SwissNIS consortium - Electromagnetic fields exposure monitoring in Switzerland

Use of electricity is accompanied with extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic and electric fields. Communication devices are emitting radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF). Thus, the population is exposed in their everyday life to numerous EMF sources emitting different frequencies and intensities over time. This is a challenge for risk management and research of health effects as exposure of the public is continuously changing owned to the on-going development of technology.

The SwissNIS study aims to assess the ELF and RF-EMF exposure in outdoor areas, public transport, publicly indoor areas and private places of Switzerland on a yearly basis between 2021 and 2025. The project consists of mobile microenvironmental measurements, home visits and continuous fixed site measurements. Microenvironmental measurements are defined as mobile measurements in areas where people spend a lot of their time such as residential areas, citiy centers, public transports or train stations. These measurements will allow characterizing yearly spatial and temporal trends of ELF-MF and RF-EMF exposure and will inform on the relative importance of the contributions from different non-ionizing radiation sources. This information is important for public risk communication, risk management and for future research on potential health risks.

The project is embedded in the Federal monitoring strategy. Since the revision of the Ordinance on Protection from Non-Ionising Radiation of April 2019, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) should periodically report the EMF exposure in Switzerland. The SwissNIS consortium is composed of non-ionizing radiation experts, measurement practitioners and environmental database specialists from Swiss TPH, NED-TECH AG, Grolimund + Partner AG and Fields at Work GmbH.

Röösli M, Foerster M, Roser K, Schöni A, Urbinello D, Struchen B. Stichprobenkonzept für Messungen der nicht-ionisierenden Strahlung mit Exposimetern. Basel: Schweizerisches Tropen- und Public Health-Institut, 2015

Ziegler T, Röösli M, Stephan C, Gugler M, Loizeau N, Fröhlich N, Bühlmann E, Schindler J, Kovacik M, Burkhard S. Expositionsmessungen nichtionisierende Strahlung: Jahresbericht 2021 - Projektkonsortium SwissNIS. Bern: Projektkonsortium SwissNIS, 2022

Loizeau N, Zahner M, Schindler J, Stephan C, Fröhlich J, Gugler M, Ziegler T, Röösli M. Comparison of ambient radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) levels in outdoor areas and public transport in Switzerland in 2014 and 2021. Environ Res. 2023;237(Pt 1):116921. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.116921


Martin Röösli

Martin Röösli, Full Professor, PhD
Head of Unit, Group Leader


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