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Electromagnetic fields

RIVM  investigates non-specific physical symptoms, which people attribute to electromagnetic fields. This includes the launching of a Dutch-language page entitled ‘Elektromagnetsiche velden en ik’ (Electromagnetic fields and me) where people can tell their own stories and experience with EMF. More general information about electromagnetic fields is available in English on the RIVM website under the heading ‘Environment & Safety: Radiation and electromagnetic fields’.

Electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields (EMF) are omnipresent. Well-known sources include UV radiation from the sun, infrared radiation from hot objects and visible light. Electromagnetic fields are also intentionally generated for such applications as solaria (sunbeds), heat treatment, microwave ovens and transmitter masts for radio, TV and telephony. They are also present near power lines, electric equipment and electric domestic appliances.

Physical complaints

elektromagnetische velden Some people believe that electromagnetic radiation from such sources as base-stations  in residential areas can give rise to physical complaints such as headache  and dizziness. Scientific data currently available do not show any direct relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields and subjective health complaints, but this does not exclude the possibility that exposure to EMF could cause physical symptoms.


In order to gain insight in how such symptoms can develop,  RIVM is collecting people’s stories behind their symptoms, which they attribute to electromagnetic fields (see the link in the right-hand column to the Dutch-language web page ‘Electromagnetic fields and me’). This is part of a larger project aimed at the study of physical complaints ascribed to environmental factors. These stories help us to better understand such health complaints, and may thus enable better treatment in the future.