NFP 57 Newsletter
Issue 01/2007, July 2, 2007
News on the Swiss National Research Programme on risks related to electromagnetic radiation
NRP 57 news
All projects underway
Work has now begun on all of the research projects that are being supported in the framework of NRP 57. The successful launch took place in February of this year, and the research teams presented their research plans at the kick-off meeting in March. Detailed information on all 11 projects is available at the NRP 57 Web site.
«Qualifex» project launches Web site
The NRP 57 research project «Qualifex» conducted by Martin Röösli and colleagues will measure and model the exposure of a general population sample to different sources of radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF). The study addresses the question of whether EMF exposure under real life conditions can cause symptoms or impair health-related quality of life. To provide information to the study participants and other interested persons, the project group has launched a Qualifex project Web site.
Information events well attended
At two information meetings in April and June 2007, the NRP 57 presented the research programme and discussed it with the participants. The first event was intended for the federal, cantonal, and municipal authorities. The second information meeting was held for interested parties in the wider public. The good attendance and active participation at both meetings indicates broad interest in the NRP 57. The slides of the presentations made at the public information meeting are available in German for viewing at the NRP 57 Web site.
Federal Council replies to parliamentary request concerning NRP 57
On March 23, 2007, Member of the National Council Franziska Teuscher (Green Party) submitted a parliamentary request to the Federal Council concerning the independence of the Steering Committee of NRP 57. The Federal Council replied on June 8, 2007. The full-text parliamentary request and the Federal Council’s reply are available at the Federal Assembly Web site in German or French.
NRP 57 news
Prof. Dr. Niels Kuster of the IT’IS Foundation and head of an NRP 57 research project was appointed President Elect of the Bioelectromagnetic Society at its annual meeting in June 2007.
Prof. Dr. Michael Siegrist of the ETH Zurich and head of an NRP 57 research project, among presentations by representatives of the industry and authorities, made an interesting presentation at Science Brunch 6 held by the Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communication in June, 2007 on the topic of experts’ and laymen’s perceptions of the health risk of mobile phones and base stations.
The Annual Report 2006 of the Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communication contains an interview with Prof. em. Dr. Alexander Borbély, President of the Steering Committee of the NRP 57, on the research programme.
Subsequent to a report on wireless networks adopted by the Federal Council, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has published an article on radiation and health aspects. The report of the Federal Council is available in German or French. The article in the Bulletin of the FOPH can be downloaded in German or French.
On behalf of the Federal Council and the Federal Supreme Court, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) has published a review of the literature on high frequency radiation and health. The report is based on almost 150 scientific publications published in the period from 2003 to September 2006. The report concludes that there are still many knowledge gaps as regards health effects associated with high frequency radiation; the existing limit values remain valid. The report is available in German with a detailled summary in English.
The World Health Organization published Environmental Health Criteria Monograph No. 238 on Extremely Low Frequency Fields (ELF EMF) in June 2007. There is also a new fact sheet available on exposure to extremely low frequency fields
WHO EHC Monograph No. 238
WHO Fact sheet No. 322
Also, an international report by the «Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR)» of the European Commission on «Possible effects of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on Human Health» was published in May 2007. The report summarises research efforts to date and stresses the need for further research in the EMF field.
To the report
For new publications, RWTH Aachen University maintains a continuously updated EMF-Portal, a Web-based information platform for published scientific literature on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields.