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Exposure of the public to electromagnetic radiation

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a recommendation on the limitation of the exposure of the general public to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation sources. This exposure has the potential to result in adverse health effects and the aim of the proposed recomm...
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a recommendation on the limitation of the exposure of the general public to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation sources. This exposure has the potential to result in adverse health effects and the aim of the proposed recommendation is to ensure consistency in public health protection measures throughout the EU. Such exposure is related to a range of man-made sources, including power lines, electric appliances, broadcasting equipment and cellular phone systems.

The proposed recommendation will provide an EU framework of reference levels for the evaluation and assessment of the dangers of such radiation and for the appropriate corrective measures. Member States, in acting on the recommendation, will take account of the duration of the exposure, the exposed parts of the body, the number of exposed members of the public and their health and age status. The proposal does not cover the "athermal" effects of non-ionizing radiation, such as cancer, for which there is no conclusive scientific evidence.

On the adoption of the proposal, European Commissioner for employment and social affairs, Mr. Padraig Flynn, summarized its importance by highlighting the absence of requirements or guidelines at EU level in this area and the resulting negative effect on the attitudes of consumers with regard to equipment emitting non-ionizing radiation. He further stated that there was "great concern with the way in which individual Member States adopt or implement exposure restrictions, resulting in considerable confusion and greatly varying conditions as regards the protection of the public in the EU".
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