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Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27July 2010 ICNIRP: Organization, Methodology, Activities Paolo Vecchia ICNIRP Chairman ITU-T Workshop on Delivering Good Quality.

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Presentation on theme: "Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27July 2010 ICNIRP: Organization, Methodology, Activities Paolo Vecchia ICNIRP Chairman ITU-T Workshop on Delivering Good Quality."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27July 2010 ICNIRP: Organization, Methodology, Activities Paolo Vecchia ICNIRP Chairman ITU-T Workshop on Delivering Good Quality Telecommunication Service in a Safe Environment in Africa (Nairobi, Kenya, 26 July – 27 July 2010 )

2 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July What is ICNIRP? ICNIRP is an independent scientific organization that: provides guidance and advice on the health hazards of non-ionizing radiation develops international guidelines on limiting exposure to non-ionizing radiation that are independent and science based provides science based guidance and recommendations on protection from non-ionizing radiation exposure

3 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July 2010 MAIN COMMISSION A. GreenAustralia M. FeychtingSweden J. LinUSA R. MatthesGermany A. PeraltaPhilippines R. Saunders UK P. SoederbergSweden K. SchuelmeisterAustria B. StuckUSA A. SwerdlowUK B. VeyretFrance E. van RongenThe Netherlands P. VecchiaItalyChairman R. MatthesGermanyVice Chairman G. ZiegelbergerGermanyScientific Secretary M.H. RepacholiSwitzerlandChairman Emeritus

4 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July A multi-disciplinary approach Individual competences Medicine Biology Toxicology Epidemiology Physics Engineering Collective evaluation

5 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Standing Committees SC I – Epidemiology Chair: Antony Swerdlow (UK) SC II – Biology and Medicine Chair: Richard Saunders (UK) SC III – Physics and Engineering Chair: James Lin (USA) SC IV – Optical radiation Chair: Per Söderberg (Sweden)

6 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Where to find details on ICNIRPs methodology? ICNIRP Statement GENERAL APROACH TO PROTECTION AGAINST NON- IONIZING RADIATION Health Physics 82: (2002)

7 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Fundamentals of ICNIRP Guidelines Procedures and criteria are defined a priori Restrictions are based on science. No consideration for economic or social issues Only established effects are considered

8 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Review of the literature All published studies are taken into consideration The evidence is weighted based upon: Scientific quality Replicability Consistency

9 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Development of guidelines Critical review of the literature Identification of health effects and biological effects relevant for health Identification of the critical effect Establishment of basic restrictions Derivation of reference levels

10 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Hierarchy of data Biological models Dosimetry Biological models Dosimetry animals cells epidemiology humans

11 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Different protection systems Depending on the effects the appropriate system is chosen: Health threshold based system Adequate for established threshold effects Optimization system Adequate for no-threshold known hazards Precautionary measures Adequate for suspected hazards

12 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Established effects of RF fields Absorption of electromagnetic energy Increase of body temperature (general or local) Thermal effects (with threshold)

13 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Biologically effective quantity Thermal effects are related to SAR, i.e. to to the energy absorbed per unit time and per unit body mass (W/kg). SAR is the biologically effective quantity for RF fields.

14 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Threshold-based approach Exposure level Established health effects Reduction factor Safe exposure Threshold of effects Exposure limit

15 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Present ICNIRP Standard ICNIRP Guideline GUIDELINES FOR LIMITING EXPOSURE TO TIME-VARYING ELECTRIC, MAGNETIC, AND ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS (UP TO 300 GHZ) Health Physics 74: (1998)

16 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Crucial questions Are guidelines for RF fields outdated? When will the guidelines be revised? Will the protection system change in the future? Will exposure limits change in the future?

17 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Evolution of ICNIRP Guidelines RF (interim) 1984 RF /60 Hz fields (interim) 1990 Static magnetic fields1994 Time-varying EMF >0 Hz-300 GHz1998 Basic features of guidelines have not changed over the time

18 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Are the RF Guidelines outdated? Guidelines for time-varying fields last updated in 1998 Old does not necessarily mean not valid any longer Long duration is in general a proof of good norms A balance between stability and updating is needed

19 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Revision of standards Why? How? When?

20 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Why to revise a standard? New scientific evidence (new effects, changes in thresholds, refinement of dosimetry) New technologies (revision of safety factors, possibility of relaxation) Outdated research database

21 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Not good reasons to revise a science-based standard Social pressure Different regulations issued by national or local authorities Time passed from last revision

22 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July How to revise a standard? Depending on the evaluation of the literature, the guidelines may be subject to: Global revision Refinement/clarification Confirmation

23 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July When to revise a standard? The revision of a standard is a long process that involves different bodies: Review of science ICNIRP Evaluation of carcinogenicity IARC Global risk evaluationWHO-ICNIRP Update of standardsICNIRP

24 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July The example of ELF fields IARC 2002WHO 2007 ICNIRP 2003 ICNIRP 2010 (September ?)

25 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July The case of RF fields ICNIRP 2012 (?) (Confirmation statement 2009) ICNIRP 2009 IARC 2011 (?) (Evaluation May 2011) WHO 2012 (?)

26 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Confirmation of the RF standard Health Physics 97: (2009)

27 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Confirmation of established effects It is the opinion of ICNIRP, that the scientific literature published since the 1998 guidelines has provided no evidence of any adverse effects below the basic restrictions and does not necessitate an immediate revision of its guidance on limiting exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields.

28 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Evaluation of long-term effects ICNIRP recently published a review of the scientific evidence on the health effects of radiofrequency exposure from mobile phones. We found the existing evidence did not support an increased risk of brain tumours in mobile phone users within the duration of use yet investigated.

29 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July ICNIRP on the Interphone Study The subsequent publication of the Interphone study has added greatly to the volume of evidence available. ICNIRP believes on preliminary review of the results, however, that they do not change the overall conclusions. ICNIRP therefore considers that the results of the Interphone study give no reason for alteration of the current guidelines.

30 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July Conclusions (Personal views) A balance is needed between updating and stability of standards The scientific evidence is consolidated and risk evaluations are unlikely to change Most probably, the next revision of RF guidelines will not compromise the adequateness of present limits Relevant modifications of basic restrictions and reference levels are unlikely to occur in the future

31 Nairobi, Kenya, 26 – 27 July THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION


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