Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Recommends Creation of 'Wave-free' Zones

The Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly Committee on the Environment released a report on May 6, The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment that has recommendations that, if adopted, could have major implications for wireless carriers and, to a lesser extent, broadcasters.

The report says, "As regards standards or threshold values for emissions of electromagnetic fields of all types and frequencies, the Assembly recommends that the ALARA or 'as low as reasonably achievable' principle is applied, covering both the so-called thermal effects and the athermic or biological effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation." The report warns, "Waiting for high levels of scientific and clinical proof before taking action to prevent well-known risks can lead to very high health and economic costs, as was the case with asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco."

Paragraph 8.1.4 of the report recommends member states of the Council of Europe "pay particular attention to 'electrosensitive' persons suffering from a syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic fields and introduce special measures to protect them, including the creation of wave-free areas not covered by the wireless network "

The Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, France, was founded by 10 countries on May 5, 1949 and now has 47 member countries. Its purpose is "to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other reference texts on the protection of individuals."

The Parliamentary Assembly Committee on the Environment is unlikely to like Microsoft's plan to use the human body as an antenna (see related article in this week's RF Report).

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.