Electromagnetic fields (EMF)

Scientific reviews


International scientific reviews were conducted mainly with the purpose of identifying;

  • health effects that can be substantiated from the literature, and
  • biological effects that are suggestive of possible health effects, but require further research to determine if exposure to EMF at the low levels of exposure normally encountered in the living and working environment has any impact on health.


  • To review the status of the science
  • To identify gaps in knowledge needing further research to make better health risk assessments
  • To promote focused research in the areas identified above


  • Proceedings of the scientific meeting published by ICNIRP;
  • Working group reports published in a scientific peer-reviewed journal, giving the status of the science, gaps in knowledge needing further research and a prioritized research agenda.

WHO, through its International EMF Project, has conducted a series of in-depth international reviews of the scientific literature on the biological and health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields:

  • International Seminar on Biological Effects of RF Electromagnetic Fields and Related Health Risks. Munich, Germany. 20-21 November 1996
  • International Seminar on Biological Effects of Static and ELF Electric and Magnetic Fields and related Health Risks. Bologna, Italy. 4-5 June 1997
  • International Workshop on Electromagnetic Fields and Non-Specific Health Symptoms. Graz, Austria. 19-20 September 1998
  • International Seminar on Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields in the Frequency Range 300 Hz to 10 MHz. Maastricht, The Netherlands. 7- 8 June 1999
  • International Seminar on Effects of Electromagnetic Fields on the Living Environment. Ismaning, Germany. 4-5 October 1999
  • International Seminar on Pulsed Radiofrequency Field Exposure Health Consequences and Standards. Erice, Italy. 21-27 November 1999
  • Workshop on Adverse Temperature Levels in the Human Body. WHO Geneva, Switzerland. 21-22 March 2002
  • WHO Workshop on Sensitivity of Children to EMF Exposure. Istanbul, Turkey. 9-10 June 2004
  • WHO International Seminar and Working Group meeting on EMF Hypersensitivity. Prague, Czech Republic. 25-26 October 2004
  • Workshop on guiding public health policy in areas of scientific uncertainty. Ottawa, Canada. 11-13 July 2005