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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

SKVARCA, Jorge  and  AGUIRRE, Aníbal. Norms and standards for radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in Latin America: guidelines for exposure limits and measurement protocols. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.2-3, pp. 205-212. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892006000800017.

New technologies that use electromagnetic fields (EMF) have proved greatly beneficial to humankind. EMF are used in a variety of ways in the transmission of electrical energy and in telecommunications, industry, and medicine. However, some studies have shown that EMF could be detrimental to one's health, having found an association between exposure to EMF on the one hand, and the incidence of some types of cancer as well as behavioral changes on the other. Although so far there is no concrete proof that exposure to low-intensity EMF is hazardous, researchers continue to study the issue in an attempt to reach a consensus opinion and to establish safety standards. While developing and establishing such norms and standards have traditionally been the responsibility of international specialized agencies, national health authorities should take an active part in this process. Currently the Pan American Health Organization is promoting scientific research, often in the form of epidemiologic studies, in order to propose uniform norms and standards. Some Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela, have already enacted incomplete or partial legislation based on recommended international standards. This article describes the norms established in Latin America and the particular approach taken by each country.

Keywords : environmental quality standards; electromagnetic fields; radiation exposure; Latin America.

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