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Today the European Parliament adopted an own initiative report by Frederique Ries (MR, Belgium) on the dangers of exposure to electromagnetic waves. The Parliament is not putting in place stricter limits for electromagnetic waves, but is urging the Commission to review the scientific basis for limits. The European Parliament also calls on industries to implement new technologies to limit the level of exposure.
Although it is technically feasible, the limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields have not been adjusted since 1999. The rapporteur Frederique Ries is not happy with this: "When technologies change, which is the case with high powered wireless devices, the limits on exposure should also be changed. If not, we are exposing consumers to unnecessary dangers. A growing number of studies have shown that repeated exposure to electromagnetic waves can result in the risk of cancer (leukaemia in children especially), Alzheimer's, problems affecting sleep or psychological problems."
Parliament decided that the placement of antennas, mobile phone masts and high-voltage power lines should be negotiated between industry representatives, public authorities and residents' associations in order to minimise health risks and legal action cases. This will also ensure that EMF-transmitting devices are kept clear of schools, crčches, retirement homes and health care institutions.
The Commission is urged to review "the scientific basis and adequacy of the EMF limits as laid down in Recommendation 1999/519/EC". The European Parliament wants the Commission to report back to them.
Frederique Ries concludes: "The adoption of this report will not close the debate. Many people are worried and scientists have not drawn an overall conclusion on whether the waves are dangerous or not. It is a pity that the two big groups in parliament have rejected my proposal to introduce stricter limits, but hopefully member states will continue voluntarily to introduce stricter regulations than are required by the EU."
Distribution: immediate - April 2, 2009, 12:20 pm