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Health Council of the Netherlands Electromagnetic Fields Annual Update 2008

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March 2009

(English version of the text begins on page 65 of the full report)

This is the fifth Annual Update of the Electromagnetic Fields Committee. After a brief overview of the advisory reports that have been published in the period under review, the Committee elaborates upon the approach and methods it uses in analysing scientific data. Following this, two themes are discussed:

  • the influence of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on brain activity and
  • the relationship between exposure to such fields and the occurrence of symptoms.


On the occurrence of symptoms the report concludes that; "The picture that emerges from the available scientific evidence is that there is no causal link between exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and the occurrence of medically unexplained physical symptoms. However, there is a link between the symptoms and assumed exposure and with that very probably a link to risk perception. Nevertheless, the symptoms do exist and require a solution."

The 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).