Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety
The European Commission has requested the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) to update its previous opinions on the potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF).
In line with its procedures for stakeholder dialogue, published on 15 September 2007, the European Commission is launching a public consultation on its request for a scientific opinion on the potential health effects of exposure to EMF and a call for relevant scientific information. The Stakeholder Dialogue Procedure is now implemented in the Rules of Procedures (Annex IV) of the new Scientific Committees set up by Commission Decision 2008/721/EC of 5 September 2008.
Council Recommendation of 12 July 19991 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz) fixes basic restrictions and reference levels for the exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). It also 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, which are currently the object of research, including relevant aspects of precaution".
To date, four reviews of the scientific evidence supporting the Council Recommendation have been carried out: by the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) in its opinion on health effects of EMFs of 25–26 June 19982, by the Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment (CSTEE) in its opinion of 30 October 2001,3, and by the SCENIHR in its opinions of March 20074, January 20095 and July 20096. So far, while these opinions did not identify any scientific rationale that could justify a modification of the Council Recommendation, they identified knowledge gaps and made recommendations for additional research on this issue.
The Commission relies on the SCENIHR to review periodically 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.
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 possible effects on human health of exposure to EMF. In addition, the 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 under the auspices of the SCENIHR, provided an overview of the most recent scientific developments in this area as a first preparation for a future scientific opinion and led to the identification of areas that deserve special attention.
On this basis, the Commission has formulated a new request to the SCENIHR.
Submission of comments
The working mandate for this request can be found here.
All interested parties are invited to submit their comments and proposals through the following link.
The deadline for submission of comments is 27 January 2012.
The Commission shall process personal data information pursuant to Regulation 45/2001 EC on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data.
Please note that only comments submitted in accordance with the Rules of Procedures (Annex IV) will be taken into account.
1(OJ. L 199/59, 30.7.1999)
3The main frequencies in the ELF frequency range are 50 Hz in Europe and 60 Hz in North America. The RF and lower microwave frequencies are of particular interest for broadcasting, mobile telephony. The 2.45 GHz frequency is mainly used in domestic and industrial microwave ovens.