ICNIRP is continuously looking at broadening its expertise base and extending external participation in the work process. In order to attract the experts needed with respect to the quadrennial work plan an ICNIRP Scientific Expert Group (SEG) was created.
SEG members are a very valuable support to ICNIRP as they are bringing in their specific expertise and consolidating considerably ICNIRP's workpower. SEG members may receive the opportunity to contribute to ICNIRP projects such as for example the development of science based NIR protection guidance.
SEG membership is acquired through the following procedure. Nominations for the SEG are provided by the IRPA national societies and the Commission Members. SEG members are elected by the Commission Members out of the nominations received and upon a positive screening by the Commission of the candidates' Declaration of Interests. ICNIRP members make their vote depending on the scientific adequacy of the candidates to the ICNIRP mission and tasks. In addition to the scientific expertise, geographical representation and gender balance are taken into consideration.
Project Groups (PG) are set up for the development of ICNIRP documents. Project Groups are composed by members of the Commission and the SEG when additional expertise is needed. PG members are selected by the Commission members and confirmed by the PG chair. PGs are entities dedicated to fulfil a specific working plan task such as the preparation of the ICNIRP draft documents or the organization of a workshop. Upon completion of its task, the Project Group is dissolved.
This organisational structure replaces Standing Committees and Consulting Experts ICNIRP was working with so far.
SEG Call for Nominations - ended 6 December 2012
ICNIRP thanks all IRPA societies which sent their nominations for membership in the Scientific Expert Group.
Election - Finalized
Online Publication of Structure and Membership - beginning of March.
ICNIRP does not issue certificates of conformity
Recently many queries have reached the ICNIRP Secretariat asking whether ICNIRP issues certificates of conformity for base stations. We wish to clarify that ICNIRP does not issue certificates to verify the safety of any device or installation. Any such certificates and declarations are issued independently of ICNIRP, and ICNIRP does not evaluate their accuracy. ICNIRP's mission is to provide guidance on non-ionizing radiation protection. Its advice is published in the form of ICNIRP guidelines to limit exposure to non-ionizing radiation; in statements, reviews and notes; and through information published on the ICNIRP website.
Validity and Use of the UV Index: Report from the UVI Working Group.
August 2012 & December 2012
Following a closed seminar on "The UV Index and its role in risk communication – How to strengthen sun protection measures?" held at Schloss Hohenkammer from 5 to 7 December 2011, the recommendation paper jointly drafted by the working group was published.
Reply to William B. Grant.
Allinson S, Asmuss M, Baldermann C, Bentzen J, Buller D, Gerber N, Green AC, Greinert R, Kimlin M, Kunrath J, Matthes R, Pölz-Viol C, Rehfuess E, Rossman C, Schüz N, Sinclair C, Van Deventer E, Webb A, Weiss W, Ziegelberger G.
Health Phys 104(1):115-116; 2013.
----> Read reply
ICNIRP/WHO International Workshop on Non-Ionizing Radiation (NIR) Protection in Medicine, 2 December 2012, Bonn, Germany
The 7th International ICNIRP NIR Workshop and the IRPA congress held consecutively mark the end of an ICNIRP term. Paolo Vecchia who chaired the commission since 2004, Anthony Swerdlow, former SCI chairman, Bernard Veyret who served as an interim chairman of SCII and Karl Schulmeister are departing the Commission. The commission, as decided by the election held at the Annual General Meeting is now chaired by Rüdiger Matthes and Maria Feychting. All members of the commission are listed here.
7th International NIR Workshop, 9-11 May 2012, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The NIR2012 Workshop that came to an end Friday 11 May at 3 pm saw the participation of 180 delegates and experts from 40 countries worldwide. Additionally, the workshop was followed around the world online via a live stream. 35 posters were displayed and 6 exhibitors contributed to the Workshop with a stand. Videos of the presentations are available online. Pdfs of the presentations are offered to the participants who attended the workshop.
23 February 2012
The ICNIRP draft guidelines for limiting exposure to electric fields induced by movement of the human body in a static magnetic field and by time-varying magnetic fields below 1 Hz are available for public consultation until 24 May 2012.
