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Parliamentary questions
26 May 2009
Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

Since the adoption of the Parliament Resolution P6_TA(2008)0410 the Commission has obtained from its Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) an updated opinion on the health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields, adopted in January 2009. The opinion reviews the state of scientific knowledge in this area, based on all published data and using a weight of evidence approach.

For the radio frequencies (RF) to which the Honourable Member refers, the Committee concludes that from three independent lines of evidence (epidemiological, animal and in vitro studies) exposure to RF fields is unlikely to lead to an increase in cancer in humans. However, further studies are required to identify whether considerably longer term (well beyond 10 years) human exposure might pose cancer risks. The Committee also concludes that for certain non-carcinogenic outcomes which have been studied (subjective symptoms, reproduction and development, effects on the nervous system) there is no scientific evidence of adverse effects of RF fields. There is some evidence that RF fields can influence electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns and sleep in humans but the health relevance of these findings is uncertain. The Committee recognises that there is limited information on the possible effects of RF field in children.

The Commission is considering the implications of the recent SCENIHR opinion. The available scientific knowledge does not provide evidence of the need to revise the limit values of Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC(1). Moreover, in the absence of evidence of an association between exposure to RF and hypothetical health effects, it is impossible to determine revised exposure levels. Nevertheless, it appears urgent to complete the knowledge base in this area. Uncertainties in knowledge create concerns with citizens and must therefore be addressed. The Commission is asking SCENIHR to indicate priorities for research, including studies which could deliver useful results in the medium term in order to be in a position to respond to public concerns and the requests of the Parliament on the basis of more complete scientific results.

(1)Council Recommendation 1999/19/EC of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz), OJ L 199, 30.7.1999.

OJ C 189, 13/07/2010
Seneste opdatering: 19. juni 2009Juridisk meddelelse