ICT COST Action 281
Potential Health Implications from Mobile Communication Systems
The main objective of the Action was an understanding of possible health impacts of emerging technologies, especially related to communication and information technologies, which may result in exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). Additionally, the Action was created to provide a scientific evaluation of (1) available data for use by various decision makers involved in risk management of EMF, (2) a basis for risk communication efforts related to emerging technologies, (3) EMF and possible health risks, and (4) data on EMF exposures related to emerging technologies on a European level. The main issues tackled by the Action were information and communication technologies, medical applications, EAS/RFID, transport, and other technologies that produce similar EMF. The need for detailed interpretation of scientific data resulted in establishing six working groups dealing with genetic and cytogenetic aspects; mobile communication and children; base station monitoring/dosimetry; statistics; new emerging technologies; and a task force on epidemiology. Examples of important contributions from the Action are as follows. * Thorough review of available papers and scientific data related to the potential health implications from mobile communication systems. * Identification of gaps in the knowledge and main difficulties in the interpretation of the collected research knowledge. * Compilation of guidelines for high quality research and recommendations for further studies. * Identification of new potentially hazardous technologies and applications and of potentially vulnerable groups. Additionally, thematic reports were prepared, summarising scientific comments on the following issues: * Epidemiological studies on the health impact of mobile communication base stations. * Individual statements of concern about health hazards of weak EMF. * Recommendations on international research on genotoxic effects of EMF from mobile communication systems. Dissemination of the results of the Action was also carried out by publication of Watchdog Reports (in 2002 and 2003), the COST 281 Newsletter, and a joint letter from ICNIRP, EBEA, and COST 281 to European Parliament on EMF and human health. Another tool of dissemination of the results of the Action was the COST 281 web page. During the last three years it received between 1000 and 2000 visits each month, showing the high international interest for the results co-ordinated by the Action.
(Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.)