NIR and Children's Health - Proceedings of a Joint Workshop held in Ljubljana, Slovenia 18-20 May 2011
The proceedings of the COST/ICNIRP/WHO/BfS/EuroSkin joint workshop hosted by INIS were published in December 2011 in a special issue of Progress in Biophysics & Molecular Biology (107)3:311-482; 2011. The proceedings can be ordered via email at email@example.com.
ICNIRP Elections - Term of Office 2012-2016
ICNIRP's election took place at the last Annual General Meeting held 10-12 November in Manila, Philippines. Rüdiger Matthes and Maria Feychting were elected respectively as Chair and Vice Chair of ICNIRP. New members in the Commission are Rodney Croft, Carmela Marino and Soichi Watanabe. Their profiles will be available here shortly. Retiring members are Karl Schulmeister, Anthony Swerdlow, Paolo Vecchia and Bernard Veyret.
ICNIRP Call for Nominations via IRPA - Term of Office 2012-2016
As per its Statutes ICNIRP is now calling the IRPA Executive Office and Associate Societies for nominations of candidates to the upcoming election of the main commission. The election will take place at the ICNIRP Annual General Meeting in November 2011.
Mobile Phones, Brain Tumours and the Interphone Study
ICNIRP SCI Review: Mobile Phones, Brain Tumours and the
Interphone Study: Where Are We Now ?
Environmental Health Perspectives, July 2011.
Guidelines on Limits of Exposure to Laser Radiation
of Wavelengths between 180 nm and 1000 µm
Guidelines on Limits of Exposure to Incoherent
Visible and Infrared Radiation (0.38 to 3 µm)
ICNIRP had invited comments on the draft "Guidelines
on Limits of Exposure to Laser Radiation of Wavelengths
between 180 nm and 1000 µm" and on
the draft "Guidelines on Limits of Exposure
to Incoherent Visible and Infrared Radiation (0.38
to 3 µm)". The consultation process
ended on Saturday 21 May 2011. All comments will
now be revised by the Commission for finalization
of the drafts.
The drafts of the guidelines were presented for
the purpose of the review. The open external review
gave the opportunity to everyone with an interest
in NIR protection to make comments. Comments will
be used to improve the guidelines and are as such
very valuable to ICNIRP.
Information concerning the guidelines progress
and the publication date will be given via the
ICNIRP website and email distribution. The final
guidelines will be available on the ICNIRP website
shortly after their publications in a Journal.
Thank you for your contribution !
Annual Report 2010
The Annual report of ICNIRP activities is now available for download.
Protection of Workers against UV radiation - ICNIRP Statement published
Occupational exposures to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can originate from the sun and from artificial sources such as specialized lamps and open arcs processes, e.g., welding. Although indoor workers are normally protected by clothing and eyewear, the same level of protection is not generally achieved for outdoor workers. Most often, over-exposures of indoor workers arise from accidental failures of safety measures or protective equipment. Outdoor workers receive significant exposure to solar UVR and are thereby at increased risk of suffering the adverse consequences associated with excessive UVR exposure of the eyes and skin. The Statement provides protection guidance for workers highly exposed to UV radiation. An extensive guide drafted by ICNIRP "Protecting Workers from UV Radiation" is also available.
----> ICNIRP Statement
----> Protecting Workers from UV Radiation. Munich: International Commission
on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, International Labour Organization, World Health Organization; 2007.
ISBN 978-3-934994-07-2. View details - Order here - 20
Dr. Eric van Rongen was elected at the recent Annual General Meeting to join the Commission. He approved his nomination and will take office as of immediately.
18 May 2010
The Interphone study was conducted in 13 countries, and has now reported on the assessment of the potential risk of glioma and meningioma – the two main forms of brain tumour – in relation to mobile phone use.
Statement on the "Guidelines for limiting exposure to time-varying electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields (up to 300 GHz)"
August 2009 - Since publication of the ICNIRP "Guidelines for limiting exposure to time-varying electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields (up to 300 GHz)" in 1998 science has evolved (see also below ICNIRP RF review). At this date the health risk assessment concerning radiofrequency fields by the World Health Organization is still underway. In view of establishing the validity of its current guidance in relation to RF exposure, ICNIRP is issuing this statement, which identifies the main scientific advancements relevant to that field. In conclusion, ICNIRP reconfirms its recommendations on radiofrequency for the moment.
