HEALTH : ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS: END OF SAGA THOUGHT TO BE NEAR.

 
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More than ten years after tackling the issue, the European Union is finally close to setting new rules on workers' exposure to electromagnetic fields. Parliament, the Council and the Commission met on the evening of 19 February (after an exploratory meeting in early January) with a view to concluding at first reading. The European Parliament's rapporteur, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier (EPP, France), is counting on three three-way meetings at most. The next is scheduled on 19 March.

The draft directive sets exposure limit values for time-varying electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields with frequencies of between 0 Hz and 300 GHz. For time-varying and static fields, it also sets action values and guide values. The text provides for a number of exceptions, notably for: 1. the installation, testing, use, development and maintenance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment used in the health care sector; 2. research in the field of MRI; 3. staff working in operational military installations or participating in military activities; and 4. duly justified circumstances.

The three-way talks are expected to help draw the Council and Parliament positions closer together, particularly on the provisions of the practical guide meant to facilitate implementation of the directive and on obligations on employers. In principle, Parliament...

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