WHO Research Agenda - 2010 update

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its new 2010 research agenda for radio frequency (RF) fields with the main focus still on children, especially through epidemiological studies and continued emphasis on exposure monitoring. The research agenda provides guidance and priorities for national research programs, particularly on mobile phones and health.

The research agenda summarises the scope

"Telecommunication technologies based on radiofrequency (RF) transmission, such as radio and television, have been in widespread use for many decades. However, there are numerous new applications for the broadcast and reception of RF waves and the use of RF devices such as mobile phones is now ubiquitous. The attendant increased public exposure to RF fields has made its effects on human health a topic of concern for scientists and the general public.

To respond to these concerns, an important research effort has been mounted over the past decade and many specific questions about potential health effects of RF fields have already been investigated by scientists around the world. Nonetheless, several areas still warrant further investigation and the rapid evolution of technology in this field is raising new questions. Social concern has accrued over the years and is influencing risk management at national and local levels and public acceptance of scientific health risk assessments.

Risk management is built on evidence stemming from both scientific knowledge and insights from social studies that investigate this concern. Therefore, this document identifies specific research needs in both basic science relevant to health risk assessment and social science areas pertaining to public concern and risk communication, highlighting their importance in meeting public health needs."

Click here for the WHO research agenda