Follow Us on Twitter

UK Mobile phone operators lead compliance standards on exposure to EMF

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

In May 2000 the UK mobile phone operators accepted the international public exposure guidelines for their mobile phone base stations recommended as a precautionary measure by the Stewart Report.

The UK mobile phone base station network is built to comply with ICNIRP public exposure guidelines. A certificate of ICNIRP compliance is provided with all planning applications for base stations.

In addition Ofcom carries out a random audit of radio wave emissions from base stations and has found typical exposure levels hundreds or thousands of times below the ICNIRP guidelines.

The conclusion of the Stewart Report was that the balance of evidence indicates that there is no general risk to the health of people living near base stations, on the basis that radio wave exposures are small fractions of the international guidelines.

The most recent report in the UK by the Advisory Committee on Non Ionizing Radiation (AGNIR), in January 2004, that reviewed the science had a very reassuring message for the public: “Exposure levels from living near mobile phone base stations are extremely low, and the overall evidence indicates that they are unlikely to pose a risk to human health."

Notes to Editors

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA), formerly the FEI, was set up to represent the five UK mobile phone network operators - 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone - on radio frequency health and planning issues.

2. The statement of the NRPB: Advice on Limiting Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (0 – 300 GHz) is available on the NRPB website

3. For more information please contact Christine Jude 0207 331 2029, 0207 331 2029, 07714 241924, 07714 241924, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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.