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Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) - Position Statement on the Possible Harmful Biological Effects of Low-Level Electromagnetic Fields of Frequencies up to 300 GHz

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May 2008

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) acts as a voice for the engineering and technology professions by providing independent, reliable and factual information to the public and policy makers. The Position Statement aims to provide an accessible guide to the findings of the IET’s Biological Effects Policy Advisory Group on low-level electromagnetic fields (BEPAG) expert group. This position statement encapsulates the IET’s position on the possible harmful biological effects of low-level electromagnetic fields of frequencies up to 300 GHz.

The IEC's Position Statement states: "BEPAG has concluded that the balance of scientific evidence to date still does not indicate that harmful effects occur in humans due to low-level exposure to EMFs. This conclusion remains the same as that reached in its previous position statements, the last being in May 2006, and has not been substantially altered by the peer-reviewed literature published in the past two years."

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).