Keep calm and use your phone

Keep calm and use your phone: scientific evidence once again shows that antennas and other transmitters that offer mobile telephony services have no adverse health effect.

In Parliament yesterday, Nationalist MP Robert Cutajar asked Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne to ascertain that the antennas and other similar transmitters installed on the roofs of residential or company properties that offer mobile telephony across Malta, are not causing any harm to the health of the residents who live in the surrounding areas of the locations of these devices.

The Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that there is no scientific evidence of adverse health effects as long as the exposure to electromagnetic waves remains in line with the levels recommended by EU law.

Add to this, the local spectrum of electromagnetic waves as emitted by antennas and other transmitters are subject to the EU laws regarding public health. This includes the European Parliament’s 2004/40/EC Directive on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents; and the 1999/519/EC European Council Recommendation on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz).

There is no scientific evidence of adverse health effects as long as the exposure to electromagnetic waves remains in line with the levels recommended by EU law.

The limits imposed by the above-mentioned directives are based on the recommendations by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), an international commission specialized in non-ionizing radiation protection. The organization’s activities include determining exposure limits for electromagnetic fields used by devices such as cellular phones.

The limits as listed by the ICNIRP have a wide security margin, and it has been shown and scientifically proven that till this day, no cases of ill effects on the public’s health have been registered. This has also been confirmed by SCHENIHR, the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks, which is one of the independent scientific committees managed by the Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection of the European Commission.

In 2015, SCHENIHR updated its final opinion on the potential health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields (​EMF). This opinion portrayed how current scientific research stated that there is no evidence of adverse health effect as long as the exposure remains in line with the levels recommended by EU law.

Locally, the Malta Communications Authority (MCA), which is the authority responsible to carry out the necessary checks on electromagnetic fields, ensures that non-ionising radiation emissions do not go beyond the amount set in the said guidelines.

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