Electromagnetic fields (EMF)

WHO Workshop
Sensitivity of Children to EMF Exposure

This WHO Workshop was arranged in collaboration with the Medical Faculty of Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey, and took take place from Wednesday 9 June to Thursday 10 June 2004.

Purpose, format and output


There have been suggestions that exposure of young children to electromagnetic fields (EMF) may be detrimental to their health, especially during the development and maturation of the central nervous system, immune system and other critical organs. In addition children are exposed to EMF for a much greater part of their lifespan than adults. Use of mobile telephones by young children has been a concern expressed by the Stewart Committee report in the United Kingdom and others.

The purpose of this Workshop was to evaluate available information and summarise what conclusions can be made and what research is still needed to fill gaps in knowledge about any health concerns related to children's exposure to EMF. The results of the meeting will be submitted to the WHO International EMF Project.



Two days of open sessions (9-10 June 2004) where invited speakers presented papers on specialized topics on children's growth and development, reviews of the scientific literature that relate to the possibility that children may be more sensitive to EMF exposure, and other related topics. There was a closed Working Group meeting to finalise a report for WHO on Friday 11 June 2004.


Support for this meeting was provided by:

  • Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), California, USA
  • European Commission Coordinated Action EMF-NET
  • European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST 281), European Commission
  • International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), Germany
  • Medical Faculty of Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey
  • Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (SSI), Stockholm, Sweden