EU 1999

COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz), 1999/519/EC

What it does

In 1999 the EU created a Recommendation on public exposure.  The values in it are taken directly from ICNIRP 1998.  It recommends that Member States introduce these limits for public exposure with certain provisos:

  • taking account of the costs and benefits
  • where the time of exposure is significant

As the name suggests, it is not binding.  The UK and several other European countries have in fact complied. The EU have published a report on implementation of the Recommendation.

The values

The values in the Recommendation are identical to ICNIRP.  For 50 Hz the basic restriction is 2 mA m-2 and the reference levels are 100 μT and 5 kV m-1  (see here for the values at 60 Hz).  The reference levels deliberately have a margin; the fields that actually correspond to the basic restriction are 360 μT and 9 kV m-1 more on how these limits are calculated

Where they apply

The Recommendation specifies that Member States should:

“II.  (b) implement measures according to this framework……when the time of exposure is significant…..  “

“III (c) may take into account criteria, where appropriate, such as duration of the exposure…..”

The preamble states:

“(9)  This recommendation …..applies, in particular, to relevant areas where members of the public spend significant time in relation to the effects covered by this recommendation;”