European transmission operators call for clear, up-to-date recommendation on RF exposure


Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM0 — April 17, 2012 – Europe’s transmission system operators (TSOs), through ENTSO-E (the European Network of Transmission System Operators) have called for a clear, authoritative, and up-to-date recommendation on exposure to electric and magnetic fields in Europe.

In a new position paper on public exposure to extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields, ENTSO-E says that the European Union published its Recommendation (1999/519/EC) in 1999, based on the 1998 guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). In 2010 the ICNIRP published new guidelines based on the same scientific principles, but containing numerous detailed changes, including new basic restrictions based on the internal electric field instead of current density in the body, and reference levels for 50 Hz magnetic field now 200 μT for the general public.

However, these do not automatically take effect in the EU and require a revision of the 1999/519/EC Recommendation. The present EU Recommendation is adequate and suitable in respect of exposure of the general population to electric and magnetic fields generated by high voltage electricity circuits. The new ICNIRP guidelines would also provide acceptable values if implemented within the same framework.

ENTSO-E says the TSOs recognize the genuine concerns of the general public regarding alleged health effects from electric and magnetic fields and are willing to take these concerns into account when selecting the optimal route for their infrastructure.

ENTSO-E also supports on principle the reviews and recommendations made by internationally recognized bodies such as ICNIRP and WHO. ENTSO-E calls on bodies such as the EU, national and local governments, medical and scientific bodies, etc. to assist in informing the general public about the current state of research and the scientific position on extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields.

ENTSO-E also supports research on these topics. As environmental topics are becoming more and more important, and because of the likelihood of more HVDC lines being built, it will be necessary to develop the scientific understanding about DC electromagnetic fields and ion current streams.