Question 23/1 Strategies and policies concerning human exposure to electromagnetic fields

1 Statement of the situation

The deployment of different sources of electromagnetic fields to cater for the telecommunication and ICT needs of urban and rural communities has developed very rapidly over the past ten (10) years. This has been due to strong competition, ongoing traffic growth, quality of service requirements, network coverage extension and the introduction of new technologies.

It has produced concern on the possible effects of prolonged exposure to emissions on people's health.

This concern on the part of populations is growing, aggravated by the feeling that they are not being kept informed of the process for deploying these installations; hence many complaints received by operators and government bodies responsible for radiocommunications/ICTs.

Thus, since the continued development of radiocommunications requires trust on the part of populations, the work carried out in ITU-R Study Group 1 Working Party 1C and ITU-T Study Group 5 under Resolution 72, on measurement concerns related to human exposure to electromagnetic fields, should be complemented by studies on the different regulatory and communication mechanisms developed by countries to increase the awareness of and information to populations and facilitate the deployment and operation of radiocommunication systems.

2 Question for study

The following subjects should be studied:

  1. To compile and analyse the regulatory policies concerning human exposure to electromagnetic fields that are being considered or being undertaken for authorizing the installation of radiocommunication sites and Power Lines Telecommunications systems.

  2. To describe the strategies or methods for raising the awareness of populations and information to populations regarding the effects of electromagnetic fields due to radiocommunication systems.

  3. To propose guidelines and best practices on this matter.

3 Expected outcome

  1. A report to the membership presenting guidelines to assist Member States in resolving similar problems faced by regulatory bodies.

  2. The report will provide regulatory authorities with guidelines on methods for raising the awareness of populations along with best practices based on countries' experience in the matter.

4 Timeline

A provisional report is to be presented to the Study Group in 2012. It is proposed that the study be completed in 2013, at which date a final report containing guidelines will be submitted.

5 Authors of proposal

African common proposal.

6 Source of contributions

  • Member States, Sector Members

  • Regional Organizations

  • ITU Sectors

  • World Health Organization

  • International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

  • BDT focal points.

7 Target audience of study

Target audience of study

Developed countries

Developing countries1

Telecommunication/ICT decision makers, local authorities



Telecommunication/ICT regulators



Service providers/operators



Constructors/equipment providers






  1. Methods proposed for implementing the outcome.

  2. The output of the studies will be disseminated as output from the activities of the ITU-D study groups. Given the importance of the issue, however, BDT might also organize meetings or seminars at regional level, possibly with the collaboration of regional telecommunication organizations, in order to disseminate the output of the study of the Question.

8 Methods proposed for handling the Question

Within the framework of Study Group 1.

9 Coordination

The coordination required will necessitate close cooperation with ITU-R Study Group 1 Working Party 1C and ITU-T Study Group 5 and its working parties, ITU-D Study Groups and other international or regional organizations dealing with issues related to the subject.

10 Other useful information

Any other information that may become available during the period of validity of the Question.

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1 This includes least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing states (SIDS), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and countries with economies in transition.