Advice to limit exposure

Electromagnetic fields and microwave or radiofrequency radiation (RF) from a wide range of commonly used products and infrastructure installations can pose serious health risks. It is therefore important to reduce exposure as much as possible and adopt the ALARA (As Low as Reasonably Achievable) principle.

Do not wait until health problems have occurred. Instead strive to prevent them from occurring.

ICNIRP and FCC limits allow exposure known to be harmful

ICNIRP and FCC limits do not sufficiently protect against harmful effects. Environmental and health effects are well documented far below the ICNIRP and the FCC limits.

Most countries around the world have adopted laws and regulations that do not sufficiently protect against the harmful effects of long-term exposure.  For microwave/RF radiation from wireless technologies, the ICNIRP and FCC (USA) limits only protect against immediate heating effects that occur when the radiation is so intense that it causes thermal harmful effects within a short time of exposure (less than an hour). The ICNIRP and FCC limits allow industry to expose the public to levels  that are known to cause harmful effects levels, particularly when the exposure is chronic as in real life today.

For low-frequency magnetic fields from sources like for instance power lines, electricity lines and transformers, ICNIRP and the FCC limits also only takes into account immediate effects. They offer no protection against harmful long-term effects from chronic exposure such as cancer or neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and ALS for instance.

This means that the limits adopted by most countries around the world do not protect against demonstrated effects including cancer, Alzheimer’s, sleep disorders, headaches, dizziness, memory problems, depression, thyroid disorders, impaired immune system, heart problems, harmful effects on sperms and reproduction and negative effects on the unborn child.

Independent scientists’ recommendations

Scientists and medical doctors, independent of the industry concerned, (electricity companies, telecom companies) have repeatedly called for a review of current limits. The limits need to be much stricter if they are to protect against evidenced harmful health effects.

Below is a table displaying the huge difference in the limits recommended by ICNIRP/WHO/EU on one hand and the maximum exposure levels recommended by industry independent experts and physicians:

Year                  microW/m2                   Organization/country

1998              10 000 000                          ICNIRP (EU, WHO, Sverige and others)

2000                    95 000                            Switzerland

2001                    95 000                             Italy

2012                        3- 6                               Bioinitiative Group

2016                  0,1-100                              EuropaEM EMF Guidelines


Children are particularly sensitive

Not all are equally sensitive. In general children, the unborn babies, the elderly and those with a compromised immune system or with a previous exposure to toxins (chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, mould) are particularly sensitive to this radiation. Also women are in general more sensitive than men. Sensitivity to these radiations among the general population can vary considerably, fact that was observed already five decades ago.

Our main recommendations

  • Keep your exposure to this radiation as low as possible according to the ALARA principle.
  • Small children, pregnant women and parents holding babies in their arms should not use mobile phones or at least only for very short verbal communications and text messages.
  • Mobile phones should never be kept close to the body when not turned off.
  • Use loudspeaker and hold out the phone from the body when talking on the mobile phone.
  • Prioritize fixed land lines for longer communications and cabled internet connections.
  • Avoid wireless communication technologies in general, for instance wireless WiFi internet connections, headsets, baby monitors, computer games, printers, keyboards, mouse, home surveillance systems.

EuropaEM EMF guidelines’ recommendations

In 2016 a group of medical doctors and scientists published the paper EuropaEM EMF Guidelines in which they recommended maximum limits for exposure to this kind of radiation.  They concluded:

 “In general, a wide variety of EMF exposure types (static fields, ELF, VLF, and RF) should be considered.

  • ELF magnetic fields may originate from, e.g. 12 V transformers, transformer stations, net currents on the electric wiring, water pipes, and other conductive materials, infrared heaters, heating blankets and different types of power lines.
  • ELF electric fields may originate from, e.g. electrical wiring, lamps, and appliances.
  • VLF magnetic fields (”dirty power”) and/or VLF electric fields (“dirty electricity”) may be emitted from electronic devices like energy-efficient lighting, electronic transformers, induction cooker, variable speed frequency drives, light dimmer switches, power line communication (PLC) connected to the electrical grid. These devices use current and/or voltage in short pulses that might produce harmonics and VLF transients on the electrical circuits, earthed materials and the ground.
  • Typical RF radiation sources include, e.g. cordless phones (DECT), wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi), mobile phones and their base stations, radio and TV broadcast antennas, radar (military, airport, marine, and weather), Bluetooth, and the microwave ovens.

