Basic definition of precautionary principle is to consider actions to avoid possible harm even if it’s uncertain it will occur. Throughout human history, keeping the spirit of precaution alive and well has been a good way to ensure public health. It takes a lot of time for science to provide new research results and it’s not uncommon experience those results identify previous scientific certainties as uncertainties and awareness of what we don’t know expands even more. Over the past, the assumption that new research and new knowledge can only reduce and not increase uncertainties has cost humanity greatly. History of tobacco and GMO awareness are perfect examples of what happens when awaiting for new evidence is practiced without taking precautionary measures in the meantime.
Preventing risks from known hazards is far more easier task than implementation of precautionary measures. This is mainly because precautionary principle includes decision making – does the existing range of evidence justify introduction of precautionary measures now, or further time and evidence is needed to know more clearly when they should be introduced and what will those measures consist of. This status quo in taking action is known as “paralysis by analysis” and it can greatly prolong dangerous exposure to harmful agents.
In precautionary principle dictionary, there are three levels of precautionary measures: primary, secondary and tertiary. These levels depend on legitimacy and transparency of scientific evidence and plausibility of serious threats to health or environment, especially is those threats are irreversible and have greater chance to cost the society more than precautionary measures.
Growing awareness of potential EMF radiation hazardousness, it’s complexity, widespread on a world scale, possible irreversible impacts and overload of data accompanied by insufficiency of knowledge, has brought EMF radiation into position of status quo, when it comes to introduction of precautionary measures at governmental level. Luckily, with new evidence that are published every day, the situation is changing for the better. We can hear phrases such as “no scientific evidence” is now being changed into “prove for a causal link” more and more often. New studies are being published, with clear information on connection between EMF radiation and health problems and those information are far more transparent than few years before.
The World Health Organization recommends precautionary measures where there is possibility of serious or irreversible damage to health or environment, and where scientific evaluation has identified the threat but based on available data has not proved inconclusively existence of threat or it’s level. According to this recommendation, EMF radiation is clear case of sufficient evidence to introduce precautionary measures on global scale.
On a more personal level, choice of staying informed and up to date about EMF radiation is our personal choice. There are EMF radiation protection measures and EMF protection products we can easily practice and use in our daily lives and decrease significantly EMF radiation exposure and risk of developing EMF caused health problems.
“Where there is uncertainty as to the existence or extent of risks to human health, the institutions may take protective measures without having to wait until the reality and seriousness of those risks become fully apparent” (Christoforou, 2002)