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Independent Reviews

Many independent authorities have reviewed the available scientific evidence on the potential health risks associated with exposure to radiofrequency fields and issued reports, statements or safety standards. In September 2008, the Electromagnetic Fields Committee of the Health Council of the Netherlands provided an overview of the process used to conduct scientific reviews:

‘Scientific advisory reports are usually the result of a process in which a group of experts, using the current state of science, extensively discusses a topic until a consensus is reached. The group is made up of independent experts from the various areas of expertise relevant to the topic. In the case of electromagnetic fields, for example, this would be biologists, epidemiologists, technical experts, physicians and in some cases also psychologists and risk experts. This procedure is followed by bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Health Council, as well as organisations involved in drafting proposals for exposure limits, such as the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the International Commission (sic) for Electromagnetic Safety (ICES) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The various experts and the interactions between them, combined with a review of all relevant scientific information, ensure that a balanced judgement on the latest scientific knowledge can be reached. It is of importance that this process is transparent. This multidisciplinary weight-ofevidence method leads to a scientifically sound judgement that is as objective as possible.’

The consensus of the many expert reviews to date is that no adverse health consequences have been established from exposure to RF fields at levels below the international guidelines on exposure limits published by ICNIRP. The WHO has explained that:

The ICNIRP guidelines were developed to limit human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) under conditions of maximum absorption of the fields, which rarely occurs, and the limits incorporate large safety factors to protect workers and even larger safety factors to protect the general public, including children. Thus, the limits in the ICNIRP guidelines are highly protective and are based on all the available scientific evidence.’

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