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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Construction > Safe and healthy buildings > Magnetic field mitigation

Magnetic field mitigation

What are electric and magnetic fields?

Electric and magnetic fields are invisible forces to which humans are constantly exposed. These originate from both natural and man-made sources, and the strength of these forces can vary greatly with both time and situation.

In buildings, electric fields exist around any source of an electric voltage while magnetic fields are generated wherever an electric current is flowing through a wire or cable.


The strength of these fields varies with the voltage level and the amount of current flowing, and decreases with distance from the conductor.

While no conclusive links between low level, low frequency electric or magnetic fields and impacts on human health have been established, we have elected to take a prudent approach to this issue.

Following an extensive period of testing and re-testing, the Department of Housing and Public Works released a guideline for the management of 50Hz magnetic fields in government office buildings.

Guidelines for the management of 50Hz magnetic fields in office buildings (PDF, 610KB) are available to help departments and agencies develop their own safe and healthy building strategies.

Magnetic field testing

We have tested all government-owned and managed office buildings, and buildings which also house electricity sub-stations in the greater Brisbane area in 2008 and 2009, and extended this testing to all such buildings across Queensland in 2010–11.

All measurements taken in areas accessed by general staff have been well below the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency recommended guidelines.

View summaries of the results:

Mineral House reports

Concerns about electro-magnetic field levels in Mineral House (41 George Street, Brisbane) raised in May 2008, triggered an in-depth investigation.

Reports resulting from this review include:

More information

For more information, email us at​​​

Last updated 19 June 2019    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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