Workpackage 7

WP7: Assessment of population health impacts of EMF

Led by Javier Vila, ISGlobal (former CREAL)
Collaborating institutions: UEF, Gertner, CNR, UU, UB1, Swiss TPH, SCMCI

The ubiquity of exposure to EMF of different frequencies of the European population could potentially result in a non-negligible public health burden if these exposures are found to be associated with those health outcomes investigated elsewhere in the project. Understanding the magnitude of these health impacts, and the uncertainties associated with their estimation, is a key input to risk management and policy-making.


As an overall objective, WP7 aims to serve as the hub in which the different scientific disciplines and research groups represented in GERoNiMO are brought together to share their knowledge, to synthesize their findings (where appropriate), and thereby provide the means to further the state of the art in EMF and health research in an integrated way. As such, it will quantify potential health impacts of exposure to EMF (including IF, RF but also other frequency bands such as ELF if informative data from other complementary projects are available) in the EU27 population overall, as well as under several scenarios related to possible future trends in EMF technologies and to non-technological means of reducing exposure, and investigate uncertainties using probabilistic simulation, sensitivity analyses, and importance analysis.

Proposed work

WP7 will provide quantitative estimates of the health impacts attributable to exposure to EMF in the population of the European Union according to the most up-to-date evidence from human and biological studies. These estimates will incorporate new data on exposure and exposure-response developed within the project. Estimates of impacts will be generated for three exposure scenarios: current trends, future uptake of novel EMF technologies, and non-technological means of reducing exposure to relevant EMF sources. This WP will be key to integration across WPs, combining data generated on risk, exposure and exposure-response in WPs 1-6 as well as any new data on the topic available in the scientific literature, and aiming to maximise the coherence of work done between modules.

Following an integrating and scoping exercise, in which elements common to several work packages will defined, coordinated and, where possible, aligned (e.g. health outcomes, exposures, exposure metrics, population subgroups of interest, etc.), exposure scenarios will be developed which take into account current and emerging trends, as well as non-technological means of reducing exposure. In close collaboration with WP6, each of these scenarios will then be defined quantitatively. A set of health outcomes will then be defined using a set of quality criteria for inclusion in the assessment. In addition to health outcomes considered in WPs1-5, exposure-response data derived from the literature will also be evaluated according to these criteria, and exposure-response functions defined. Using these data, health impacts in the European population will be estimated under the various scenarios.