Open Consultation - Exposure to Time-Varying Electric and Magnetic Fields
2009 - Protection against Time-Varying Electric and Magnetic Fields
ICNIRP is inviting comments on the draft guidelines on limiting exposure to time-varying electric and magnetic fields. The open consultation took place online until 31 October 2009. Thank you for your comments.
Exposure to High Frequency Electromagnetic Fields
July 2009 - RF Review
This ICNIRP review addresses the current scientific evidence concerning exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields and the resulting consequences for health. Since the 1998 publication of the ICNIRP guidelines on limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields, there have been important studies published, that needed detailed analysis and discussion to determine their implications for health.
Guidelines on Limits of Exposure to Static Magnetic
2009 - Protection against Static Magnetic Fields
The ICNIRP Guidelines on Limits of Exposure to
Static Magnetic Fields are now published in Health
Physics - Health Phys 96(4):504-514; 2009. Based
on review of the scientific evidence, ICNIRP recommends
the limits for exposure at the occupational level
and for the general public.
the end of the IRPA Congress on 24 October 2008,
a new 4 year term of office starts for the ICNIRP
Commission. ICNIRP is honoured to welcome four
new members on its Main Commission, following
their elections in 2008, Maria Feychting an epidemiologist
from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, Adele Green,
an epidemiologist and UV specialist from the Queensland
Institute of Medical Research, Australia, Kari
Jokela, a physicist from the Finnish Radiation
and Nuclear Safety Authority - STUK, and Karl
Schulmeister, a bio-physicist specialized in optical
radiation from the Austrian Research Center. Their
profiles are available here.
ICNIRP expresses its thanks to the departing members
for their outstanding contribution to the work
of the Commission, and in particular, to Prof.
Anders Ahlbom, Dr. Frank de Gruijl, Dr. Maila
Hietanen, and Prof. Masao Taki who served on the
Main Commission for three terms.
6th International NIR Workshop, 14-17 October
2008, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2008 - ICNIRP is glad to announce its quadrennial
International Workshop. Jointly organized with
the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology,
it will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
from 14 to 17 October 2008. The registration procedure
is now open.
15 Years On: Reviewing The Past And Looking Forward
ICNIRP Workshop On Basic Radiation Protection Principles, 15-16 September 2008, Prague, Czech Republic
2008 - The ICNIRP Workshop "15 years on:
Reviewing the past and looking forward" was
held from 15 to 16 September 2008, in Prague,
Czech Republic. The workshop's aim was to critically
review ICNIRP strategy and philosophy for the
development of international guidelines on non-ionizing
radiation (NIR) protection. A summary is intended
for publication in a Journal.
2008 - Recent developments in telecommunication
and wireless technology have led to increasing
numbers of new devices and systems that emit radio-frequency
(RF) electromagnetic (EM) energy. Implementing
these developments have resulted in large numbers
of individuals at the workplace or in the general
public being exposed to RF-EM fields. The aim
of this Statement is to compile a list of the
new technologies under development, soon-to-be
or recently deployed, which could lead to increased
levels of exposure to NIR at the workplace or
in daily life, and to assess the need for further
research to evaluate their NIR safety and health
implications. However, the technologies that are
included in this Statement are not limited to
mobile or wireless communications; they encompass
all EMF emitting devices.
International Workshop on Risk Factors for
Childhood Leukemia 5-7 May 2008, Berlin, Germany
May 2008 - The workshop,
called by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing
Radiation Protection, ICNIRP, the World Health
Organization, WHO, and the German Federal Office
for Radiation Protection, BfS, was held in Berlin,
Germany, May 5 to 7, 2008. Proceedings are intended
for publication by the End of 2008.
International Workshop on EMF Dosimetry and
Biophysical Aspects Relevant To Setting Exposure
May 2007 - The ICNIRP "International
Workshop on EMF Dosimetry and Biophysical Aspects
Relevant to Setting Exposure Guidelines"
covered the whole frequency range, from static
fields to terahertz. Internationally recognised
experts presented lectures on those topics and
discussed the relevance of recent research findings
with regard to exposure limits for workers and
the general public. The Workshop proceedings were
published in Health Physics, Health Phys 92(6):
513-658; June 2007.
