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4 th ITU Green Standards Week. With ICTs everywhere, how safe is EMF?. Cristina Bueti Adviser of ITU-T Study Group 5. 4 th ITU Green Standards Week. International Telecommunication Union (ITU). UN specialized agency for ICTs unique public/private partnership Members:

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4 th itu green standards week

4thITU Green Standards Week

With ICTs everywhere, how safe is EMF?

Cristina Bueti

Adviser of ITU-T Study Group 5

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4thITU Green Standards Week

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

  • UN specialized agency for ICTs
  • unique public/private partnership

Members:

  • 193 Member States (Governments and regulatory bodies)
  • Over 700 Private Sector (Sector Members and Associates)
  • Over 63 Academia
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4thITU Green Standards Week

ITU structure

Standardization (ITU-T) produces interoperable technical ICT standards

Radiocommunication (ITU-R) coordinates global wireless communication

Development (ITU-D) provides assistance to the un-connected

General Secretariat provides coordination

for the whole organization

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4thITU Green Standards Week

The ICT revolution

By end 2014, there will be:

  • ~ 3 billion Internet users,
  • two-thirds of them coming from the developing world
  • the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally (5% of these subscriptions are expected to be in the developing world)
  • mobile-cellular subscriptions will reach almost 7 billion by end 2014

Source: ITU, The World in 2014: ICT Facts and Figureswww.itu.int/en/ITU-D/statistics

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4thITU Green Standards Week

The issue…

The electromagnetic fields are unknown and

undetectable for people…

Lack of regulation and/or

non-compliance...

Lack of

communication and information to citizens…

It can generate a lack of trust, which may become fear…

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4thITU Green Standards Week

Regulation of non-ionizing radiations

Exposure standards:

Specifications that limit the exposure of people to the Electromagnetic fields (EMF)

Emission standards:

Specifications that limit the emission of electromagnetic fields (EMF) from the devices

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4thITU Green Standards Week

How can global standards help…

  • Facilitate compliance with international standards
  • Strengthen collaboration among stakeholders
  • Ensure transparency
  • Enhance communication with citizens
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ITU-T Study Group 5

Lead study group for: electromagnetic compatibility and electromagnetic effects

7 Questions

WP1/5

Damage prevention and safety

WP3/5

ICT and climate change

5 Questions

WP2/5

Electromagnetic fields: emission, immunity and human exposure

6 Questions

Q7/5 Human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) due to radio systems and mobile equipment

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4thITU Green Standards Week

Question 7/5

Human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) due to radio systems and mobile equipment

Main study area:

  • Real site measurements and modeling of the multiple sources operating on different frequencies and transmitting antennas;
  • Determine the validity of electromagnetic field predictions;
  • Procedures and guidance on numerical modeling of EMFs in the areas around telecommunication transmitting antennas and various systems;
  • Guidance based on existing SAR measuring and calculating procedures, techniques and protocols for evaluating EMF due to ICT equipment;
  • Handbook to answer frequently questions about human exposure to EMF.
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4thITU Green Standards Week

Question 7/5

Human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) due to radio systems and mobile equipment

Main tasks:

  • Develop Recommendations for the telecommunication sector;
  • Implement the mandate of the ITU Resolutions on EMF;
  • Collaboration with other standardization bodies (IEC, CENELEC, WHO) in order to avoid duplication of work;
  • Maintenance and enhancement of the existing Recommendations.
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4thITU Green Standards Week

Typical EMF assessment

Safety

  • EMF compliance at sites
  • Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) for workers and public

Environmental

  • Radio signals in the community
  • Educational & informative
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4thITU Green Standards Week

EMF assessment methods

Calculations or measurements?

  • EMF assessment method depends on site & environment
  • Calculations - suitable in many cases, & have significant benefits - accurate, fast & cost effective
  • Measurements - required in very complex environments
  • Field monitoring
  • Field monitoring is effective when working on towers for safety
  • Field surveys can provide public reassurance
  • Continuous monitoring – limited long term benefit where EMF levels are low and stable

ITU-T Recommendations - guidance on both calculation and measurements

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4thITU Green Standards Week

ITU-T Recommendations for EMF assessment

  • ITU-T K.91 Guidance for assessment, evaluation and monitoring of human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields
  • ITU-T K.83 Monitoring of electromagnetic field levels
  • ITU-T K.70 Mitigation techniques to limit human exposure to EMFs in the vicinity of radiocommunication stations – includes EMF Estimator software
  • ITU-T K.52 Guidance on complying with limits for human exposure to electromagnetic fields
  • ITU-T K.61 Guidance on measurement and numerical prediction of electromagnetic fields for compliance with human exposure limits for telecommunication installations
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4thITU Green Standards Week

