Photograph – Radiation Research Trust dinner held at the Palace of Westminster featuring leaders of the divergent views on the EM Radiation debate

15 years ago to this date the EM Radiation Research Trust held an important Conference at the Royal Society, London.   The conference took place on the 8th & 9th September 2008 entitled: ‘Electromagnetic fields and health – a global issue’. Speakers from ICNIRP, WHO, the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and national bodies such as the UK Health Protection Agency and the MTHR were joined by scientists, politicians, lawyers and concerned citizens and the media, each offering differing viewpoints in order to encourage discussion around risk assessment.

It was the first time that both sides of the scientific debate had come together to share the same platform on a global level..  This event was achieved after Eileen O’Connor met with Dr Mike Repacholi, ex-leader for the WHO EMF project in 2007 at a conference in London.  Eileen asked Mike Repacholi, to invite scientists from ICNIRP, WHO and leaders from the telecom industry to debate with scientists voicing the precautionary approach.   The RRT conference was a major challenge and took 12 months to organise.

Professor Henry Lai described the conference as “the most important and productive Conference on EMF.”

Professor Yury Grigoriev of the Russian National Committee on Non Ionising Radiation Protection concluded at the Conference that ▪ Existing standards (foreign and Russian) have become out dated ▪ Modern accumulative RF EMF exposures have changed considerably ▪ The existing standards cannot guarantee the safe healthy development of the next generation.

Dr Paolo Vecchia Chai of ICNIRP from 2004 – 2012  said . “The ICNIRP guidelines are neither mandatory prescription’s for safety, the last word on the issue nor are they defensive walls for Industry or others.”

Sir William Stewart  in his excellent opening address rightly called for “a much stronger well funded science base with individual organisations and centres being well equipped nationally and for more complementary international programmes to be set in place. Guidelines cannot be secure unless there is a strong encompassing knowledge base upon which to build. Attention has to be given to the existing international guidelines on the NIR and RF in particular”. He also advocated “the urgent need for more work to be carried out in the social sciences and focusing on the individual, the community, the general public and on societal impact.”

Sir William Stewart was Chief Scientific Adviser, Cabinet Office from 1990 to 1995, and the first Head of the UK Office of Science and Technology (1992–1995).Stewart was also Chairman of the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) and Chairman of the Health Protection Agency.

Important historic presentations are available to download: