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ITU app provides reliable information on wireless safety

Digital transformation is key to development ambitions worldwide. But while investing to expand their digital infrastructure, countries have faced a communication challenge of a different kind: the need to address public concerns.

This means giving people clear information on safety dimensions, particularly of the electromagnetic fields (EMF) associated with wireless communications.

The ‘EMF Guide mobile app’ from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) provides governments, city planners and citizens with reliable information on the behaviour of EMF, along with internationally agreed mechanisms for EMF management.

The app explains the increasing importance of wireless technologies to business and daily life, answers questions about the relationship between EMF and our health, and shares the latest EMF information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and ITU.

The latest version – including the latest information on EMF in relation to 5G services – was presented at an ITU forum on 10 May 2021.

WHO and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) have issued authoritative guidance on human exposure to EMF, and ITU standards support the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in applying this guidance.

To learn more, see the forum recording.

The forum was convened by ITU’s standardization expert group for ‘environment, climate change and circular economy’, ITU-T Study Group 5.

“The international standards developed by ITU-T Study Group 5 assist in ensuring citizens’ safety and, very importantly, they help administrations to provide clear information on EMF to the communities that they serve,” said Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

ITU’s standards include guidance on long-term measurements in the monitoring of EMF, with the goal of providing the public with accessible data on EMF levels. These standards also underpin ITU’s EMF Estimator Software, which calculates EMF levels in the vicinity of radiocommunication installations such as mobile base stations.

“As we have seen during the pandemic, access to reliable information is a matter of public safety,” concluded Lee.

ITU’s EMF Guide mobile app is based on Supplement 1 to the ITU K-series standards, ‘Guide on electromagnetic fields and health’, developed ITU-T Study Group 5.

To learn more about the app, see the forum presentation by Mike Wood, Associate Rapporteur for ITU-T Study Group 5’s working group on ‘human exposure to EMF due to digital technologies’ (Q3/5).

For more, see ITU’s EMF portal and backgrounder on 5G, human exposure to EMF and health.

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