May 2008 - The increased
incidence of childhood leukaemia observed in epidemiological
studies at low-level magnetic fields or near nuclear
facilities is puzzling experts in radiation protection.
The findings will be considered in the light of
other possible risk factors and of new data on
the complex origin of childhood leukaemia in the
upcoming workshop on “Risk Factors for Childhood
The international workshop, called by the International
Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection,
ICNIRP, the World Health Organization, WHO, and
the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection,
BfS, was held in Berlin, Germany, May 5 to 7,
----> Proceedings are intended for publication by the End of 2008.
Protecting Workers from Ultraviolet Radiation
March 2007 - The objective of this document jointly
published by ICNIRP, ILO and WHO is to provide
information and advice on protecting workers from
ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure. The adverse
health effects of both acute and chronic UVR exposures
are reviewed, emphasizing solar UVR exposure of
the outdoor worker. Epidemiological observations
and health consequences concerning exposure to
UVR (180-400 nm) are also addressed. The document
has now been published in our blue book serie
and is available for order.
----> ICNIRP/WHO/ILO document can be ordered
ICNIRP/EMF-NET/WHO Workshop on current
trends in health and safety risk assessment
of work-related exposure to EMFs, 14-16
February 2007, Milan, Italy
February 2007 - The latest three-days Workshop on current trends in health risk assessment of work-related exposure to EMF organized
in Milan, Italy, 14-16 February 2007 by ICNIRP in cooperation with EMF-NET and WHO
was a great success ! Key-note speakers addressed the issue of occupational exposure
to electromagnetic fields, with ample time devoted to open discussions. In addition
to technical aspects, the content and implementation of the EU Directive of 2004 on EMFs was
presented. Stakeholders' point of view and different approaches on the evaluation and
management of this issue in Europe and outside, as well as the WHO/NIOSH recent publication
on EMFs at workplaces were discussed. All presentations are available online.
----> Presentations and abstracts are available
ICNIRP Statement on Far Infrared Exposure published in Health Physics
December 2006 - This
statement was prepared to provide guidance
for the special conditions where lengthy
periods of far-infrared skin exposure can
occur despite the limitations normally imposed
by hyperthermia and skin discomfort. This
statement examines the potential risks of
repeated human exposure to infrared radiant
energy and provides expanded guidance for
assessing the health risk from IR-C exposure.
ICNIRP welcomes Dr. Richard Saunders
- new Commission member and SCII Chairman
2006 - ICNIRP is glad to welcome Dr. Richard
Saunders as a new commission member and
SCII Chairman. A biologist specialized in
the effects of EMF, he has served the ICNIRP
Standing Committee on Biology (SCII) since
International Workshop on EMF Dosimetry
and Biophysical Aspects Relevant to Setting
Exposure Guidelines, 20 - 22 March 2006,
March 2006 - The ICNIRP "International Workshop on EMF
Dosimetry and Biophysical Aspects Relevant to
Setting Exposure Guidelines" covered the
whole frequency range, from static fields to terahertz.
Internationally recognised experts presented lectures
on those topics and discussed the relevance of
recent research findings with regard to exposure
limits for workers and the general public.
International Workshop on UV Exposure
Guidance, 17-18 October 2005, Munich, Germany
October 2005 - The
workshop brought together experts in the
field of radioprotection and Vitamin D.
The contributions of the invited speakers
will be published as Proceedings. The workshop
takes aim at a scientifically based evaluation
on sun exposure which counterbalances health
risks and benefits.
April 2005 - After
the election of the standing committee members
came the time to elect the consulting experts.
This took place at ICNIRP Annual General
Meeting, 7-9 April 2005, San Antonio, USA.
Consulting experts are invited to help ICNIRP
through the work programme of each Standing
Committee. They bring to ICNIRP specific
expertise, often in a specific and highly
technical area, and required for a specific
task in hand. They also provide a
broadening of the scientific consultation
that ICNIRP employs to review its publications.
View the list of consulting experts here.
