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Home Publications Radiation NRPB Archive Documents of the NRPB ›  Documents of the NRPB: Volume 15, No. 3

Documents of the NRPB: Volume 15, No. 3

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AF McKinlay, SG Allen, R Cox, PJ Dimbylow, SM Mann, CR Muirhead, RD Saunders, ZJ Sienkiewicz, JW Stather and PR Wainwright

Publication date: 2004

ISBN: 0-85951-533-8



Review of the Scientific Evidence for Limiting Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (0-300 GHz)

This report reflects the understanding and evaluation of the current scientific evidence as presented and referenced in the full report. The report was first published on 31 March 2004, and has minor amendments as of 30 April 2004.

This document reviews the scientific evidence relating to possible adverse health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the frequency range 0-300 GHz. It provides the basis of NRPB advice on quantitative restrictions on exposure and other measures to avoid adverse effects. It explores recent evidence on the possibility of variations in sensitivity between different groups in the population.

The preparation of this review has been carried out at the request of the Department of Health and has particularly examined the issues of uncertainty in the science and aspects of precaution. In developing this review, NRPB has taken advice from individual UK and international scientific experts, and from published comprehensive reviews by expert groups. It sought advice from an ad hoc expert group on weak electric field effects in the body and gave careful consideration to the views expressed in response to a consultation document on its proposed guidelines issued in May 2003. It has also listened to the concerns raised at a public open meeting on power lines in December 2002.

Having considered the totality of the scientific evidence in the light of uncertainty and the need for a cautious approach, NRPB recommends that restrictions on exposure to EMFs in the UK should be based on the guidelines issued by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) in 1998. This provides for basic restrictions on exposures of members of the public that are a factor of five lower than for those who are occupationally exposed.

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Last reviewed: 2 August 2013