Electromagnetic fields and environmental health

Environmental health concerns the management of environmental factors that can have an impact on health. These factors may be physical, chemical or biological, but also social, psychosocial or aesthetic. With the emergence of radio communication technologies, exposure to electromagnetic fields has joined air quality, water quality and exposure to noise among the most frequently addressed topics.

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At home

Many objects in our homes are sources of electromagnetic radiation. Most of these are connected devices used by the whole family, such as smartphones, smartwatches and games consoles. Household appliances such as electric shavers, hairdryers and induction hobs also need to be taken into account. When products are placed on the market, manufacturers ensure that they comply with standards for exposure to radio waves, but there are also recommendations for use to improve your electromagnetic environment.

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What regulations apply to human exposure to electromagnetic fields?

Several pieces of legislation govern the exposure of the public and workers to electromagnetic fields...
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What electromagnetic fields are we exposed to?

Discover the different sources of electromagnetic fields and their potential effects on our health: radio waves, microwaves, X-rays, etc.

Electromagnetic field exposure from Linky meters: ANFR publishes its measurements

ANFR analysed electromagnetic field exposure measurements from Linky meters between June and December 2018, confirming their compliance with regulatory standards.

Electromagnetic fields: Anses warns about mobile phones worn close to the body

Anses has warned that pre-2017 mobile phones exceed electromagnetic field exposure limits at less than 5mm from the body despite

At work

Exposure at work can vary depending on the type of activity. In the tertiary sector, the problem is similar to that encountered in the home, with many connected objects used on a daily basis, such as Wi-Fi and mobile telephony terminals, smartphones, headsets and DECT telephones. In the industrial sector, the problem is more specific, with, depending on the field, numerous devices likely to generate strong electromagnetic fields that may exceed exposure limits, such as welding machines. The medical sector is also a source of many devices radiating strong fields, such as MRI scanners.


Everything you need to know about electromagnetic fields, straight to your inbox

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EMF and Health

What is the link between environmental health and electromagnetic fields?

Environmental health encompasses all aspects of human health relating to our environment. It also includes practices for managing, controlling and preventing environmental factors that could have an impact on the health of present and future generations. In the field of electromagnetic waves, it covers

  • physical factors (tissue heating, nerve stimulation, etc.)
  • biological factors (impact on brain activity, metabolism, etc.)
  • social factors (perception of risk, usage behaviour, etc.)
  • psychosocial factors (anxiety, nocebo effect, social influence, etc.)
  • aesthetic factors (living environment, property value, etc.)

EMF and environmental health, everyone concerned


Local authorities

Environmental health linked to electromagnetic fields is a major concern for local authorities, which have a role to play in protecting public health, managing public infrastructures, raising public awareness, urban planning and cooperating with stakeholders.



Individual health, concerns, right to information, adoption of precautionary measures or participation in public debates… Environmental health linked to electromagnetic fields is also a matter for each and every citizen. It’s important to stay informed and take enlightened decisions to limit the impact of electromagnetic fields in your private environment.



Responsibility towards employees, well-being and productivity, compliance with regulations, brand image and social responsibility, opportunities for technological innovation… Companies also have a role to play in promoting a safe working environment and developing solutions to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields.



Here you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions about the potential effects of electromagnetic fields on human health, common sources of exposure and the steps you can take to reduce your exposure.

Environmental health linked to electromagnetic fields concerns the potential effects of electromagnetic fields on human health and the environment. It encompasses the study of sources of exposure, exposure levels, health effects, regulations and preventive measures.

Depending on the frequency of the waves, the health effects observed in the short term can take the form of tissue heating or stimulation of the nervous system. Exposure limits have been set to prevent these proven short-term effects. With regard to long-term effects, the scientific community has expressed doubts, prompting the WHO to classify electromagnetic fields as possible carcinogens.

The main sources of electromagnetic fields in our environment include mobile phone base stations, Wi-Fi networks, wireless electronic devices both when plugged in and when in use (such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops) and power lines.

Yes, many countries have established regulations to limit exposure to electromagnetic fields. These regulations define limits for acceptable levels of exposure and safety guidelines. In France, for example, regulations impose limit values for exposure to electromagnetic fields, as well as measurement and monitoring requirements.

To reduce your exposure to electromagnetic fields, there are a number of preventive measures you can take, such as limiting the use of wireless communication devices, keeping a reasonable distance from sources of electromagnetic fields, making calls in good network coverage conditions using wireless headphones, and switching off electronic devices (TV, Wi-Fi box, etc.) when you are not using them. You are also advised to follow the recommendations and regulations in force in your country.