• Exposure limits. New regulatory developments at national level. New implementation measures.

        Mon, 19 August, 2013 / Legislation

        Exposure limits. New regulatory developments at national level. New implementation measures

        Changes in the Health Law have been developed, and they are in the final stage of discussion, prepared for implementation by the Parliament. Those changes follow the requirements for legislation in the field of EMF published in “Model Act” and “Model Regulations”, WHO. Which are the new points?

        A new chapter “Non-ionizing radiation” is included in the section 2: “Activities for public health protection”. There, most of the requirements proposed by WHO, ICNIRP, Council recommendations 1999/519/EC have been implemented.

        1. The responsible minister for evaluation of the EMF exposure to the general population and to take care about possible adverse effects is the health minister.

        2. Two differentiated zones of exposure to the population are defined in following matter:

                    First zone (short-term stay) sets regions where only short-term human stay is possible: hard-to-access areas, slope roofs of residential buildings.

                    Second zone (access area) sets regions where temporary and/or periodical human stay is possible, as: agricultural lands, accessible roofs of residential buildings, residence areas, streets, electric transport.

                    Precautionarysubzoneisapartofthesecondzone, anditsetssensitive” in relation to risk perception regions defined as sitesforpublicpurposes: for recreation and leisure, recreation parks, health recreation facilities, facilities for elderly people, rehabilitation and social re-adaptation establishments, children centers, schools, kindergartens, healthcare establishments. This sub zone is defined only for exposure to base stations in the frequency range 850 to 2150 MHz.

        3. The exposure limits proposed in CR 1999/519/EC are accepted in the following way:

        For the first zone the ICNIRP exposure limits – basic restriction and reference levels for the frequency range > 0 Hz to 300 GHz are accepted.

        For the second zone the strategy is to keep the actual exposure limits that are in use in Bulgaria. It means frequencies from 30 kHz to 30 GHz.

        For the precautionary sub zone the proposal for the limit has been made by the population, and it is 1 µW/cm2 (0.01 W/m2). It is clear that this decision is political.

         4. There is a legal procedure for implementing of sources of radiation emitting in residential areas that every owner should pass. It includes calculation of safety zone around the source corresponding to the accepted limits, and spot measurements for control of the emission. The main health inspector gives the permission for construction or mounting the equipment.

        5. The law requires to create and to support database consisting the sources of radiation, the levels of exposure, and all other documents concerning the permission for use.

        6. The information in the database should be open for public access.

        7. Sanctions for the industry are recorded in case of overexposure or illegal construction of sites.

        8. The law implements the “Agency” proposed in the “Model legislation…” – the National Centre of Public Health and Analysis (NCPHA) belonging to the Ministry of Health, and gives it the responsibility for developing databases, training of the control bodies, developing methods for exposure and risk assessment of EMF exposure.

        9. Control bodies are the regional health inspections belonging to the Ministry of Health.

        10. Finally, but very important is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health to introduce in few months after the law an Ordinance with concrete description of the exposure limits, methods of measurement and dosimetry, methods of evaluation of the exposure, some precautionary measures.   

        Unfortunately, there are many requirements that should be included in our national legislation as the need of periodic control of EMF exposures, requirements for the competence of the control bodies and the specialists doing measurements; for real time data about EMF exposure to the population, etc.

                                                                 

        President of the Foundation “Faraday”

        The website of the Ministry of Health published on 26 July 2012 the final draft of the BNPC proposal for changes in the Health Law concetning non-ionizing radiation health and safety. More information: www.mh.government.bg

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