The feasibility of measuring exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF MF) in the UK Adult Brain Tumour Study (UKABTS) was examined. During the study, 81 individuals and 30 companies were approached with 79 individuals and 25 companies agreeing to participate. Exposure data were collected using EMDEX II dosemeters worn by the participants for 3-4 consecutive days. Data were collected over a total of 321 d, including non-oocupational periods. The results showed occupational exposure to be the main determinant of overall exposure. Moderate to strong correlations were found between arithmetic mean exposure and all other metrics with the possible exception of maximum exposure. Significant differences in exposure were found between job categories with large variability in certain categories. Highest average exposures were found for security officers (arithmetic mean, AM: 0.78 μT), secretaries (AM: 0.48 μT) and dentists (AM: 0.42 μT). Welding and working near high-voltage power lines were associated with elevated exposure. In summary, acceptably precise measures of ELF MF exposure are feasible at relatively moderate cost. The results were used to develop a protocol for data collection from subjects in the UKABTS. © Oxford University Press 2004; all rights reserved.