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EMF Studies

03 April 2015

EMF-Portal: Database of Over 20,000 Publications on the Effects of Electromagnetic Fields

The internet information platform EMF-Portal of the RWTH Aachen University summarizes systematically scientific research data on the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF). Interested citizens, decision makers and opinion leaders, such as doctors, lawyers and politicians, can find all the information in both English and German. The EMF-Portal consists of various modules (including a literature database, a glossary and a database of field sources), which are related and linked to each other. The core of the EMF-Portal is an extensive literature database with an inventory of 20,885 publications and 4,877 summaries of individual scientific studies on the effects of electromagnetic fields. In systematic searches, new articles are researched and added to this collection daily.

The EMF-Portal is a project of the femu working group of the Institute and Out-patient Clinic of Occupational Medicine of the University Hospital RWTH Aachen.


Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are ubiquitously present in our high-tech environment, popularly known as electrosmog or electromagnetic pollution, and make many citizens feel uncertain. Over the past 15 years the public and decision-makers have regularly been confronted with new technologies using EMF, e.g. by the rapid increase in mobile phone usage, the increasing use of new frequencies (such as TETRA and LTE), or by the application of frequencies in the terahertz range such as in body scanners that could be used in the future at airports. Overall, emissions and immissions by different sources of electromagnetic fields are continuously increasing. It should be noted that at the time of the introduction of a new technology there are often only few studies on the health risks of the frequency range used and the assessment of possible effects is difficult.

But although there have been numerous studies on health effects, such as on the topic of mobile phones, it has been seen that different interest groups have a different level of knowledge. In addition, the authors of the studies frequently found different results and they interpret them in different ways, leading to controversial discussion and thus to public uncertainty.

The potentially complete collection, presentation and evaluation of scientific research data significantly contributes to the objectification of such discussions and neutral information. It is important that all studies and their results are made available transparently so that the user has the possibility to understand the contents and results.

This approach has been applied by the internet platform EMF-Portal, which has provided scientific information on the effects of electromagnetic fields since 2005. Here, scientific studies from journals with a so-called peer-reviewed process are collected, summarized and available free of charge to the user in both German and English.
Scientific publications

Accordingly, the EMF-Portal scientific literature comprises publications on the effects of electromagnetic fields. The publications have to have been written by scientists (biologists, physicists, engineers, epidemiologists, physicians, etc.) and have to have been published in a scientific journal with a publisher and/or editorial board (with peer-review process editor/editorial board). An essential feature of the scientific nature of a publication is, for example, the verifiability of the results by a detailed description of the method and the material used.
Editorial principles

The task of the EMF-Portal is to collect scientific information on the effects of electromagnetic fields, to present the data in an easily understandable form and to make it available to all interested parties.

The EMF-Portal does not take position for or against electromagnetic fields. It is not intended to prevent or reduce the application of electromagnetic fields or even to promote their commercial use.

The EMF-Portal aims to contribute to an objective, responsible and informed opinion in the society. The EMF-Portal is provided by independent editors (see imprint und team). The project management is responsible for the selection and presentation of the contents. Mainly scientific publications are considered.


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