so that the fields induced in the body remain below the thresholds. They limit the electric and magnetic fields that can be measured outside the body and therefore refer directly to the immissions by the installations.
Occasionally even weaker magnetic fields pose an indirect risk as they exert forces on magnetic objects and may cause interference with implants. The limit value for static magnetic fields has therefore been determined so as to also avoid interference with implants. No limits have been set for static electric fields.
Compliance with limit values
The limit values for 50-hertz fields apply to places intended for not only temporary presence of humans. These include
- schools and
Low-frequency installations covered by the 26th BlmSchV have to be erected and operated in a way that the limit values for these places are met even when the installations are operating at maximum capacity. Other immission sources (such as other low-frequency installations) also have to be taken into account.
Direct current installations located at places intended for temporary or permanent human presence have to comply with the relevant magnetic field limits. The electricity grid operators are responsible for ensuring compliance with limit values in practice.
In addition to legal regulations, technical details for the design of high-voltage lines have been defined in various DIN standards. They specify minimum clearance distances for example, between the live parts of high-voltage lines and buildings. These specifications, however, are made primarily for fire protection and operational reasons and not for reasons of radiation protection.
State of 2018.03.13