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27/04/2006 - Health Protection Agency - EMF Discussion Group (EMFDG)

At the personal request of Sir William Stewart, Chairman of the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA), a new discussion group has been set up to help develop suitable precautionary advice for the general public regarding exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). The people invited to participate in this group have considerable expertise in relation to addressing possible health effects from exposure to EMFs. Sir William Chaired the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones which published "The Stewart Report" in May 2000.

The terms of reference for the work of the new discussion group are:

to provide a forum for considering possible health concerns related to exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and to provide an input to the development of HPA advice.

It was agreed that the work of the Group would involve discussion of areas of public concern that relate to the work of HPA Radiation Protection Division and the development of its advice. It needs to ensure that its work concentrates on topics of direct relevance to HPA-RPD and that it does not duplicate the work of other Groups and Committees. The RPD has a primary responsibility to provide a scientific view of how various radiations across the EMF spectrum can affect public health. RPD also has a responsibility to ensure that when information is presented to the public, it should be informative and address any concerns.

Three main topics were discussed at the first meeting, held on the 2nd of March 2006. These were:

  1. A recent RPD report on Electrical Sensitivity
  2. Exposures to Magnetic Fields from Power Frequencies
  3. A report from the independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) on Power Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, Melatonin and the Risk of Breast Cancer

Minutes for this first meeting have now been published by the HPA RPD.

Current Membership consists of:

Sir William Stewart, Chairman (Health Protection Agency)
Dr John Stather, Secretary (Health Protection Agency)

Mr Mike Bell (Chairman, EM Radiation Research Trust)
Dr Mike Clark (Health Protection Agency)
Mr Andy Davidson (Tetrawatch)
Mr Michael Dolan (Mobile Operators Association)
Professor Denis Henshaw (University of Bristol)
Mr George Hooker (Department of Health)
Dr Myron Maslanyj (Health Protection Agency)
Dr Jill Meara (Health Protection Agency)
Mr Alan Meyer (Mast Action UK Services)
Professor Mike O'Carroll (Chairman, Revolt)
Mrs Eileen O'Connor (EM Radiation Research Trust)
Mr Alasdair Philips (Powerwatch)
Professor Alan Preece (University of Bristol)
Mr Lee Searles (Local Government Association)
Dr Zenon Sienkiewicz (Health Protection Agency)
Mrs Anne Silk (Independent Consultant)
Dr John Swanson (National Grid Transco)
Mr Chris Woollams (CANCERactive)