Latest update: 23/07/2015

Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz)

Note: Despite that this Recommendation does not address the protection of workers against occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields, Council Directive 2004/40 on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields) refers to it: Some calculations ordered in the Directive need not to be done if an evaluation has already been undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the Recommendation.

The Council recommendation of 12 July 1999 is based on a Commission proposal which used the ICNIRP (International Committee on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection) "Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to Time-varying Electric, Magnetic, and Electro-magnetic fields (up to 300 GHz)" as the scientific basis. It addresses the Member States: In order to provide for a high level of health protection against exposure to electromagnetic fields they should

  • assign to the physical quantities listed in Annex I.A and the meanings given to them therein;
  • adopt a framework of basic restrictions and reference levels using Annex I.B as the basis;
  • implement measures according to the given recommendations;
  • aim to achieve respect of the basic restrictions given in Annex II for public exposure.

In 2002 the Commission issued an implementation report on the Council recommendations. It states that Community actions have contributed to ensure a higher level of protection of the public from exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and gives an overview on how far the recommendations have been taken into account in the EU Member States.

Available in languages