Breakthrough in case law on radiation risks

A Dutch Administrative Court does not rule out increased health risks for wireless technology well below exposure limits; safety claimed by ICNIRP limits off the table.

4.4 “In the opinion of the court, considering all arguments, with reference to scientific literature, it cannot be ruled out that there are increased health risks even at a field strength lower than 1 V/m.”

This Dutch legal precedent will indeed have major consequences.  There is an enormous amount of scientific evidence that there are indeed health effects from electromagnetic radiation, also far below the applied standards. The exposure limits of the private organization ICNIRP are also increasingly under attack. In addition, the conflict of interest with the telecom industry is becoming increasingly visible.

Case summary:  District Court of Gelderland

Section headings translated:

  • 1. The guidelines are exclusively based on short-term thermal effects.
  • 3. The inadequacy of current case law
  • 6. A dangerous disregard of scientific knowledge and risks
  • 7. The unsubstantiated denial of the existence of EHS

The significance is here: Change of course in case law

Press release:  Breakthrough in case law on radiation risks

Footnotes reference inadequate ICNIRP guidelines (still followed unquestioningly)

Message from Wilma de Jong:  December 24th 2020

With great gratitude I address you the day before Christmas with great news. The administrative judge declared my appeal well-founded [1] . On the basis of my notice of appeal [2] and the hearing of October 20, 2020 [3] , the court ruled that increased health risks, when installing an antenna mast approximately 650 meters from my home, cannot be excluded.

This means we can speak of a huge breakthrough after more than two decades of citizens asking the courts to pay attention to the health risks of antenna installations.  

What does this ruling of the administrative judge mean?
The statement means that:

  1. Municipalities must consider the health interests of citizens who are sensitive to radiation in their local antenna policy.

“The health interests of local residents who are sensitive to radiation must also be included in the weighing of interests to be made by the respondent.”

(ECLI ruling: NL: RBGEL: 2020: 6702 [4] , claim 8, with reference (in consideration 4.2.) To the decision on my appeal: ECLI: NL: RBGEL: 2020: 6699 [1] , consideration 4.4.)

  1. The (false) safety claim for exposure limits ICNIRP is off the table.

“In the opinion of the court, considering all arguments, with reference to scientific literature, it cannot be ruled out that even at a field strength lower than 1 V / m, and therefore also in the plaintiff’s case, there will be increased health risks. ”

(ECLI verdict: NL: RBGEL: 2020: 6699 [1] , consideration 4.4.) As you may know, the ICNIRP exposure limits run up to 61 V / m (volts per meter).

From which it follows that:

  1. The national determination of the ICNIRP limits in the intended ‘Amendment to Frequency Decree 2013 to protect public health against radio frequency fields’ [5] is contrary to this ruling.

Even if a fictitious safety margin of a factor of 50 is used, the ICNIRP limits are well above 1 V / m, while the administrative judge has ruled (see 2.) that increased health risks at a field strength below 1 V / m are not excluded.

In addition, if the ICNIRP limits are set nationally, the municipalities are denied the opportunity to weigh up and promote the health interests of citizens locally (which is also contrary to the decision of the administrative judge, see 1.). After all, if this amendment decision is adopted, municipalities may not deviate locally from the ICNIRP limits by applying lower exposure limits [6] , even if the health interests of citizens demand this.

Recommendations Health Council inadequate
Already during the session on 20 October 2020, the administrative judge, on the basis of the recent report of the EMV Committee of the Health Council [7], came to the conclusion that the Health Council ‘simply does not know’ [8] [9] .

According to the Scientific Council for Government Policy, ignorance indicates ‘uncertain risk problems’ that require precaution [10] . We also find this point of view repeatedly in EU case law on the precautionary principle. [11] Although the Health Council suggests that it recommends precaution with regard to EMF, this is not actually the case.

In the first place, the recommendation of the Health Council to continue to take the ICNIRP exposure limits as a starting point, in view of the scientific and social controversy surrounding these limits, is contrary to precaution. [12] Second, the recommendation to apply the ALARA principle (ALARA is abbreviated from ‘As Low As Reasonably Achievable’) is meaningless, given the extreme height of the field strengths allowed under the ICNIRP limits. As early as 2003, RIVM reported the controversy about this principle, because ALARA can be translated into ‘As Large As Regulators Allow’. [13] The energetic way in which 5G is currently being rolled out nationally as if there were no risks whatsoever is illustrative of the failure to taking protective measures by the government.

Local and national antenna policy must be overhauled
I cannot yet foresee how the verdict will affect at national level. But I do see, as law and truth winning over power politics and technocracy, that antenna policy must be overhauled, both locally and nationally. Violations of integrity, such as the Health Council’s conflict of interest with the ICNIRP and the obfuscation (defactualization) of scientific evidence [14] , must be brought to light.

Moral responsibility
I would like to express the wish that the governments and others involved (medical) institutions take not only their legal, but also their moral responsibility as a result of this decision and recognize that there are limits to ignoring or fighting the rights of citizens.

Regardless, I feel great gratitude that my research over the past 4 years and the appeal I was able to write has paid off. I would like to thank everyone who supported me in this.

On Monday December 28 I will be sending a press release to the media. In addition, I will also offer this information, in an adapted form, in response to the internet consultation (draft regulation) ‘Amendment to Frequency Decree 2013 to protect public health against radiofrequency electromagnetic fields’, so that the government can adjust its decision-making accordingly.

Wilma de Jong

Footnotes :

[1] ECLI verdict: NL: RBGEL: 2020: 6699. .

[2] . For ‘Further explanation and substantiation: .

[3] .

[4] ECLI verdict: NL: RBGEL: 2020: 6702. .

[5] . 
See also: .

[6] ‘In Article 1.4. However, the Environmental Act stipulates that the Environmental Act will withdraw if a specific act provides for an exhaustive regulation in the field of the physical living environment. Such an exhaustive regulation is intended with this amendment decision. This means that local authorities such as provinces, municipalities and water boards will not be able to impose deviating or additional regulations with regard to electromagnetic fields under the Environmental Act. ‘   Article 5.2., Draft scheme. Consultation version ‘Decision to amend the Frequency Decree 2013 in connection with the establishment of national rules for the protection of public health against the electromagnetic fields resulting from the use of frequency space’. (See also article 5.1. Draft scheme.)



[9] See also:

[10] Scientific Council for Government Policy (2008). Uncertain security. Responsibilities around physical safety. Pages 119–120

[11] Commission Notice on the Precautionary Principle, Section 6.3.1. Proportionality.

[12] The Scientific Council for Government Policy writes in its report ‘Uncertain security. Responsibility for physical safety ‘(page 121): 
‘ Ambiguous risks arise where scientific or social controversies about risks arise. ‘ Precaution is necessary with ambiguous risks, according to the WRR. Since the ICNIRP limits are controversial, this precaution cannot be based on these limits at the same time

[13] RIVM (2003). Dealing with risks soberly. Environment and Nature Plan (MNP). RIVM report 2510701047/2003, page 35

[14] See my appeal: . For ‘Further explanation and substantiation: .

Press release:
>> Breakthrough in case law on radiation risks

In the Media:
>> De Telegraaf 31-12-2020: Health above the mast
>> See also our report on the De Telegraaf article: Change in course of jurisprudence regarding radiation risks 

See also:
>> Compilation of measures, advice and rulings from governments, international organizations and courts on the application of electromagnetic (EM) radiation from cell towers, smartphones, cordless (DECT) telephones and WiFi – collected by