IDEA Position on Electro-Magnetic Radiation

The Irish Doctors’ Environmental Association believes that a sub-group of the population are particularly sensitive to exposure to different types of electro-magnetic radiation. The safe levels currently advised for exposure to this non-ionising radiation are based solely on its thermal effects. However, it is clear that this radiation also has non-thermal effects, which need to be taken into consideration when setting these safe levels. The electro-sensitivity experienced by some people results in a variety of distressing symptoms which must also be taken into account when setting safe levels for exposure to non-ionising radiation and when planning the siting of masts and transmitters.

  1. An increasing number of people in Ireland are complaining of symptoms which, while they may vary in nature, intensity and duration, can be demonstrated to be clearly related to exposure to electro-magnetic radiation (EMR).
  2. International studies on animals over the last 30 years have shown the potentially harmful effects of exposure to electro-magnetic radiation. In observational studies, animals have shown consistent distress when exposed to EMR. Experiments on tissue cultures and rats have shown an increase in malignancies when exposed to mobile telephone radiation.
  3. Studies on mobile telephone users have shown significant levels of discomfort in certain individuals following extensive use or even, in some cases, following regular short-term use.
  4. The current safe levels for exposure to microwave radiation were determined based solely on the thermal effects of this radiation. There is now a large body of evidence that clearly shows that this is not appropriate, as many of the effects of this type of radiation are not related to these thermal effects.

The Irish Doctors’ Environmental Association believes that the Irish Government should urgently review the information currently available internationally on the topic of the thermal and non-thermal effects of exposure to electro-magnetic radiation with a view to immediately initiating appropriate research into the adverse health effects of exposure to all forms of non-ionising radiation in this country, and into the forms of treatment available elsewhere. Before the results of this research are available, an epidemiological database should be initiated of individuals suffering from symptoms thought to be related to exposure to non-ionising radiation. Those claiming to be suffering from the effects of exposure to electro-magnetic radiation should have their claims investigated in a sensitive and thorough way, and appropriate treatment provided by the State.

The strictest possible safety regulations should be established for the installation of masts and transmitters, and for the acceptable levels of potential exposure of individuals to electro-magnetic radiation.