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Public Health (13-12-2011)

Public consultation: Potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF)

Today, the European Commission and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) launch a public consultation on the request for a new scientific opinion on the potential health effects of exposure to EMF. Interested parties are invited to submit comments and relevant scientific evidence here by 27 January 2012.

The Council Recommendation (1999/519/EC) on exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz) invites the Commission to "keep the matters covered by this recommendation under review, with a view to its revision and updating, taking into account possible effects".

The Commission relies on the SCENIHR to periodically review new information that may influence the assessment of risks to human health in this area and to provide regular updates on the scientific evidence base to the Commission. This request is the fifth since the adoption of the Council Recommendation.

Since September 2008, the cut-off date for the previous review by the SCENIHR, a sufficient number of new scientific publications have appeared to warrant a new analysis of the scientific evidence on the possible health effects of EMF exposure. In addition, t he development of new technologies using EMF in the THz range, especially imaging techniques such as security scanners for passenger screening, calls for new assessments.

On 16-17 November 2011, the International Conference on EMF and Health, organized by the European Commission, provided an overview of the most recent scientific developments in this area and identified gaps in knowledge and areas that deserve special attention. The conference conclusions led to the latest request to the SCENIHR.