The ICNIRP guidelines have been widely adopted in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. A similar standard developed by the IEEE International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (ICES) has been used in the Americas. China and Russia currently use standards that are fundamentally different to ICNIRP or ICES but are under review.
The GSMA supports an internationally harmonized approach to RF exposure standards. Countries should follow the recommendations of the WHO and the ITU and base their national requirements on the ICNIRP exposure guidelines.
Access to mobile communications provides important social and economic benefits. A national approach to mast siting policy should balance effective network rollout with fair consideration of public concerns. National policies should set out the relevant exposure limits; notification procedures; simplified processes for site maintenance and small antennas; signage and any requirements for assessment of RF exposures. Local authorities do not have the expertise to develop RF exposure guidelines. They should focus resources on evaluation of planning matters.
Some countries have adopted more restrictive limits but the current consensus scientific review is that these provide no additional health benefit. Large differences between national limits and international guidelines can foster confusion for regulators and policy makers and increase public anxiety.