Generalized EMF research using novel methods. An integrated approach: from research to risk assessment and support to risk management

Elisabeth Cardis (ISGlobal)
Funded by
European Comission

The European population is increasingly exposed to new physical and chemical agents in the environment, some of which may be damaging to health. Among these, electromagnetic fields (EMF) are one of the most widespread, and their application in new technologies continues to grow, with novel uses being actively developed and commercialised. Although there is some concern among the public and public health professionals alike about possible health effects related to EMF, results of studies to date are inconsistent.

The overall objectives of this project are to close gaps in knowledge on EMF and health and reduce exposures. Specific objectives are as follow:

  • To better understand mechanisms underlying possible health effects of EMF
  • To better characterise current and future population levels of EMF exposure in Europe
  • To further the state of knowledge on EMF and health
  • To improve health risk assessment of EMF and
  • To reinforce policy development and propose non-technological means to reduce EMF exposure.

The GERoNiMO (Generalised EMF Research using Novel Methods) project uses an integrated approach, bringing together researchers from different disciplines, research institutions and member states to address key questions identified by recent European projects (such as the European Health Risk Assessment Network on Electromagnetic Fields Exposure (EFHRAN)) and international bodies (e.g. the World Health Organisation (WHO) International EMF Project Research Agenda)

The project builds upon existing European resources (large-scale prospective cohort and case-control epidemiological studies of different populations, exposure assessment techniques, mechanistic and animal models and health impact modeling), using, where appropriate, novel methods (including systems biological, and the integration of potential biological markers and innovative exposure valuation instruments into epidemiological studies) and existing expert networks to achieve these objectives. GERoNiMO will, in particular, allow the investigation of potential effects of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) and intermediate frequency fields (IF) – alone and in combination with other environmental exposures – on the risks of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, behaviour, reproductive outcomes and aging.

The integrated approach in this multidisciplinary project will significantly improve the strength, coherence, credibility and coordination of European research into EMF and health, ultimately reducing fragmentation and improving the incorporation of evidence-based risk assessment into public health policy development and communication. Specifically, GERoNiMO will provide support to European Union (EU) and national regulatory bodies by improving reliability of research data on potential effects of EMF exposures. It will also contribute to EU management and communication activities, following the lead of previous EU-funded networks (EMF-Net and EFHRAN).

The project is lead by ISGlobal and includes 19 partners from 13 countries:

  • ISGlobal, Spain
  • iMinds, Belgium
  • Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland
  • University of Eastern Finland, Finland
  • Association pour la recherche épidémiologique dans le cancer de l’enfant et de l’adolescent, France
  • Université Bordeaux 1, France
  • Orange, France
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen, Germany
  • Gertner Institute for Epidemiology & Health Policy Research, Israel
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Instituto di Elettronica e Ingegneria dell’Informazione e delle Telecomunicazioni IEIIT, Italy
  • Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy
  • Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • Nasjonalt Folkehelseinstitutt, Norway
  • Institute of Non-Ionising Radiation, Slovenia
  • Foundation for Research on Information Technologies in Society, Switzerland
  • Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland -
  • Public Health England, United Kingdom
  • Schneider Children’s Medical Center Israel, Israel

Current status

GERoNiMO is a five year project that started on 1 January 2014.

Financial support

Financial support for the study is provided by the European Union (grant agreement 603794) and local and national funding sources.

Our Team

Principal Investigator (PI)

Our Team

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