One of the statutory functions of the IAEA is to establish or adopt standards of safety for the protection of health, life and property in the development and application of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and to provide for the application of these standards to its own operations as well as to assisted operations and, at the request of the parties, to operations under any bilateral or multilateral arrangement, or, at the request of a State, to any of that State’s activities in the field of nuclear energy. Different bodies oversee the development of safety standards. Member States are widely represented on these committees. The IAEA’s safety standards are not legally binding on Member States but may be adopted by them, at their own discretion, for use in national regulations in respect of their own activities. The standards are binding on the IAEA in relation to its own operations and on States in relation to operations assisted by the IAEA.
Public concern over the possible health effects fromelcctromagnetic fields (EMF) has led to the preparation of this handbook. Potential risk of EMF exposure from facilities such as power lines or mobile phone base stations present a difficult set of challenges for decision- makers. The challenges include determining if there is a hazard from EMF exposure and what the potential health impact, i.e. risk assessment; recognizing the reasons why the public may be concerned, i.e. risk perception; and implementing policies that protect public health and respond to public concerns, i.e. management.
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization