Pat Hindle, MWJ Editor
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Pat Hindle is responsible for editorial content, article review and special industry reporting for Microwave Journal magazine and its web site in addition to social media and special digital projects. Prior to joining the Journal, Mr. Hindle held various technical and marketing positions throughout New England, including Marketing Communications Manager at M/A-COM (Tyco Electronics), Product/QA Manager at Alpha Industries (Skyworks), Program Manager at Raytheon and Project Manager/Quality Engineer at MIT. Mr. Hindle graduated from Northeastern University - Graduate School of Business Administration and holds a BS degree from Cornell University in Materials Science Engineering.

Hybrid Car EM Radiation Concerns

March 14, 2010
There have been various reports over the last few years about possible electromagnetic (EM) radiation generated by the high current in hybrid cars being harmful. The EM radiation is due to the high AC current running from the batteries to the electric motors. Some older hybrid models were reported to have relatively high fields measured in them some exceeding what was recommended by government. This seems to have hit the news again as Israel has recently stated that they will issue a safety radiation scale for hybrids as they found some current models exceed what they recommend as the maximum exposure level per day.

I find it hard to believe that the current levels in hybrids would be high enough to cause harm to someone in the car from EM radiation but it does not seem like anyone knows for sure. It has been suspected that EM radiation from power lines can be harmful if you live close to them but I don't think that has been proven either. It is also like cell phone radiation exposure - there is no conclusive data that it is harmful. If the current level in hybrids is dangerous, then the higher currents produced in pure plug-in electric cars would be even worse as there motors are larger than those in hydrid models. It also should be possible to shield the wires if there are concerns about their safety.

Has anyone seen data on actual measured EM field values and how it compares to the allowed standards? I have also seen reports that such EM fields can be beneficial to our health so who knows how they truly affect our bodies overall. Please chime in with your opinions as this might be a topic we cover in a future article.
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