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Institution of Engineering and Technology

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Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) - 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:

61% of UK adults access the internet from mobiles

Mobile phones cannot work without a network of base stations (masts). There are approximately 52,500 base station sites (excluding microcells) in the UK. Only a third of these are large, free standing masts. A YouGov survey for MOA (Sept 2014) showed that nearly 8 out of 10 people recognise the link between masts and good mobile coverage. Mobile telecommunications are vital for the UK’s economic competitiveness and in promoting social inclusion. There are now 89.9 million mobile subscriptions in the UK. In Q1 2015 61 per cent of UK adults used their mobile phones for internet access. Tablet ownership is 54% of UK households.

No Established Health Effects

Mobile phones operate by using radio waves, similar to those that have been widely used for decades, for example in radio, TV and radar signals. A large number of studies over the last two decades have found no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones or from phone masts.