CEEMET / ORGALIME Position Paper on the Electromagnetic Fields Directive (2004/40/EC)

Published: 10 April 2007

Policies & Issues: Internal Market - Product Safety Legislation

CEEMET and ORGALIME are seeking a complete review of the European Physical Agents Directive on Electromagnetic Fields (EMF), in line with the agenda for better regulation in Europe.

We are not aware of any evidence base to confirm that exposure to EMF, at the levels likely to be associated with non-specialist working environments, causes harm to people. Therefore additional legislation to control exposure is unnecessary.

This Directive was developed under the precautionary principle - an inappropriate application, for an extremely low risk, which can already be adequately managed under the framework directive.

The European Commission failed to carry out an adequate regulatory impact assessment for this dossier. However, research suggests that this directive could negatively affect many manufacturing processes, such as welding metal, and curtail the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology, an essential medical diagnostic tool, with no overall benefit to the health of workers.

Regulators and businesses alike are only now beginning to understand the unintended effects which may be brought about by this Directive.

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