Non Ionizing Radiation

Non Ionizing Radiation

Haaretz, Israeli daily newspaper
Tzvi Levinson and Gil Dror Adv. July 2008

Fridges, appliances that are controlled by remote control and cell phones are only a small part of appliances emitting non-ionising radiation.

Long-term exposure to non-ionising radiation can be harmful to health and the environment.

In the year 2007 the 'Non-ionising Radiation Law' entered into force whose scope is very wide: it protects not only the general public but also the environment. From this follows that, for example, if it turns out that the non-ionising radiation from a power line over agricultural fields harms the plants or animals on the fields the law has to be enforced, and the claim that no human being is exposed to this source of radiation will not be heard.

One of the most important principles in environmental law is the precautionary approach. Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration 1992 states that: “in order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall be not used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

After studies found a connection between non-ionising radiation and health problems the precautionary approach was adopted in the Non-ionising Radiation Law, but its impact was not defined, neither were its scope and costs. This opens the possibility of an inappropriate, excessive use of the precautionary appraoch.

The article reviews the Radiation Law, its provisions and the implications for those dealing with radiation or exposed to it.