Written answers

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Department of Health and Children

Electromagnetic Field Levels

9:00 pm

Photo of Rory O'HanlonRory O'Hanlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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Question 139: To ask the Minister for Health and Children her views on a statement (details supplied) regarding standards adopted by the World Health Organisation in relation to EMF levels; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32823/07]

Photo of Mary HarneyMary Harney (Minister, Department of Health and Children; Dublin Mid West, Progressive Democrats)
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The consensus of scientific opinion to date regarding possible adverse health effects from electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure is that there is no evidence of a causal relationship between such exposure and ill health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has assessed the many reviews carried out in this area and has indicated that exposures below the limits recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) in their 1998 Guidelines do not produce any known adverse health effects. These guidelines are based on a careful analysis of all peer-reviewed scientific literature and include thermal and non-thermal effects.

In 1999, the European Community introduced recommendations on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields, based on the ICNIRP guidelines. Ireland complies with these recommendations. The Commission for Communication Regulations (ComReg) monitors compliance with regard to telecommunication masts.

Research is ongoing in relation to this issue and my Department will continue to monitor developments concerning the possible health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.

If the Deputy provides me with additional information with regard to any specific concerns he may have, I will arrange to have these investigated.

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