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New mobile app offers guide to electromagnetic fields

App launched to provide clarity on public health concerns

Geneva, 18 December 2014 – A new ITU mobile application provides a guide to electromagnetic fields (EMF) which have raised public health concerns as a country’s mobile network infrastructure expands. ITU standards are designed to ensure the responsible consideration of human exposure to EMF.

The mobile app, ‘EMF Guide’, was launched at an ‘ITU Forum on Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields’ in Kochi, India, on 15 December 2014, organized in collaboration with the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India.

The new app, especially developed by experts working in ITU-T Study Group 5 for smart phones, tablets and desktops, offers an introduction to EMF and their relationship with health, as well as the various internationally agreed guidelines and standards designed to ensure safety in the use of mobile phones and other wireless technologies. A version will be available on app stores in 2015.

“The application of technical best practices and standards to safeguard public health must be matched by communication with the public to increase the transparency of regulators and operators’ actions in this domain,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré in a message. “The launch of this new mobile app will be effective in increasing public understanding of EMF, and help address citizens’ concerns.”

“ITU’s efforts to raise the profile of its work in the EMF field have been welcome in India,” said Mr Ram Narain, Deputy Director General (International Relations), Department of Telecommunications. “India’s ICT industry is one of the fastest-growing in the world, and it is crucial that we continue to encourage ICT industry growth while we take effective steps to address health concerns and provide an assurance to the public that their health is protected.” This was echoed by several speakers during the conference.

ITU-T Study Group 5 studies EMF issues and the resulting standards (ITU-T Recommendations) give operators, manufacturers and government agencies the tools required to assess the EMF levels attributable to telecommunication and radiocommunication systems and to verify compliance with World Health Organization (WHO) recommended human-exposure guidelines, or more stringent national requirements where they exist.

The launch of the new mobile app, and ITU forums, such as the one held in Kochi, respond to Resolution 176 of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference and Resolution 72 of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, which call on ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) to expand its work on EMF in such a way as to raise awareness of the mechanisms available for the responsible management of human exposure to EMF.

The Kochi meeting also approved a technical report on EMF considerations in smart sustainable cities that aims to promote good policy and practice in the deployment of ICT. The technical report will support initiatives such as the Indian government objective of building 100 smart cities across the country.

For more information, please visit the ITU-T EMF portal or contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
telephone +41 22 730 5046
tel +41 79 249 4861
tel sanjay.acharya@itu.int


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