What are the national guidelines?

Currently, in the UK the guidelines in place for public exposure to electro-magnetic fields are ones that were issued in 1998 by an organisation named ICNIRP (International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Prevention.) The values of these guidelines (100uT) are based on research carried out in the 1950’s. These guidelines state, in layman’s terms, that if non-ionizing radiation is NOT causing a thermal effect, then there’s no reason to be concerned. 

However, since then a lot more research has taken place on the adverse effects of prolonged exposure to electro-magnetic fields with a vast amount of the research indicating that negative biological effects occur well below the thermal value (or the 100uT value). Indeed, the United States Environmental Protection Agency stated the following in response to the ICNIRP guidelines:

‘the exposure guidelines did not consider information that addresses non-thermal prolonged exposure… therefore, the generalization by many that the guidelines protect human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms is not justified’ 

Many other countries have opted to adopt ‘biological guidelines’ for public exposure to EMF’s but unfortunately, the UK government is trailing well behind. For instance, exposure allowed: (per Uw/cm2)

  • RUSSIA-10
  • ITALY-10/2.4 Sensitive
  • CHINA-10
  • SWITZERLAND 9.5/4.25 Sensitive
  • BELGIUM-2.4
  • AUSTRIA 0.001/0.0001 Indoor


AND THE UK… 1000.

The reason many people believe as to why there’s a seemingly lack of action from the government is primarily a social-economic one. By which I mean, the need for most people to be connected to one another by way of the internet or by phone and the monetary value of the tech industry, appears to far outweigh the health and safety of the users of that technology. 

One of the other reasons thought to be why the powers that be are dragging their feet when it comes to electro-magnetic exposure is that the studies have shown ‘inconsistencies’.  Which, for a lot of medical professionals and research scientist is an irresponsible reason to dismiss the information. Biological research in most aspects largely show inconsistencies because everyone’s genetic makeup is different. Some people are more genetically predisposed to developing lung cancer than others or Alzheimer’s or many other diseases.  ‘Inconsistencies’ in biological studies is by no means a reason to dismiss reputable studies showing evidence that exposure to high levels of EM fields can cause ill health in some individuals.


The incredibly rapid progress of technology has not allowed us to see the full of effects of exposure to, certainly Radio frequency, across a generational lifetime as the advancements have occurred in the last 30 years or so. Therefore, we really don’t know how exposure to high levels of electro-magnetic fields across a life span (cradle to grave) effects the general public’s biology or as, some experts predict, whether it can cause genetic mutations that can be hereditary.


Negative symptoms from EMF exposure occur well below the 100uT level and with that, well below the tissue heating level. Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma that these symptoms and others like it are psychosomatic. Indeed, the UK doesn’t recognise EHS (electro-magnetic hypersensitivity) as an illness at all unlike many other countries but that is a whole blog topic in itself. 

However, if we remove the data regarding individuals stating their ill health and playing devil’s advocate for a minute, we look then at the countless number of medical tests carried out. 

One of the studies that has been carried out multiple times, involves the imaging of red blood cells in humans before and after the use of mobile phone devices. Prior to the use of devices, the red blood cells are independent from one another and move freely as is normal in a healthy human being. Post exposure (20 minutes) the imaging showed the changes in the red blood cells and what is known as Rouleaux formation. Rouleaux formation is when red blood cells begin to elongate, join and cluster. This is problematic because it restricts blood flow throughout the body as the cells are no longer free flowing (due to the change of positive ions) and are not independent and thus cannot move through the capillaries. Rouleaux formation also occurs in the human body with the presence of cancers and connective tissue disorders. 

Another study, again carried out many times, involves the imaging of a rat’s brain before and after high EM exposure for a period of 2 hours. The findings were that post exposure, that dark patches appeared on the brain that weren’t present before. These dark patches were Albumin. Albumin is a protein found in the blood that regulates oncotic pressure and with the dark patches appearing, it shows that the Albumin is leaking into the brain which will start to damage the neurons in the brain.

We can also go into the studies that show the morphology of sperm cells, no tails etc. that’s caused by emf exposure. How one study outlines that men who keep their cell phone in their pocket for 4 hours or more have half the sperm count than those who do not.

Or the effects on Apoptosis. Apoptosis is the programmed death of cells that have been damaged or are no longer needed. Studies have shown that the exposure to EMF radiation has not only led to healthy cells committing ‘cell suicide’ but that the defective and damaged cells that would normally die off, do not always do so and continue to live and reproduce.

These studies along with many others indicate that negative biological effects occur below the  thermal tissue level and for this the World Health Organisation listed Radio frequency EMF’s as a type 2b carcinogenic (possibly cancerous to humans) and among the board that decided the categorisation, many spoke openly after about how disappointed they were on the placement of EMF’s in group 2b and felt it should be placed higher up in 2a or even a 1. 

The silver lining is however, that EM fields were placed on the list at all and with the ongoing drive for awareness and information among the medical community not least by PHIRE (PHYSICIANS Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment) hopefully, it’ll move up that list and will cause more safety regulations in place and stringent exposure guidelines in the not so distant future. 

Have any questions?

EMF detection can be a confusing subject. Get in touch with one of our advisors for a friendly, no pressure conversation. We'll be happy to answer your queries!


0113 262 0953 info@substation-health-risks.co.uk