Adjustment of guidelines for exposure
of the eye to optical radiation from ocular
instruments: Statement published in Applied Optics
April 2005 - A variety
of optical and electro-optical instruments
are used for both diagnostic and therapeutic
applications to the human eye. These generally
expose ocular structures to either coherent
or incoherent optical radiation (ultraviolet,
visible or infrared radiation) under unique
conditions. This statement relates to the
conversion of both laser and incoherent
exposure guidelines derived for normal exposure
conditions to apply to ophthalmic sources.
April 2005 - The
recently appointed ICNIRP Commission has
now elected the members of its four Standing
Committees. The Standing Committees are
essential to carry out the work programme.
Their role is to assist the Commission by
drafting documents, preparing statements
and reviews and provide advice to answer
specific questions. Finally, the SC members
are often giving lectures at ICNIRP seminars
and workshops. ICNIRP's expertise in all
relevant NIR fields is broadened by the
SC's and their specialized focus in Epidemiology,
Biology, Physics and Engineering and Optical
Radiation. ICNIRP is looking forward to
a productive term of office 2004-2008. View
the new SC membership here SCI,
"Epidemiology of Health Effects of Radiofrequency
Exposure", a review by ICNIRP SCI here
November 2004 -
ICNIRP Standing Committee I under the Chairmanship
of Anders Ahlbom has undertaken a comprehensive
review of epidemiologic studies about the
effects of radiofrequency fields (RFs) on
human health in order to summarize the current
state of knowledge, explain the methodologic
issues that are involved, and aid in the
planning of future studies. There have been
a large number of occupational studies over
several decades, particularly on cancer,
cardiovascular disease, adverse reproductive
outcome, and cataract, in relation to RF
exposure. More recently, there have been
studies of residential exposure, mainly
from radio and television transmitters,
and especially focusing on leukemia. There
have also been studies of mobile telephone
users, particularly on brain tumors and
less often on other cancers and on symptoms.
Results of these studies to date give no
consistent or convincing evidence of a causal
relation between RF exposure and any adverse
health effect. On the other hand, the studies
have too many deficiencies to rule out an
association. A key concern across all studies
is the quality of assessment of RF exposure.
Despite the ubiquity of new technologies
using RFs, little is known about population
exposure from RF sources and even less about
the relative importance of different sources.
Other cautions are that mobile phone studies
to date have been able to address only relatively
short lag periods, that almost no data are
available on the consequences of childhood
exposure, and that published data largely
concentrate on a small number of outcomes,
especially brain tumor and leukemia. The
review entitled "Epidemiology of Health
Effects of Radiofrequency Exposure" is now
published in EHP
Online and also available
November 2004 - At its
Annual General Meeting in November 2004,
ICNIRP elected Dr.
Gunde Ziegelberger as new Scientific
Secretary. She replaces Rüdiger Matthes,
who became a Commission Member in May 2004.
Dr. Ziegelberger's background is in Biology.
After a career as senior research assistant
at the Max-Planck-Institute, she joined
the Federal Office for Radiation Protection
(Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz) in 2002,
where she is now working on Non-Ionizing
Radiation Protection. .
August 2004 - - The
purpose of this document is to provide guidance
on maximal limits of exposure to UVR in
the spectral region between 180 nm and 400
nm. The limits represent conditions under
which it is expected that nearly all individuals
may be repeatedly exposed without acute
adverse effects and, based upon best available
evidence, without noticeable risk of delayed
effects (see paragraph on Special Considerations).
These EL values for exposure of the eye
or the skin may be used to evaluate potentially
hazardous exposure from UVR; e.g. from arcs,
gas and vapour discharges, fluorescent lamps,
incandescent sources, and solar radiation.
The limits do not apply to lasers that emit
UVR. Most incoherent UVR sources are broadband,
although single emission lines can be produced
from low-pressure gas discharges. These
values should be used as guides in the control
of exposure to both pulsed and continuous
sources where the exposure duration is not
less than 1 µs. These ELs are below
levels that would be used for UV exposures
of patients required as a part of medical
treatment or for elective cosmetic purposes.
These ELs are exceeded for exposed skin
by noonday summer sunlight overhead at 0º-40º
latitude within 5-10 minutes. The ELs should
be considered absolute limits for direct
exposure of the eye, and "advisory"
for skin exposure because of the wide range
of susceptibility to skin injury depending
on skin type. The ELs should be adequate
to protect lightly pigmented individuals.
