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 Thursday, 21 October 2010
Human exposure to and measurement of electromagnetic fields

The ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) and the ITU Telecommunications Sector (ITU-T) are collaborating with other expert organizations in work relating to human exposure to electromagnetic fields. ITU has expertise in calculating and measuring the field strength and power density of radio signals, while WHO and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) have specialized health expertise and competence to assess the impact of radio waves on the human body.

Today the Plenipotentiary Conference adopted a new resolution that will spur ITU work in this area to assist national administrations, particularly in developing countries. ITU will collect and disseminate information on exposure to electromagnetic fields, and on methods of measuring exposure.

Regional seminars and workshops will be held to build human capacity, and Member States are expected to share their expertise and resources. The Council and the next Plenipotentiary Conference will get reports on the matter.

Guidelines on limits of exposure to electromagnetic fields have been established by ICNIRP, the International Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC). The new resolution sets out a complementary role for ITU in supporting Member States in measuring exposure and in related capacity-building.