Impact of Public Concerns about Low-Level Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on Interpretation of EMF/Radiofrequency (RFR) Database

  • John M. Osepchuk
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 274)


A review of the history of setting standards for safe exposure to electromagnetic energy shows a strong reliance on science and the associated finding of thresholds for effects and hazards. The reliance on science has been attacked by a number of journalists, historians and social scientists over the last 15 years resulting in calls for “prudent avoidance” and the abandonment of reliance on established science. Accompanying this trend has been much misinformation and miseducation by the media leading to electrophobia. There are strong indications, however, that society is beginning to realize that emergent technologies and economic well-being are dependent on rational science-based standards. Thus, in the development of new standards, the need for two tiers of exposure limits in response to public concerns is justified only in an uncontrolled environment and only in those areas of the spectrum where a significant uncertainty exists about the scientific database. This resolves down to environmental exposures only, the frequency range around the resonance of the human body, and for long-term exposures only. Whether this two-tier philosophy should be extended to the extremely low frequency (ELF) range is debatable.


Specific Absorption Rate Lower Tier Uncontrolled Environment Safe Exposure Occupational Exposure Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Osepchuk
    • 1
  1. 1.Raytheon Research DivisionLexingtonUSA

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