In the sleeping area, the most important exposure point is the head and trunk region followed by all other points with chronic or high exposure.”

Precautionary maximum exposure limits

For magnetic fields the following precautionary guidance values were recommended:

ELF magnetic field Daytime exposure Nighttime exposure Sensitive populations
Arithmetic mean (AVG) 100 nT (1 mG) 100 nT (1 mG) 30 nT (0.3 mG)
Maximum (MAX) 1000 nT (10 mG) 1000 nT (10 mG) 300 nT (3 mG)

In areas where people spend extended periods of time (>4 h. per day), minimize exposure to ELF magnetic fields to levels as low as possible or below the precautionary guidance values specified below.

For full body exposure to microwave or radiofrequency radiation from mobile phone masts, WiFi routers, smart meters etc. the following recommendations of maximum exposure are given:

RF source Max Peak/Peak Hold Daytime exposure Nighttime exposure Sensitive populations
Radio broadcast (FM) 10,000 μW/m2 1000 μW/m2 100 μW/m2
TETRA 1000 μW/m2 100 μW/m2 10 μW/m2
DVBT 1000 μW/m2 100 μW/m2 10 μW/m2
GSM (2G) 900/1800 MHz 100 μW/m2 10 μW/m2 1 μW/m2
DECT (cordless phone) 100 μW/m2 10 μW/m2 1 μW/m2
UMTS (3G) 100 μW/m2 10 μW/m2 1 μW/m2
LTE (4G) 100 μW/m2 10 μW/m2 1 μW/m2
GPRS (2.5G) with PTCCH* (8.33 Hz pulsing) 10 μW/m2 1 μW/m2 0.1 μW/m2
DAB+ (10.4 Hz pulsing) 10 μW/m2 1 μW/m2 0.1 μW/m2
Wi-Fi 2.4/5.6 GHz (10 Hz pulsing) 10 μW/m2 1 μW/m2 0.1 μW/m2


  • Keep mobile phone/smartphone and cordless phone calls short; use the speakerphone function or a hands-free kit.
  • Avoid wearing the mobile phone/smartphone close to the body.
  • Deactivate all non-essential wireless mobile phone apps, which cause periodic radiation exposure.
  • Keep mobile phones/smartphones in “airplane mode” whenever possible or deactivate mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and near field communication (NFC) in the smartphone settings.
  • Disconnect (unplug) the power supply of all DECT cordless phone base stations. So called “ECO Mode” or “zero-emission” DECT phones are only conditionally recommended because the exposure by the handset is still present. A “traditional” corded phone is recommended instead.
  • Disconnect (unplug) the power supply to all Wi-Fi access points or Wi-Fi routers. Many LAN routers now come equipped with additional Wi-Fi. Call the provider of the LAN router and ask to have the Wi-Fi deactivated. It is usually also possible to do so online by following the provider’s instructions.
  • In case of external RF radiation sources, rooms – especially bedrooms – facing away from the source should be chosen.
  • Avoid powerline communication for Internet access (dLAN) and instead use a hardwired Ethernet cable (LAN).
  • Avoid exposure to RF radiation (e.g. wireless devices like, home entertainment, headsets, baby monitors, computer games, printers, keyboards, mouse, home surveillance systems) at home, in offices, and in cars.
  • Avoid exposure to energy-efficient lighting (compact fluorescent lamps as well as some LEDs generate high frequency transients). These types of lamps can be replaced with incandescent or line-voltage halogen incandescent lamps until good-quality lighting energy-efficient lamps become commercially available.

Read the full paper: EuropaEM EMF Guidelines

Further recommendations

Wienna medical chamber and Cyprus medical association recommendations Link