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Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

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Position Statement on the Possible Harmful Biological Effects of Low-Level Electromagnetic Fields of Frequencies up to 300 GHz


May 2010

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has a special interest in any possible health effects of occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as well as in any due to exposure of the population at large. The IET remains determined to be at the forefront of rigorously examining the scientific evidence for any such effects and identifying any hazards as early as possible. To this end it maintains its Biological Effects Policy Advisory Group on low-level electromagnetic fields (BEPAG).
The IEC's Position Statement states: The IET's Biological Effects Policy Advisory Group on low-level electromagnetic fields (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 2008, and has not been substantially altered by the peer-reviewed literature published in the past two years.

The full paper can be found at: http://www.theiet.org/factfiles/bioeffects/postat02final.cfm?type=pdf

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).