radiation protection

Contact Us


Division of Health Service Regulation



Non-Ionizing Radiation



Non-ionizing radiation refers to any type of electromagnetic radiation that does not carry enough energy to completely remove an electron from an atom or molecule.  Non-ionizing radiation is described as a series of energy waves composed of oscillating electric and magnetic (or electromagnetic) fields (EMF) traveling at the speed of light.


Non-ionizing radiation can be characterized by a wavelength and a frequency. The wavelength is the distance covered by one complete cycle of the electromagnetic wave, while the frequency is the number of electromagnetic waves passing a given point in one second.


The light from the sun that reaches the earth is largely composed of non-ionizing radiation. Visible light is a form of non-ionizing radiation that we can see.  Visible light has wavelengths in the range of 400 to 700 nanometers. It stretches from the color red on the longest wavelength to the color violet on the shortest wavelength of visible light.  About 49% of the energy that reaches the earth from the sun is in the form of visible light.  


Other types of non-ionizing radiation are:


Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) on Non-Ionizing Radiation


Food and Drug Administration (FDA) examples of Radiation Emitting Devices


          Ultra Violet (UV)



    Radio Frequency

Extremely Low Frequency


Radiation Protection Section, 1645 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1645      919-814-2250         Disclaimer