A workshop was held (16-19 th October 2017) at the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. The workshop deliberated the non-native electromagnetic field (nnEMF) study* by James Lech which demonstrates a public interest override function of ‘substances released into the environment’ and ‘public safety or environmental risk’.
The DoJCD review of the research on measuring the environmental impact nnEMF emissions will go a long way to set a scientific standard for assessing the seriousness of the environmental impact of such radiation. Additionally, the benefit from further research from the study (a more rigorous and fact-based standard to assist in achieving transparent and accountable government in South Africa) can only be imagined.
A National Research Foundation Synoptic Feedback from the Peer Review Committee regarding the study* :
- The relevance of the problem statement is convincing from the standpoint of the link between unregulated nnEMF exposure environments and the increased risk of diseases to humans.
- The envisaged research outputs outlined are good and realistic, and are easy to relate to set objectives.
- Potential impact: The project idea is novel and will contribute to the generation of both new methodologies and new knowledge on exposure of the nnEMF environment and the impact on increased diseases in the society. This work has a globally environmental impact and could influence policy, as the findings will be presented to multinational regulatory bodies.
- Alignment with National Research Strategies: This is a multidisciplinary project and different aspects have been fully addressed. The study is highly aligned with national priorities. There are many concerns about exposure to nnEMF radiation globally. The WHO recommends that countries adopt their health-based nnEMF radiation standard from the large selection of international guidelines published, based on their tolerance of risk value toward accrued benefits to health. Therefore, the study contributes alignment to South African national strategies.
- Academic merit: 81%