Summary of the situation report bulletin (1/2018) published online

This summer, the annual joint meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS) and the European Bioelectromagnetics Association (EBEA) was held June 24-29 in Piran, Slovenia. At this BioEM2018 conference, ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) presented the draft of its new guidelines for the frequency range from 100 kHz to 300 GHz. The guidelines for extremely low-frequency fields remain unchanged for now.

As noted in earlier bulletins, the Finnish radiation legislation is currently being revised. For the time being, the new radiation act and the decree on non-ionizing radiation are still underway.

Again, I have found new scientific publications of interest for this bulletin. This time, some of the topics are a bit different than what has been dealt with before. I also included a paper on honey bees for a change, while the main focus will continue to be on human research.

The current bulletin starts more traditionally, with papers on childhood leukemia.

One interesting paper is the Finnish pilot study on maternal exposure to intermediate frequency magnetic fields from electronic article surveillance systems and potential reproductive outcomes.

Once again, the bulletin concludes with two papers on occupational exposure.

Hope you enjoy reading this summary in English!

Summary of the situation report bulletin (2/2017) published online

Since the summer, a few interesting international workshops have taken place. The one held by COST EMF-MED in October in Vienna dealt with topics such as the safety of medical, esthetic and cosmetic devices using electromagnetic fields.

Another international workshop, held by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz) on 12–14 December in Munich, focused on the relationship between neurodegenerative diseases and magnetic field exposure.

The new Finnish radiation legislation is still in preparation. The new radiation act and the decree on non-ionizing radiation are expected to come into force during 2018.

I have found interesting scientific publications for this bulletin. The first one is a CIGRE Reference Paper, basically a statement based on studies carried out on electric and magnetic fields so far. CIGRE, or the Council on Large Electric Systems, is an international non-profit association that actively monitors the health effects of electric power systems.

For example, papers explore topics such as the exposure of adolescents to magnetic fields in Israel and the investigation of electromagnetic hypersensitivity, with the help of participants using mobile exposure units at home. The final paper on neonatal incubators was included because electromagnetic fields, in this context, is an issue that has evoked some interest among researchers in recent years.

Hope you enjoy reading this summary in English!

Summary of the situation report bulletin (1/2017) published online

The summer is full of different congresses. One of those already held, on 5–9 June in Hangzhou, China, was the annual BioEM conference (BioEM2017) on electromagnetic fields. This year, the event features included different workshops on topical issues. Short abstracts for the presentations held at the conference are available online.

The Finnish radiation legislation in currently being revised. The new radiation act has been circulated for comments but will not, as far as I know, come into force until 1 January 2018. Also, work has progressed on the preparation of other regulations. The decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on restricting public exposure to non-ionizing radiation is currently being circulated for comments until 14 August. This will be followed up in the next bulletins.

I have found some interesting scientific publications for this bulletin. The first paper discusses the association between childhood leukemia and environmental exposure, including but not limited to electromagnetic fields. It was interesting to find that research has been carried out in respect of other environmental factors as well.

The next paper focuses not only on extremely low-frequency but also on intermediate-frequency electromagnetic fields. A few years ago, the issue was raised at different conferences that no research had been conducted on intermediate-frequency fields so far. That situation seems to have changed now.

As many times before, the bulletin concludes with papers on occupational exposure. This time there are two of them, dealing with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and central nervous system disease.

Hope you enjoy reading this summary in English!

Summary of the situation report bulletin (2/2016) published online

In December, an “International Workshop on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection” (2016 NICT/ICNIRP WS) was organized by ICNIRP in Tokyo, Japan. The main focus of this event was on radio-frequency electromagnetic fields. As regards extremely low-frequency fields, I am not aware of any international events of particular interest having taken place in the fall.

As to my knowledge, guidelines and standards are being produced, both nationally and internationally, in relation to the Directive 2013/35/EU on the “minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields)”, and the same applies to the Finnish Government Decree on the protection of workers from risks related to electromagnetic fields.

I have once again found some interesting publications for this bulletin. The first papers discuss the exposure of children to magnetic fields, with results, for example, from France and Italy.

In Germany, an interesting approach was adopted to investigate how far a high-voltage power line should be located for it to be accepted and considered safe. The paper suggests that the way information is provided has an impact.

Towards the end of the bulletin, there is a paper on a topic that reaches beyond what we usually discuss here. It deals with the safety and interaction of patients with implantable cardiac defibrillators driving a hybrid vehicle.

Hope you enjoy reading this summary in English!

Summary of the situation report bulletin (1/2016) published online

The Finnish Government Decree (388/2016) relating to the Directive 2013/35/EU on the “minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields)” came into force on 1 July 2016. Moreover, a practical guide has been issued, with advice on how to control hazards caused by electromagnetic fields in workplaces.

I have once again found some interesting publications for this bulletin. As many times before, the first papers are about field exposure and childhood leukemia, this time including one on the European Commission-funded ARIMMORA project, which I expect to produce further interesting publications later on.

Another paper reports on a study that investigated the perceived quality of life, among other things, in people with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields. Hopefully, research will find means to help those suffering from these symptoms.

Finally, I would like to mention that this is the first situation report bulletin produced outside Tampere University of Technology. I found interesting new challenges outside TUT, but the situation report bulletin will continue despite the change.

Hope you enjoy reading this summary in English!