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Exposure Levels and Current Legislation for Electromagnetic Fields and Health

EMF Exposure Levels & Legislation

Current Legislation and Recommendations.

In 1974 the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) formed a working group that evaluated the problems raised in the field of protection against various types of Non-Ionizing Radiation (NIR), at the IRPA congress in 1977. this working group became the International Committee for Non-Ionizing Radiation (INIRC).

IRPA/INIRC in cooperation with the environmental health sector of the World Health Organization (WHO) develops a series of documents related to health and NIR. At the eighth IRPA congress in 1992, ICNIRP was established as the successor organization to IRPA/INIRC. “The functions of the ICNIRP are to investigate the hazards that may be associated with the different forms of NIR, to develop international recommendations on exposure limits for NIR, and to address all aspects of protection against NIR” [1].


ROYAL DECREE 1066/2001, of September 28, which approves the Regulation that establishes conditions for the protection of the radioelectric public domain, restrictions on radioelectric emissions and health protection measures against radioelectric emissions. [GENERAL SCOPE: SPAIN]

  • Magnetostatic Field: 40 mT;
  • Low Frequency (50 Hz): 5 kV/m, 100 µT;
  • High Frequency (GSM900: 900 MHz): 4.5 W/m2 (450 µW/cm2)

ROYAL DECREE 299/2016, of July 22, on the protection of the health and safety of workers against risks related to exposure to electromagnetic fields. [WORKPLACE SCOPE: SPAIN]

  • Action Values ​​(VA):
  • Magnetostatic Field: 500 µT (pacemaker);
  • Low Frequency B (50 Hz): 1000 µT;
  • High Frequency S (2-6 GHz): 52 W/m2 (140 V/m)

LAW 8/2001, of June 28, for the Management of Radiocommunication Facilities in Castilla-La Mancha. [GENERAL SCOPE: CCAA]

High frequency reference levels (2-300 GHz):

  • General: 4.5 W/m2 (450 µW/cm2)
  • Urban land: 100 mW/m2 (10 µW/cm2)
  • Educational and health centers: 1000 µW/m2 (0.1 µW/cm2)

FORAL LAW 10/2002, of May 6, for the management of telecommunication base stations by unguided electromagnetic waves in the Foral Community of Navarra. [GENERAL SCOPE: CCAA]

  • High frequency reference levels (2-300 GHz):
  • General: 4.5 W/m2 (450 µW/cm2)
  • Prohibition of mobile phone installations within 100 m. schools and health centers.



The levels of the Salzburg Convention (1000 µW/m2) of 1998, agreed on the basis of a study certifying the causal relationship between electromagnetic field levels and numerous adverse health effects, failed to set a real international precedent.

SWITZERLAND: ONIR 1999, Ordinance relating to protection from non-ionizing radiation.

  • Magnetostatic Field: 40 mT;
  • Low Frequency (50 Hz): 5 kV/m * 100 µT;
  • High Frequency (300 GHz): 1000 µW/m2 (61 V/m) * 0.2 µT.

Salzburg Resolution on Mobile Telecommunication Base Stations - Salzburg, June 7-8, 2000.


In the 2007 Bioinitiative Report, an exposure limit of up to 1000 µW/m2 outdoors was recommended, and 100 uW/m2 indoors.

In the updated 2012 Bioinitiative report, the Bioinitiative group proposes a reduction in the exposure limit to 3 µW/m2 indoors. However, in order to meet this requirement it would be necessary to dismantle most of the existing telephone facilities. Therefore, we do not consider it to be a reasonable limit.


The ICNIRP document itself, which calculates the current legal levels, reports in its point "Long-Term Effects":

"As noted above, epidemiological studies have consistently found that daily chronic low-intensity (above 0.3 to 0.4 µT) exposure to a power frequency magnetic field is associated with an increased risk of childhood leukemia. These fields have been classified by IARC as possibly carcinogenic (cancer-causing). However, a causal relationship between magnetic fields and childhood leukemia has not been established, nor have other long-term effects been established. The absence of this causality means that this effect cannot be addressed in the calculation of Basic Restrictions. However, risk management advice, including Considerations on precautionary measures, has been given by WHO (2007 a and b) and others."

(*) Article: ICNIRP standards to limit exposure to variable electric and magnetic fields (1 Hz - 100 kHz). Page 830. Published in: HEALTH PHYSICS 99(6):818-836; 2010

CEM-Ti Recommended Levels

The legal levels in force in Spain, and in most European countries, in our opinion, are extremely permissive.

Because the reference levels are based solely on thermal effects, and not on non-thermal effects of intense exposure to EMF electromagnetic fields.

Consequently, and based on our own experience, we recommend the following exposure levels for critical stays, in which you spend more than 8 hours/day (bedrooms and living room):

  • Low Frequency - B (50 Hz): 0.1 µT [According to Bioinitiative 2007]
  • High Frequency - S (700 MHz - 6 GHz): 100 µW/m2 (interior) * 1000 µW/m2 (exterior) [According to Bioinitiative 2007]