Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Electromagnetic Fields Studies
544. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he will report on any recent initiatives or studies his Department or its agencies have carried out in conjunction with the Department of Health on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation from mobile telephones and given a number of health issues raised by Oireachtas communications committee reports in the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Dáileanna Éireann; if he is continuing to monitor those health effects with the Department of Health in respect of the location of mobile telephone masts and the use of mobile telephones by children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42296/15]
My Department has commissioned a study to review and report on international developments on the potential health effects of electro-magnetic fields. This study is examining international research developments in to non-ionising radiation (NIR) and electromagnetic fields (EMF) which have taken place since the publication in 2007 of a report by the then Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, entitled Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields.
Representatives from a number of Departments, together with national and international experts, are overseeing the study which is being undertaken by RIVM, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. It is expected that the report will be completed in the near future. The 2007 Report noted that the majority scientific opinion was that no adverse short- or long-term effects have been demonstrated from exposure to electromagnetic fields at levels below the limits recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). Extensive international research on the issue continues to be co-ordinated through bodies such as the World Health Organisation.
The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), the licensing authority for the telecommunications industry, commissions audit reports to verify that its licensed operators are in compliance with their licence conditions relating to emission limits for non-ionising radiation. The detailed measurement results from over 1, 0 00 transmitter sites surveyed to date have so far shown total compliance. Recorded levels of radio-frequency signals are typically measured as being within the range of 0.002% to 2% of the safe exposure levels set by the ICNIRP guidelines. The location of licensed telecommunications antennae and the results of individual site survey reports can be found on ComReg’s website: .