Until about 20 years ago, the main sources of electromagnetic (EM) radiation in our daily lives were radio and television broadcasting stations and high-voltage power lines. With the rapid development and widespread use of mobile telecommunications devices, we are now exposed to ever-increasing levels of EM radiation that have been shown to have effects on biological tissues that may be related to our health.
The ‘Effects of the exposure to electromagnetic fields: from science to public health’ (EMF-NET) project was designed to assimilate and evaluate exploitable scientific findings from numerous research centres regarding the potential health effects of exposure to EM fields (EMFs). The focus was on providing timely input for public policy development at the European and international levels.
EMF-NET evolved into a sector leader in coordinating research activities and promoting understanding of EMFs and public health issues. The investigators provided continuous updates of research data as well as recommendations for public policy development related to health and consumer protection, occupational safety, environmental safety and European competitiveness.
The EMF-NET project also identified important areas for future actions, including continued coordination of activities, detailed assessment of effects of exposure on workers and increased communication of risks. In addition, the researchers considered it of critical importance to continuously evaluate potential health risks of emerging technologies given the rapid expansion of electronics at home and in the workplace.
In summary, the EMF-NET project made a significant contribution to the evaluation of public health risks associated with exposure to EMFs based on the latest scientific developments. The radical improvement in quality and quantity of related information available as a result of the EMF-NET project activities supports the potential for the EU to become the global leader in confronting EMF impacts on public health. Thus, the results should have wide-reaching influence on public health policy development both within the EU and globally.
Information Source: Result from the EU funded FP6-POLICIES programme