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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.207 SNIP: 0.376 CiteScore™: 0.79

ISSN Druckformat: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v31.i4.20
22 pages

Health Risks of Electromagnetic Fields. Part III: Risk Analysis

Lynn M. Brodsky
Risk Management Unit, Senior Medical Advisors Bureau, Therapeutic Products Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Riadh W. Y. Habash
McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, Institute of Population Health/School of Information Technology and Engineering, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 800 King Edward Avenue, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5
William Leiss
School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Daniel Krewski
McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Michael Repacholi
Department of Protection of the Human Environment, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland


The management of potential health risks from electromagnetic (EM) fields presents both scientific and nonscientific challenges. When the scientific evidence is ambiguous, as is the case with EM fields, expert judgment of this evidence becomes particularly important. This article provides biomedical researchers with a comprehensive assessment of the status of EM health risk based on our two previous articles [Parts I and II, Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering, Volume 31, Issue 3]. Ambiguous evidence also necessitates rigorous public debate. This article also discusses effective risk communication approaches that play a key role in the EM risk issue. Because of uncertainty about health risks associated with EMF exposure, the public is more likely to experience difficulty in evaluating the available information and rely more on perceptions than facts when drawing conclusions. Even the most effective risk communication approaches are not likely to clarify all of the subtleties surrounding EM fields as a population health issue. Thus it is essential that all stakeholders involved in this issue participate in developing consensus solutions.

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