Highlights on deliverables

  • ITU-T K.91 provides guidance on how to assess and monitor human exposure to radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) in areas with surrounding radio communication installations based on existing exposure and compliance standards, based on existing exposure and compliance standards in the frequency range of 9 kHz to 300 GHz;
  • includes advantages and disadvantages of methods.
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4thITU Green Standards Week

Highlights on deliverables - continued

  • ITU-T K.83 provides guidance on how to make long-term measurements and monitoring of EMF in the selected areas that are under public concern, in order to show that EMFs are under control and under the limits;
  • ​Implementation of Recommendation ITU-T K.83 "Monitoring of electromagnetic field levels" in countries (e.g. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Uruguay).
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4thITU Green Standards Week

Highlights on deliverables - continued

  • ITU-T K. 70 defines techniques which may be used by telecommunication operators to evaluate the cumulative (total) exposure ratio in the vicinity of transmitting antennas and to identify the main source of radiation;
  • Provides guidance on mitigation methods which allow reduction of radiation level;
  • Provides guidance on procedures necessary in the environment (on site) in which, in most cases, there is a simultaneous exposure to multiple frequencies from many different sources;
  • Includes a software provided that implements the methodology: EMF estimator
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4thITU Green Standards Week

Highlights on deliverables - continued

  • ITU-T K. 52 aims to help with compliance with safety limits for human exposure to EMFs;
  • Provides guidance on calculation method, and installation assessment procedure;
  • Is based on safety limits provided by ICNIRP;
  • Determines the likelihood of installation compliance based on accessibility criteria, antenna properties and emitter power;
  • Recommends IEC Standard for the compliance measurement of mobile handsets.
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4thITU Green Standards Week

Highlights on deliverables - continued

  • ITU-T K. 61 helps telecommunication operators to verify compliance with exposure standards promulgated by local or national authorities;
  • Provides guidance on measurement methods that can be used to achieve a compliance assessment;
  • Provides guidance on the selection of numerical methods suitable for exposure prediction in various situations.
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4thITU Green Standards Week

Highlights on deliverables - continued

Guide on electromagnetic fields and health (​Supplement 1 to Recommendation ITU-T K.91)

  • answers to typical questions asked by the public on EMF, and to address typical misunderstandings on EMF matters in the society
  • provides education and information: promoting EMF information and education resources suitable for all communities, stakeholders and governments.
  • supports clarification of the science: referencing the WHO and other stakeholders providing information most useful in helping clarify scientific uncertainties e.g. in the areas of Radio Frequency technology, infrastructure implementation, usage, and consequential EMF exposure.
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4thITU Green Standards Week

Deliverables under study

  • ITU-T K.100 - Measurement of radio frequency electromagnetic fields to determine compliance with human exposure limits when a base station is put into service
  • ITU-T K.env - Guidance on the Environmental Management for Electromagnetic Radiation from Radiocommunication Base Stations
  • ITU-T K.maps - Maps of the RF EMF
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4thITU Green Standards Week

EMF flyer and website

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4thITU Green Standards Week

Purpose of ITU-T’s activities

EMF safety

  • Important to assess EMF compliance at sites
  • Important to establish Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) procedures

Environmental

  • Educational and informative
  • Calculation vs monitoring – a balance is needed

Effective public communication

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4thITU Green Standards Week

ITU-T’s vision

“The rational solution to citizens’ concerns regarding exposure to EMFs is to ensure that the actions of national regulators and network operators are accompanied to the greatest possible extent by transparency and communication with citizens.

Compliance with international standards and associated reporting mechanisms assures citizens that regulators and network operators have complied with international best practices in deploying base stations, thereby safeguarding citizens’ health.”

Malcolm Johnson

ITU/TSB Director

4 th itu green standards week1

ITU-T/SG5 “Environment & Climate Change”itu.int/go/tsg5

  • ITU-T/SG5 Series K Recommendations (free of charge)itu.int/ITU-T/recommendations/index_sg.aspx?sg=5
  • ITU and EMFitu.int/go/emfs

4thITU Green Standards Week

[email protected]

Thank you

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