EU looks to tighten emission regulation


The European Parliament last month voted 522 to 16 to recommend tighter safety standards for mobile phones, but the GSM Association said there is not enough scientific evidence to do so.

The Parliament stated: “The limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) which have been set for the general public are obsolete.

“The Parliament is greatly concerned at the Bio-Initiative international report concerning EMFs, which summarises over 1500 studies on that topic and which points in its conclusions to the health risks posed by emissions from mobile-telephony devices such as mobile telephones, UMTS, WiFi, WiMax and Bluetooth, and also DECT landline telephones.”

It has called on the EU Council to amend its current recommendation for all equipment producing emissions in the 0.1 MHz to 300 GHz frequency range, which includes mobile phones and other wireless devices.

It said that product manufacturers should be legally obliged to prove their devices are harmless and that health threats should be “anticipated and countered”.

Richard Turner, chief executive of Exradia, which holds the rights to Wi-Guard technology which claims to deflect EMFs in mobile phones, said: “This is a positive move by the EU to draw attention to steps that the cell phone industry can take now in the interests of long term consumer health. The EU has recognised that the approach of ‘wait and see’ where consumer health is concerned presents unnecessary risk.”

But GSM Association research director Jack Rowley said safety limits must continue to be based on reviews of the “totality of existing science”.

“Unfortunately, the European Parliament relied upon the BioInitiative Report, which has been criticised by national public health authorities, including the Health Council of the Netherlands, which concluded that the report was not an objective and balanced reflection of the current state of scientific knowledge.

“Therefore, the report does not provide any grounds for revising the current views as to the risks of exposure to electromagnetic fields.”