HC Deb 20 October 1998 vol 317 cc1082-3W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research he has evaluated into low energy electromagnetic fields associated with cellular telephones and telecommunication masts; and if he will make a statement. [53960]

Mrs. Roche

Advice on exposure to electromagnetic fields is given by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB). It evaluates published and peer reviewed sound scientific evidence on which its Guidelines for exposure are based. The exposure guidelines at mobile communications frequencies are based on well established thermal effects. Whilst it has been suggested by a small number of studies that there are potential effects associated with weak electromagnetic fields, such studies are inconsistent, and have proved difficult to replicate. They do not provide a basis for altering the advice provided. The NRPB Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation continues to review the published literature.

A European Expert Group under the chairmanship of the Head of Non-ionising Radiation of the NRPB has reviewed the published literature and examined research needs. The research recommendations, which could be implemented under Framework V, included areas for further work and identified key research to be replicated. We welcome research that is systematic and undertaken by laboratories with proven skills in this subject. Support for such research does not imply that the Government believe there are harmful effects or that members of the public are subject to harmful electromagnetic fields generated by mobile communications equipment.

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