Monday, 17 June 2019

International safety standards unlikely to change, Australian EMF conference told

Bems3International safety guidelines have remained unchanged for 15 years even after millions of dollars has been spent by governments and health authorities on thousands of studies into the effects of electromagnetic frequencies on health, and current safety standards will remain in place with little change, former head of the WHO’s EMF (Electro-Magnetic Fields) project has told a conference in Brisbane.


In the opening session – titled “EMF  Looking Backwards, Looking Forwards” of the 34th Bioelectromagnetics Society meeting held in Brisbane in June – Dr Michael Repacholi reviewed the history of the standard setting process and discussed the role of the society in the future.


“More than US$250 million has been spent on research – many thousands of EMF studies have been published – and we know a lot about EMF bio-effects,” Dr Repacholi said.


“While many governments have been reluctant to take leadership, major international health agencies and standards committees, have provided excellent guidance on the results of research to national authorities so they could effectively deal with EMF.”


He said that standards have been stable for 15 years, which should engender confidence in the standards setting process, and are a sound basis to protect the population.


“Standards are unlikely to change significantly,” Dr Repacholi said.


In regard to the future, brain cancer research would remain a major interest for a number of years and the Bioelectromagnetics Society should now focus on developing protocols for systematic reviews of the research to ensure they resulted in quality assessments of the impact of EMF on health.


“Systematic reviews don’t depend on the reviewers and they should transparently and logically result in unchallengeable conclusions,” Dr Repacholi said.


He identified a need to continue studying EMF effects on children but, otherwise, given the “lack of substantiated [harmful] effects, more researchers are now turning to the beneficial medical applications of EMF.”


Dr Michael Repacholi was the former head of the World Health Organization’s EMF project and is Chairman Emeritus of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) – which developed the international exposure guidelines used by most countries around the world.

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