Netherlands – Policy Recommendations On Cell Phones, Wireless Radiation & Health


Precautionary policy on magnetic fields

This policy has been in place since 2005 per the recommendation of the “Gezondheitsraad” for newly constructed power lines in sensitive areas -meaning near homes, schools, and kindergartens. Based on an assumed 30 percent saturation of a line (annual average), a magnetic field of 0.4 microteslas (µT) must not be exceeded. Regarding existing lines: the regulation does not apply (no new line)

Video of VAN RONGEN on  ELF magnetic fields and childhood leukemia, Presentation on the Netherlands report and policy.

Issued in 2005 Continue with policy

magnetic fields related to increases in childhood leukemia, and in addition to brain cancer,  

continue the precautionary policy and expand the policy to underground cables and transformer stations and transformer houses

Inner situations children should not be

In new situations only (meaning of it is not developed yet), children should not be exposed Houses, schools and kindergartens

An online map shows the magnetic field zone on each side of the powerline.

Sometimes slimmer higher towers used to carry the lines in order to reduce the EMF

In 2013 the government had a buy out of houses directly under high tension power lines 380-220 kV and cannot be used for living. And decided to do undergrounding as much as possible.


According to the Netherland National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM Report Comparison of international policies on electromagnetic fields (power frequency and radiofrequency fields)

  • “ For 50-hertz electric and magnetic fields from power lines and associated installations, the reference level in the EU recommendation may not be exceeded. In addition, a precautionary ‘attention value’ and ‘quality goal’ apply to 24-hour median exposure in homes, playgrounds, schools and places where people can stay for more than four hours. The ‘attention value’ of 10% of the EU reference level for magnetic flux density applies to existing situations. The ‘quality goal’ of 3% of the EU reference level for magnetic flux density applies to new situations. An even stricter limit for magnetic flux density (0.2% of the reference level) was adopted in three regions before the federal law came into force. This too applies to power lines near homes, schools and other places where people may stay for more than 4 hours per day.”


The Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment has issued policy advice on overhead power lines for local governments and grid companies.

  • The aim of the advice is to prevent new situations where children stay for a long time in the area near overhead power lines where the magnetic field exceeds 0.4 microteslas (annual average). This recommendation was based on RIVM research and on the scientific evaluation conducted by the Health Council of the Netherlands (in Dutch).
  • RIVM supports the implementation of this policy advice by calculating the magnetic field zone in a specific situation and a website with a map (in Dutch) showing the width of the magnetic field zone for the Dutch high voltage power grid.
  • “The Health Council of the Netherlands (HCN) has published a report on power lines and childhood cancer. The conclusion is, that there still is an association between living near power lines and the concurrent exposure to ELF magnetic fields and childhood leukemia. The risk estimate has increased slightly to 2.7. There is also some indication for an association with childhood brain cancer, but these are much weaker; the risk estimate is 1.4. Since the indications for the association with magnetic field exposure have become stronger (although there is still no causal relation demonstrated), the HCN recommended to the government to continue the precautionary policy concerning overhead power lines and to extend it to underground high-voltage power cables and other structures from the electricity grid, such as transformer houses. The current policy calls for prevention of the creation of new situations near overhead power lines where children will be long-term exposed to ELF magnetic fields exceeding an annual average of 0.4 µT. The HCN report is currently available in Dutch only ( nningslijnen_en_gezondheid_deel_i_kanker_bij_kinderen.pdf), with an Executive Summary in English (, but a full translation is underway
  • They recommend that local authorities should minimize ELF in “sensitive designated uses  such as dwellings, crèches, and day-care centers.” Read this in the WHO Report 2018 Update


Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and science from Environmental Health Trust. We email our subscribers with a newsletter just once a month and never share your email with anyone.

Thank you for signing up for our newsletter!