The Expert View


The scientific evidence on EMFs is presented in the science.  This section deals with what the experts have said about the science.

Scientific review groups

Here we summarise what different national and international review bodies have concluded about that evidence.

See here for the UK Stakeholder Advisory Group on EMFs (SAGE) report on possible precautionary measures.

UK Government

In the UK, the ultimate authority on matters concerning public health is, of course, the Government and it has regularly expressed its policies on EMFs over recent years:

Government response to the SAGE process - the most recent authoritative statement of the Government position on EMFs.

Parliamentary Q&As – a summary of over 40 Parliamentary Questions asked and answers given since March 2001.

Decisions about new lines - how the Government has responded when concerns about EMFs have been raised in connection with proposed new lines.

"The possible health effects that might arise from persons being exposed to the EMFs emitted from this section of line do not therefore provide sufficient grounds for refusing the Necessary Wayleave to keep this section of line in situ."

2007 Decision

see also a one-page summary of the UK policy position

Other UK organisations whose views are often sought include:

Health Protection Agency - independent advisers to the UK Government. The HPA and their Advisory Group AGNIR have made several statements about EMFs recently, including new advice on limiting exposures in 2004. Read a summary of their key conclusions.

Health and Safety Executive - responsible for promoting health and safety at work

“…HSE does not consider it appropriate to recommend further restrictions…”
HSE statement on EMFs

Institution of Engineering and Technology

“At low frequencies, the cumulative evidence from the large body of literature built up from intensive research over the past 25 years suggests that the existence of harmful health effects remains unlikely.”
IEE Position Statement 2006

In 2007, a "Cross-Party Inquiry" of 5 MPs funded by the charity Children with Leukaemia published a report on EMFs.

Outside the UK

Numerous international bodies have made pronouncements on EMFs. To see some of the more important:

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed EMFs and cancer in June 2001, and classified magnetic fields as “possibly” carcinogenic.

The World Health Organization runs an International EMF Project and published a major review in 2007.

Europe – several different European bodies have been active on EMFs. See a summary of their key conclusions.