Dr MH Repacholi Co-ordinator. ordinator,, Radiation and Environmental Health World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

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1 Dr MH Repacholi Co-ordinator ordinator,, Radiation and Environmental Health World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

2 WHO EMF Project Scientific Evidence Risk Assessment Standards and Policies Risk Management Information and Training Risk Perception Environmental Impact International Scientific Reviews Standards Information Publications Risk Perception and Communication Review of EMF Impacts on Environment Health Status Reports Research Gaps Review of World Standards Web site in Multiple Languages Seminars and W/G Reviews WHO Task Groups Information for Environmental Impacts For Future Development Projects Research Co-ordination Collection of Database WHO/IARC Task Group Reviews Health Risk Assessment Develop Frameworks for - Standards - Precautionary Measures - Model Legislation Develop EMF Management Programme for - Public - Workers (NIOSH) Fact Sheets in Multiple Languages Peer review articles and Proceedings of meetings Training Programmes - Internet - Seminars in Multiple Languages WHO Task Groups Risk Handbook WHO Environmental Health Criteria Global EMF Standard National EMF Authorities and Public

3 Solution: Dialogue Risk perception Key to understanding people: People perceive risks differently We live in a risk averse society; people want zero risk or proof of no risk? No risks without benefits (Not In My Back Yard) if there is a power line near their home but it supplies power to another suburb, people see that they are exposed to the fields for no benefit Want some control on location of EMF sources

4 Risk Perception and Communication Crucial to establish a dialogue between all individuals and groups impacted by EMF facilities Effective dialogue includes consultation with stakeholders acknowledgement of scientific uncertainty consideration of alternatives fair and transparent decision-making process

5 Risk Perception and Communication For program managers needing information on EMF risk perception, communication and management: download from the Dialogue booklet called Establishing a dialogue on risks from electromagnetic fields for complete information on how to communicate with people on EMF.

6 Mobile phone base stations transmit from a few watts to 100 watts or more RF beams narrow in vertical direction broad in horizontal direction as you move away from antennas the RF intensity increases then decreases with distance from antennas antennas radiate little energy to top or bottom so RF levels inside buildings are normally very low

7 Base stations Exposures are LOW 1µW/cm 2 Base station exposures are generally much lower than from other RF sources such as radio and TV...depends on where measurements made? No studies have established any lowlevel long-term effects?

8 Hospital equipment can be sensitive to interference from mobile phone signals, but not from the weak base station signals but as a precautionary measure countries might want to adopt a policy that base stations are not located on hospitals or in schools. However, mobile phones should NOT be used in areas where sensitive electromedical devices exist for example in intensive care wards hospitals could identify areas where mobile phones could be used.

9 Children are high users and at young ages more research needed to see if children are more sensitive to EMF WHO workshop on this in Istanbul, June 2004 see for details Mobile phones Many studies have been conducted No established adverse health effects Gaps in knowledge identified by WHO for research To reduce exposure, use hands free kits or limit call times Pregnant women are not at risk.. low RF absorption

10 Static and Extremely Low Frequencies (ELF) IARC evaluation completed 2001, published 2002 ELF magnetic fields classified as 2B Possible Carcinogen based on limited evidence from epidemiological studies of childhood leukaemia other data inadequate 2B: other explanations possible

11 What to do? IARC classified ELF magnetic fields as possible carcinogen Are children at risk of leukaemia? Rare cancer... Science is inconsistent Not established that ELF fields are carcinogenic Inform the public and provide measures to reduce fields WHO is focussing research on this issue

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13 Managers: What should they do? Practical recommendations Adopt health based standards into law ICNIRP? Ensure compliance with standards Establish a public information program Booklet on EMF.including FAQs Have active web site for more information Have phone answer service if issue is of great concern Dialogue with stakeholders before installing large EMF emitters see WHO dialogue booklet on web site Refer to WHO web site for latest information

14 ICNIRP Guidelines ICNIRP Is a formally recognised NGO of WHO Uses WHO methods and health risk assessments to produce limits ICNIRP limits Incorporate large safety factors Adopted as EMF standard in >30 countries world wide, including European Union countries IEEE standard in USA has same scientific basis but uses lower safety factors

15 Further information Home page:

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