The World Health Organization (WHO) established the “International EMF Project” in 1996 to assess potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields in the frequency range of 0 Hz – 300 GHz. Key objectives of this project are to evaluate the scientific literature, to identify knowledge gaps and to encourage further research programs, to support the development of international accepted standards for exposure to electromagnetic fields, to provide information on risk management for governmental authorities, and to advise national agencies on possible hazards caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields.
The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) accomplishes risk assessment of non-ionizing fields on the international level. ICNIRP is a non-governmental organization formally recognized by the WHO with independent experts. Based on scientific literature, ICNIRP develops regularly updated guidelines establishing limits for occupational and public exposure (Limits). These ICNIRP guidelines are the basis for many international recommendations (e.g. EU-Empfehlung 1999/519/EC ) and national laws (e.g. 26. BImSchV in Germany).
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the WHO especially evaluates carcinogenic risks to humans. The following monographs on electromagnetic fields have been published:
- Non-Ionizing Radiation, Part 1: Static and Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Electric and Magnetic Fields. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans, Volume 80
- Non-Ionizing Radiation, Part 2: Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 102
The German Commission on Radiological Protection, an independent advisory body of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, is in charge of risk assessment in Germany. It decides on statements and recommendations such as:
- Comparative Assessment of the Evidence of Cancer Risks from Electromagnetic Fields and Radiation
- Electromagnetic Fields of New Technologies
- Biological effects of mobile phone use – overview
- Biological Effects of Emissions from High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Power Lines
Further research projects on the effects of electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields are implemented and funded in the “Environmental Research Plan” (Resortforschungsplan) by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.