How much are we exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields? How is our electromagnetic environment changing with the introduction of new wireless technologies, in particular 5G? Is there any impact on our health and the environment?
These questions will be answered over the next five years by the European Research Cluster on EMF and Health (CLUE-H), which was officially launched on 22 September 2022, with a kick-off meeting in Thessaloniki, Greece.The CLUE-H network involves more than 70 European research organisations in four research consortia (ETAIN, GOLIAT, NextGEM, SEAWave), with additional contribution from scientists in the USA, Korea and Japan.
The total funding will amount to more than €29 million from the Horizon Europe 2021-2027. The results are expected to fill the knowledge gaps that exist regarding the impact of wireless technologies on health and the environment. They will be essential in ensuring a safe deployment and use of future wireless networks which will benefit citizens and society, for example in health, transport, e-government and smart cities.
ETAIN is a 5-year project that aims at developing and validating approaches to assess impact of existing and novel technologies from a planetary health perspective. Simultaneously, ETAIN will explore options for exposure reduction, and interact with the public and stakeholders about exposure levels and possible associated risks. ETAIN is coordinated by Utrecht University, the Netherlands.
GOLIAT will monitor exposure to 5G and other sources of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in order to study its potential effects on human health. In parallel, the project will assess how exposure to EMF and their possible risks are perceived by citizens. GOLIAT is coordinated by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by ”la Caixa” Foundation.
NextGEM will ensure EU citizens’ healthy living and a safer working environment when employing existing and future EMF-based telecommunication technologies. This will be accomplished by generating relevant knowledge that identifies appropriate control measures of EMF exposure in the residential, public, and occupational settings, trustable by people and in line with the regulations and laws issued by the public authorities. NextGEM is coordinated by the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH), Greece. ICMAB-CSIC participates in this project.
SEAWave will quantify the differences in exposure between 2G-4G and 5G networks for the entire population, including children and workers. The project will also generate important data for assessing the health risk from exposure to the high frequency bands (5G FR2), especially with regards to the potential for skin carcinogenicity. SEAWave is coordinated by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
About the NextGEM project
ICMAB participates in one of these 4 projects, the Next GEM project, a 48-month EU-funded NextGEM project that started on 1 July 2022 and counts with 7.56 M€. One of the objectives of the project is to ensure EU citizens’ healthy living and a safe working environment when employing existing and future electromagnetic fields (EMF)-based telecommunication technologies.
From ICMAB, Anna Laromaine and Martí Gich from the Nanoparticles and Nanocomposites (NN) Group participate in the project, and the Communication and Outreach Office will give support in some of the tasks. Specifically, ICMAB researchers are in charge of coordinating the collection of data for risk assessment from experimental and observational studies, coordinating the dissemination and communication plans and activities, and participating in several tasks of the project related to evaluating the EMF exposure effects.
On 25-26 Octobert 2022, the NextGEM project has its 2nd Project Meeting and 1st Technical Workshop at the CIMNE facilities in Barcelona. More than 30 participants from the 20 partner organisations will attend the workshop to discuss the first results and further work.