In the City of Toronto, developers may be required to submit an Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Management Plan as part of their planning application. An EMF management plan helps the developer understand and adjust for EMF sources near the development site, including hydro transmission lines, electrical substations, or subway lines/terminals. In addition, when appropriate, low or no-cost measures are presented in the plan to help limit potential exposure among young children visiting or residing at the proposed development. This article will consider how to create an effective EMF Management Plan.
Introduction to EMFs:
Electromagnetic fields (EMF), also referred to as radiofrequency radiation, are generated when electricity passes through any device that uses or produces electricity. It includes electric wiring, microwaves, cell phones, and Wi-Fi routers. Electromagnetic fields exist naturally in the environment and can be artificially created by humans. Despite decades of research, much debate surrounds the potential health risks of EMF exposure; regardless of what side of the agreement you take, it is the priority to understand the risks associated with excessive exposure to EMFs and create appropriate risk mitigation strategies part of an effective EMF Management Plan.
Risks Associated With Excessive Exposure to EMFs:
Exposure to strong or prolonged electromagnetic fields can negatively affect children, such as increased cancer risk, decreased cognitive development, altered brain activity, and increased stress levels. Though much debate surrounds the potential health risks posed by exposure to EMFs, developers must consider them when creating their plans.
Identifying Sources of EMFs Around the Development Site:
When creating your plan, consider sources of electromagnetic fields near the proposed development site. These sources may include hydro transmission lines, electrical substations, and subway lines/terminals. You should also consider any existing EMF sources that may be located within the building itself. You can use mapping software or survey the area to identify these sources.
Developing an Appropriate Risk Mitigation Strategy:
Once you have identified all potential EMF sources near your development site, it is time to create an appropriate risk mitigation strategy as part of your EMF Management Plan. It could include low or no-cost measures such as shielding or relocating the equipment to reduce exposure levels in areas where people will be spending most of their time, limiting access to potentially hazardous areas, or using radio frequency filters and absorbers.
Making Sure Your Plan is Effective:
Once you have created your plan, ensuring it meets all requirements is important. First, double-check that your plan includes all required elements, such as a description of EMF sources near the development site, an analysis of potential risk areas, and proposed risk mitigation strategies. Lastly, keep a copy of your plan on file for future reference.
Creating an effective EMF Management Plan requires careful consideration of the potential health risks posed by exposure to EMFs and accurate identification of nearby sources. Once you have recognized these sources, you can develop appropriate risk mitigation strategies tailored to any specific needs or concerns related to the project. With an effective plan, you can rest assured that your development project complies with all applicable regulations and has taken the necessary steps to reduce potential risks of EMF exposure.