The document is now available here.
August 2004 - Magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI) has become an established
diagnostic imaging modality. The clinical
usefulness of in-vivo magnetic resonance
spectroscopy (MRS) has been demonstrated
in several clinical applications and is
being explored further. These techniques
involve exposure of the patient to static
and time-varying magnetic fields, radiofrequency
electromagnetic fields, and acoustic noise.
In particular exposure conditions, these
fields may pose a health hazard or increased
risk. The International Non-Ionizing Radiation
Committee of the International Radiation
Protection Association (IRPA/INIRC) has
published a guideline on protection of the
patient undergoing a magnetic resonance
examination (IRPA/INIRC 1991). In recent
years, the successor of IRPA/INIRC, the
International Commission on Non-Ionizing
Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has performed
reviews of the biological effects from exposure
to static and time-varying electromagnetic
fields (ICNIRP 1997a, 1997b, 2001). Guidelines
on limits of exposure to static magnetic
fields and Guidelines for limiting exposure
to time-varying, electric, magnetic, and
electromagnetic fields (up to 300 GHz) have
been published by ICNIRP respectively in
1994 and 1998 (ICNIRP 1994; 1998). Recently,
several reviews concerning safety aspects
of MR procedures have been published (e.g.,
Ordidge et al. 2000; Shellock 2001; Shellock
2003). These publications, in conjunction
with other reviews and recent literature,
form the basis for the review of research
data on MRI procedures in this document.
The document is now available here.
August 2004 - Over
one million Electronic Article Surveillance
(EAS) systems, developed to protect against
theft, are installed world-wide. Even more
Radiofrequency Identification (RFID) systems
are in operation to provide identification
of persons or objects, or to improve the
controlled transportation and logistic of
various items. Millions of metal detectors
systems are used to locate a ferrous or
conductive target. All of these systems
use electromagnetic fields to detect or
communicate over a short distance (usually
up to a few meters). For the general public,
they involve brief exposure times of generally
less than a few seconds. For occupational
exposure, extended exposure times may occur.
The objective of this statement is to address
the possible adverse effects from exposure
to pulsed and continuous wave (cw) electromagnetic
fields (EMFs) associated with the use of
electronic security and similar devices.
The document is now available here.
The ICNIRP Commission
2004-2008 takes office
May 2004 - The election
of the ICNIRP Main Commission for the term
of office 2004-2008 took place last September
in Bordeaux on the occasion of the Election
Meeting. The new Commission
took office on 28 May 2004 at the end of
the IRPA Congress. A detailed list with
biographical information on the new members
is available here.
International NIR Workshop 2004
May 2004 - Reflecting
the broad interest in NIR and especially
in mobile telephony issues noticeable around
the world, the 5th International NIR Workshop,
20-22 May 2004, Seville, Spain has known
the largest participation ever in the history
of ICNIRP NIR Workshops. More than 70 posters
were presented and more than 200 participants
attended. ICNIRP extends its thanks to its
co-sponsors, WHO, URSI and ICOH, as well
as to all lecturers, scientists who presented
posters, and attendees. If you wish to order
the CD- proceedings, please place your order
April 2004 - April 2004 - ICNIRP
co-sponsored a workshop entitled "Effects
of Static Magnetic Fields Relevant to Human
Health", which was organised by the HPA
(formerly NRPB) in collaboration also with
WHO. The proceedings were published in Progress
in Biophysics & Molecular Biology in February
2005 (ISBN 0079-6107). The workshop will
provided a basis for the reevaluation of
the current guidelines. More information
are available here.
