In recent years, and in the wake of the fast proliferation of mobile telephones on a world-wide basis, considerable concern and debate has appeared in many countries, directed towards the possible health consequences of using mobile telephones, or due to fields emitted from base station antennas. This formed the background for a first workshop on the topic between delegations from Japan, Korea and the EU held in Tokyo in October 1999, organised by the Japanese Ministry of Post and Telecommunication. At that workshop, it was decided that a follow-up event should be organised in Europe, and that an invitation should also be sent to the US for participation.
Accordingly, the European Commission hosted a workshop on this topic held in Brussels on October 29-30, 2001, co-ordinated by the COST 281 research Action on Potential Health Implications from Mobile Communications Systems. Participants in the workshop were scientists from the EU, Japan, Korea and the US. In addition, the first day was open to participation by an invited audience.
Purpose of the workshop
The purpose of this workshop was to present and discuss the scientific background for this debate, and for various associated policy issues, with an international perspective. Specifically, the workshop addressed:
The outcome may serve as an input to furthering international scientific collaboration in the field on the basis of a common research agenda and to provide scientific input for future policy making related to electromagnetic field exposures.
State of the art concerning mobile telephony and health.
Emerging technological changes (e.g. 3G/UMTS technology)
Scientific information as basis for risk communication and the development of relevant policies.
National and International outlooks for future research related to health aspects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and possibilities for collaboration.
Overall structure of the workshop
The workshop covered two days, with the 1st day devoted to presenting the scientific state of the art various issues and background with an invited audience. The 2nd day was devoted to internal discussions between the four delegations concerning the future research agenda and possibilities for international coordination and cooperation. A rapporteur was appointed in order to
from the workshops.
Audience for 1st day
For the first day of the workshop, an invitation was extended to scientific experts and policy makers with a mandate for - or otherwise a main interest in these issues. In addition, representatives of industry as well as consumer organisations were invited.
The scientific background and other aspects were presented by leading experts in the field from around the world, with the following programme: