No evidence of long-term health risk from electromagnetic fields

Public uncertainty over the long-term health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) from electricity transmission and distribution networks is due to poor management communication, says Eurelectric, the union of the electricity industry in Europe.

The overwhelming balance of scientific research results show no evidence of long-term health effects from exposure to power-frequency, says Eurelectric. Public uncertainty and criticism of the industry, however, have incurred significant expense to electricity companies, through enforced delays and changes to projects and plans, says the organisation.

The report, The Role of Risk Communication in EMF Issue Management, describes the results of existing research into possible health consequences of EMF and discusses the approach of companies communicating on the issue. One key lesson, says Eurelectric, is that one-way communication of data is not sufficient. Risk communication is a two-way process dealing with feelings as well as facts. The EMF issue requires managers to be skilled in communicating on ethical questions, and that they are able to take individual values into account.

The Role of Risk Communication in EMF Issue Management will soon be available free of charge from the Eurelectric website.

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