Exposure to Static
and Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, Biological
Effects and Health Consequences (0-100 kHz) -
December 2003 - This
review addresses the current scientific
evidence concerning exposure to static and
low frequency electric and magnetic fields
(EMF) and the resulting consequences for
health. It covers all scientific aspects
relevant in this area which include numerical
dosimetry, measurements, biological laboratory
investigations in vitro and in vivo, as
well as epidemiological findings. This review
was motivated by the needs of the World
Health Organization´s International
EMF Project and ICNIRP´s own agenda
of reviewing its guidance and advice on
the health hazards of EMF exposure. This
review only covers static and low frequency
EMFs from 0 to 100 kHz. A review of the
scientific evidence in the RF area has been
started by ICNIRP. Both reviews once accomplished
will form the basis for a thorough reevaluation
of ICNIRP´s science based guidance
on limiting exposure to electromagnetic
fields. This review is now available for
Annual General Meeting 2003
September 2003 - The Annual General Meeting of the ICNIRP
Main Commission took place at the University
of Bordeaux, 1 to 4 September. An important
priority of the meeting was the election
of new Commission members whose term of
office will begin in May 2004. Other important
matters discussed were the ICNIRP/WHO International
NIR Workshop and combined URSI Symposium,
which will take place in Seville in May
2004. The Commission also discussed reviews
being carried out by ICNIRP's Scientific
Standing Committees on epidemiology, biology
and dosimetry related to EMF and health.
These will provide important scientific
input to major health risk assessments on
EMF being carried out by the World Health
Organization (WHO). ICNIRP met with representatives
from WHO and the International Electrotechnical
Commission (IEC) and this afforded the opportunity
to strengthen co-operation with our international
partners and collaborative organisations.
A summary of ICNIRP's activities over the
last year is presented in the ICNIRP
Electric Fields Effects in the Body":
Proceedings of an International Workshop
(NRPB/ICNIRP/WHO), March 24-25, 2003
March 2003 - A joint workshop
was organized on weak electric fields to
address the topic of possible effects of
physiologically weak electric fields induced
in the human body as a result of exposure
to external extremely low frequency (ELF)
fields. The results of the Workshop were
published in a proceedings (ISBN 0079-6107).
Fields": Statement published in Health
Physics in March 2003
March 2003 - Standing Committee
III's statement entitled "Guidance on determining
compliance of exposure to pulsed and complex
non-sinusoidal waveforms below 100 kHz with
ICNIRP Guidelines" has undergone a 90-day
external review and has then been accepted
by the Commission. Its publication has been
scheduled in Health Physics in March 2003.
The statement is now available here.
Concerted Action: "Possible
Health Risk to the General Public from the
Use of Security and Similar Devices",
report published in 2003
March 2003 - Within the
Concerted Action's project entitled "Environment
& Health Health impact of electromagnetic
fields of the Fifth Framework programme
of the European Commission", ICNIRP
was contracted to develop advice on the
risk to health of the general public from
the use of security and similar devices
employing pulsed electromagnetic fields.
ICNIRP's Concerted Action members drafted
a report entitled "Possible Health Risks
to the General Public from the Use of Security
and Similar Devices", which was approved
by the EC at the end of 2002. The Executive
Summary is now available here.
The report is available for order.
February 2003 - In renewing
the official collaborative relationship
between WHO and ICNIRP, the Executive Board
of WHO commended ICNIRP's efforts in support
of the work of the World Health Organization.
ICNIRP looks forward to providing further
scientific support for WHO particularly
in relation to the WHO International EMF
and INTERSUN programmes. WHO is the principal
of ICNIRP's many international and national
partners in non-ionizing radiation protection.
of Ultraviolet Tanning Appliances used for
January 2003 - ICNIRP'
s Statement "Health Issues of Ultraviolet
Tanning Appliances Used for Cosmetic Purposes"
has been approved and published in Health
Physics, in January 2003, Vol 84. The statement
is now available here.
May 2002 - 10 years after
ICNIRP received its independent Charter
from the International Radiation Protection
Association (IRPA), ICNIRP was back in Vancouver,
Canada for its 2002 Annual Meeting. This
was held from 6th to 9th May 2002 in collaboration
with the Annual Congress of the Canadian
Radiation Protection Association. The priorities
of this year's Annual Meeting focussed on
the reviews of the scientific literature
on ELF and RF fields, which ICNIRP is carrying
out. These reviews will provide important
scientific input to major health risk assessments
on EMF being carried out by the World Health
Organization (WHO). ICNIRP met with representatives
from WHO and the International Electrotechnical
Commission (IEC) and this afforded the opportunity
to strengthen co-operation with our international
partners and collaborative organizations.
