The International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS) held an international conference entitled
ìThe Precautionary EMF Approach: Rationale, Legislation and
Implementationî, hosted by the City of Benevento, Italy, on February 22, 23 & 24, 2006. The meeting was dedicated to W. Ross Adey, M.D. (1922-2004). The scientists at the
conference endorsed and extended the 2002 Catania Resolution and resolved that:
1. More evidence has accumulated suggesting that there are adverse health effects from occupational and public exposures to electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields, or EMF1, at current exposure levels. What is needed, but not yet realized, is a
comprehensive, independent and transparent examination of the evidence pointing to this emerging, potential public health issue.
2. Resources for such an assessment are grossly inadequate despite the explosive growth of technologies for wireless communications as well as the huge ongoing investment in power transmission.
3. There is evidence that present sources of funding bias the analysis and interpretation of research findings towards rejection of evidence of possible public health risks.
4. Arguments that weak (low intensity) EMF cannot affect biological systems do not represent the current spectrum of scientific opinion.
5. Based on our review of the science, biological effects can occur from exposures to both extremely low frequency fields (ELF EMF) and radiation frequency fields (RF EMF). Epidemiological and in vivo as well as in vitro experimental evidence demonstrates that exposure to some ELF EMF can increase cancer risk in children and induce other health problems in both children and adults. Further, there is accumulating epidemiological evidence indicating an increased brain tumor risk from long term use of mobile phones, the first RF EMF that has started to be comprehensively studied. Epidemiological and laboratory studies that show increased
risks for cancers and other diseases from occupational exposures to EMF cannot be ignored. Laboratory studies on cancers and other diseases have reported that hypersensitivity to EMF may be due in part to a genetic predisposition.
6. We encourage governments to adopt a framework of guidelines for public and occupational EMF exposure that reflect the Precautionary Principle2-- as some nations
have already done. Precautionary strategies should be based on design and performance standards and may not necessarily define numerical thresholds because such thresholds may erroneously be interpreted as levels below which no adverse
effect can occur. These strategies should include:
6.1. Promote alternatives to wireless communication systems, e.g., use of fiber optics and coaxial cables; design cellular phones that meet safer performance specifications, including radiating away from the head; preserve existing land line
phone networks; place power lines underground in the vicinity of populated areas, only siting them in residential neighborhoods as a last resort;
6.2. Inform the population of the potential risks of cell phone and cordless phone use. Advise consumers to limit wireless calls and use a land line for long conversations.
6.3. Limit cell phone and cordless phone us
e by young children and teenagers to the
lowest possible level and urgently ban telecom companies from marketing to them.
6.4. Require manufacturers to supply hands-free kits (via speaker phones or ear
phones), with each cell phone and cordless phone.
1 EMF, in this resolution, refers to zero to 300 GHz.
2The Precautionary Principle states when there are indications of possible adverse effects, though they remain uncertain, the
risks from doing nothing may be far greater than the risks of taking action to control these exposures. The Precautionary
Principle shifts the burden of proof from those suspecting a risk to those who discount it. 2
6.5. Protect workers from EMF generating equipment, through access restrictions and
EMF shielding of both individuals and physical structures.
6.6. Plan communications antenna and tower locations to minimize human exposure. Register mobile phone base stations with local planning agencies and use computer mapping technology to inform the public on possible exposures.
Proposals for city-wide wireless access systems (e.g. Wi-Fi, WIMAX, broadband over cable or power-line or equivalent technologies) should require public review of potential EMF exposure and, if installed, municipalities should ensure this
information is available to all and updated on a timely basis.
6.7. Designate wireless-free zones in cities, in public buildings (schools, hospitals,
residential areas) and, on public transit, to permit access by persons who are hypersensitive to EMF.
7. ICEMS3 is willing to assist authorities in the development of an EMF research agenda. ICEMS encourages the development of clinical and epidemiological protocols for investigations of geographical clusters of persons with reported allergic reactions and other diseases or sensitivities to EMF, and document the effectiveness of preventive interventions. ICEMS encourages scientific collaboration and reviews of research findings.
We, the undersigned scientists, agree to assist in the promotion of EMF research and the development of strategies to protect public health through the wise application of the precautionary principle. Signed:
Fiorella Belpoggi, European Foundadion for Oncology & Environmental Sciences,
B.Ramazzini, Bologna, Italy
Carl F. Blackman, President, Bioelectromagnetics Society (1990-91), Raleigh, NC, USA
Martin Blank, Department of Physiology, Columbia University, New York, USA
Natalia Bobkova, Institute of Cell Biophysics, Pushchino, Moscow Region
Francesco Boella, National Inst. Prevention & Worker Safety, Venice, Italy
Zhaojin Cao, National Institute Environmental Health, Chinese Center for Disease Control, China
Sandro DíAllessandro, Physician, Mayor of Benevento, Italy, (2001-2006)
Enrico DíEmilia, National Institute for Prevention and Worker Safety, Monteporzio, Italy
Emilio Del Giuduice, National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Milan, Italy
Antonella De Ninno,Italian National Agency For Energy, Environment & Technology, Frascati, Italy
Alvaro A. De Sallas,
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Livio Giuliani, East Veneto&South Triol, National Inst. Prevention & Worker Safety, Camerino University
Yury Grigoryev, Institute of Biophysics; Chairman, Russian National Committee NIERP
Settimo Grimaldi, Inst. Neurobiology & Molecular Medicine, National Research, Rome, Italy
Lennart Hardell, Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Orebro, Sweden
Magda Havas, Environmental & Resource Studies, Trent University, Ontario, Canada
Gerard Hyland, Warwick University, UK; International Inst. Biophysics, Germany; EM Radiation Trust, UK
Olle Johansson, Experimental Dermatology Unit, Neuroscience Department, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Michael Kundi, Head,
Institute Environmental Health, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Henry C. Lai, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
Mario Ledda, Inst. Neurobiology & Molecular Medicine, National Council for Research, Rome, Italy
Yi-Ping Lin, Center of Health Risk Assessment & Policy, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Antonella Lisi, Inst. Neurobiology & Molecular Medicine, National Research Council, Rome, Italy
Fiorenzo Marinelli, Institute of Immunocytology, National Research Council, Bologna, Italy
Elihu Richter, Head, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah, Israel
Emanuela Rosola, Inst. Neurobiology & Molecular Medicine, National Research Council, Rome, Italy
Leif Salford, Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, Lund University, Sweden
Nesrin Seyhan, Head, Department of Biophysics; Director, Gazi NIRP Center, Ankara, Turkey
Morando Soffritti, Scientific Director, European Foundation for Oncology & Environmental
Sciences, B. Ramazzini, Bologna, Italy
Stanislaw Szmigielski, Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Warsaw, Poland
Mikhail Zhadin, Institute of Cell Biophysics, Pushchino, Moscow Region
Date of Release
: September 19, 2006. For more information, contact Elizabeth Kelley, Managing Secretariat, International Commission For
Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS), Montepulciano, Italy. Email:
International Commission For Electromagnetic Safety. For information, link to