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Health Council of the Netherlands Electromagnetic Fields Annual Update 2003

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January 2004

(English version begins on page 69):

The Electromagnetic Fields Committee of the Health Council of the Netherlands has been asked to regularly report on scientific developments relating to possible health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields. The committee drafts Annual Updates, which are evaluated in their final stage by the Standing Committee on Radiation Hygiene of the Health Council. This is the second publication in this series.

The Committee concluded:
"In this advisory report, the Committee provides a summary of the technical aspects of mobile phones considered to be relevant to exposure to electromagnetic fields. This is followed by a brief summary of current scientific knowledge concerning the possible health effects of such exposure. On this basis, the Committee concludes that there is no reason to revise its recommendations with regard to exposure limits. Since the strength of the electromagnetic fields generated by mobile phones remains below those limits, the Committee concludes that no health problems can be expected to occur as a direct result of exposure to those fields. Furthermore, the Committee feels that there are no health-based reasons for limiting the use of mobile phones by children."

"The Committee has made statements in previous advisory reports about the restriction of exposure, on the basis of the Precautionary Principle, to levels below the exposure limits proposed by the Health Council and other advisory bodies. This was partly in response to specific questions on this topic in various requests for advice. In the report on GSM base stations, the Committee concluded that in none of the three categories of non-thermal effects under review (biological effects, carcinogenesis and non-specific symptoms) were there any reasonable grounds for suspecting the existence of a health risk. It therefore saw no reason to set the exposure limits, on the basis of the Precautionary Principle, at levels below those which were proposed on the basis of thermal effects. Nevertheless, the Committee did urge that further research be conducted to determine whether the fields could cause non-thermal effects. The Committee reached similar conclusions in the advisory reports on low-frequency electromagnetic fields and on mobile phones."

The full report can be found at

No Established Adverse Health Effects

Mobile phones operate by using radio waves, a form of non-ionising radiation. There is a large body of scientific evidence on the effects of exposure to radio waves because they have been widely used for decades: for example, radio, TV and radar signals are radio waves. The scientific consensus is that, apart from the increased risk of a road accident due to mobile phone use when driving, there is no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones or from phone masts. (Source: Health Protection Agency, Health Advice on Mobile Phones, May 2010).

A Wealth of Research

A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use. (Source: World Health Organisation Fact Sheet N°193, June 2011).