A summary of ICNIRP’s activities over the
last year is presented in ICNIRP
Global Solar UV Index
April 2002 - As scientific
input to the WHO INTERSUN
project, ICNIRP organized a scientific meeting
in December 2000 in Munich, Germany, with
the objective of further development of
a global solar UV Index. The Index is used
as a simple measure of the ultraviolet radiation
(UVR) level at the Earth's surface and serves
as an important vehicle to raise public
awareness and to alert people about the
need to adopt protective measures when exposed
to UVR. The material resulting from the
meeting has been compiled for publication
by WHO. The document is available here.
General System of Protection
against Non Ionizing Radiation
Aprils 2002 - This document
sets out the basis for ICNIRPs approach
to non-ionizing radiation protection in
providing advice on protection against non-ionizing
radiation (NIR) exposure, to serve both
as a guide for the understanding of ICNIRP's
documents and for its future work. It has
been subject to external review and comments
and has been approved by the Commission
for publication.It has now been published
in Health Physics Vol 82, Nr
4, April 2002. The document is available here.
ICNIRP SC I Review of
the epidemiological literature on EMF and
December 2001 - ICNIRP's
Standing Committee I on Epidemiology's review
of the epidemiological literature on EMF
and health has been published in the scientific
Health Perspectives", Volume 109 (Supplement
6) December 2001.
This review will be a contribution from
ICNIRP to a comprehensive health risk assessment
of extremely low frequency electric and
magnetic fields about to be undertaken by
Two further reviews are currently being
undertaken by ICNIRP. One by ICNIRP's Standing
Committee II on Biology on the biological
effects of ELF and another by Standing Committee
III on the physics, engineering and dosimetry
aspects. Both of these reviews will also
contribute to the WHO health risk assessment.
The abstract for the epidemiology review
is available here.The
full review document is available here.
and Human Health - Joint letter from ICNIRP,
EBEA and COST-281 action to the European
November 2001 - A letter
was recently sent to the European Parliament
jointly on behalf of the International Commission
on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP),
the European BioElectromagnetics Association
(EBEA) and the COST-281 action to inform
of the independent scientific advice that
is available from the three organizations
on the subject of electromagnetic fields
(EMFs) and human health. Read
Conference "Children under the Sun - UV
Radiation and Children's Skin"
October 2001 - ICNIRP members
participated in the 2nd EUROSKIN International
Conference "Children under the Sun - UV
Radiation and Children's Skin" held in Orvieto,
Italy, 1-5 October 2001. The European Society
for Skin Cancer Prevention (EUROSKIN)
is one of ICNIRP's International Partners
in non-ionizing radiation protection. The
recommendations of the Conference and of
a WHO Workshop - Children's Sun Protection
Education, held in association with it,
are presented here.
IARC's evaluation of
carcinogenic risks to humans from exposure
to electric and magnetic fields
The International Agency
for Research on Cancer (IARC) held a monograph
meeting in June 2001 to evaluate the scientific
evidence that exposure to extremely low
frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields
may cause cancer in humans. As an outcome
of the meeting, reported in a press release
by IARC, ELF magnetic fields were classified
in Group 2B, i.e. as possibly carcinogenic
to humans. The classification was based
on limited, but consistent, evidence of
an epidemiological association between residential
magnetic field exposure and childhood leukaemia.
No consistent evidence was found of other
childhood tumours, as well as of any adult
cancer, neither for occupational nor for
residential exposure. Because of insufficient
data, ELF electric fields could not be classified
as to their carcinogenicity to humans. The
IARC evaluation was based on a comprehensive
review of the pertinent literature. Two
recent pooled analyses of original data
from several epidemiological studies played
a crucial role in the classification. ICNIRP
reviewed the scientific literature on health
effects of ELF fields, with special attention
to epidemiological studies and metanalyses,
as a step in the development of its guidelines
issued in 1998. It was concluded that in
the absence of support from laboratory studies,
the epidemiological data were insufficient
to allow an exposure guideline to be established.
ICNIRP’s view does not conflict with IARC’s
classification. Although the support for
the possibility that ELF magnetic fields
are carcinogenic has strengthened since
1998, changes in present guidelines would
not be justified.