16.4.2012 15:00

Research results by TTY confirm that an intensive magnetic field does not interfere with the operation of cardiac and arrhythmia pacemakers

Tampere University of Technology (TTY) has completed a research study which examined the operation of cardiac and arrhythmia pacemakers in a large magnetic field. The results indicated that a substation or a power line does not really cause any interference with the operation of a pacemaker.
Five different cardiac pacemakers and five different arrhythmia pacemakers were exposed to a magnetic field of 700-1,000 microtesla at a substation. A total of 7 tests were conducted. Moreover, 9 different arrhythmia pacemakers were subject to 14 tests under a power line.
“This is naturally good news for users of pacemakers. However, someone with a pacemaker should avoid going under the middle of a span of a power line, in other words the point where the conductors are closest to the ground, if you want to minimise the possibility of interference,” says Professor Leena Korpinen of Tampere University of Technology.
“Not a single pacemaker showed signs of interference at a substation or under a power line. The results confirm the fact that cardiac pacemakers or arrhythmia pacemakers are not really subject to interference under a 400 kilovolt power line or while working at a 400 kilovolt substation,” Leena Korpinen says.
The measurements were carried out at the Alajärvi 400 kilovolt substation during extensive work-related magnet field exposure in the summer of 2011. The study was a continuation of a project carried out by Tampere University of Technology earlier, within which study an electric field caused by a 400 kilovolt power line was used as the exposure.
The research findings benefit electricity transmission and distribution companies, authorities, and manufacturers and users of pacemakers. Sähköturvallisuuden edistämiskeskus ry and Fingrid Oyj funded the research by a total of 45,000 euros.
Further information:
Tampere University of Technology / Environmental Health
Professor Leena Korpinen, tel. +358 (0)40 595 2035, e-mail address firstname.lastname@tut.fi
Further information on the study in TTY’s release