Background to the Establishment of the Center

Humans have been exposed to non-ionizing radiation since the dawn of time.  However, advances in technology, and in particular the use of mobile phones (since the mid-1990s), have increased this exposure and its sources considerably.  Environmental exposure (e.g. from radar and the electric power grid) has been compounded by personal exposure of the public at large, including children (through devices held close to the body, such as mobile phones).  This increased exposure results both from personal use of a variety of electronic devices, such as mobile phones used widely throughout the world, and from passive exposure resulting from proximity to non-ionizing radiation-emitting devices, such as wireless routers and /cellular network base stations.

At the same time, concern over the potential effects of non-ionizing radiation on human health increased.  Active discussions on this subject among many researchers and professionals from various fields throughout the world, as early as the end of the 1990s, led to a recognition of the need for conducting comprehensive research to resolve this issue.

Over the years, most organizations in Israel and throughout the world have adopted the precautionary principle as an appropriate way of coping with exposure to non-ionizing radiation.  In line with this guiding philosophy, the exposure of the population to non-ionizing radiation should be minimized, while striking a balance between technological advances and health protection.

In accordance with the above, the Israeli government began to explore ways of confronting this issue on the national level.

 

The following are the milestones leading to the decision to establish the TNUDA Center:

 

 

   

2004-2005: Professional investigative team

The resolution of the Ministerial Committee for Science and Technology to set up a professional investigative team, to explore the possibility of establishing a national information center for research on non-ionizing radiation and its effect on public health, was ratified by the government in 2004 (resolutions #2545, #2761).

  • In accordance with the government resolutions, the purpose of the information center is to advance the following subjects:
    • Elaboration of a comprehensive and integrative overview of the effects of exposure to non-ionizing radiation on public health
    • Promotion, support, execution and publication of studies and current data on the subject in Israel and abroad, and creation of an infrastructure for research and experimentation in this field.
  • In 2005 the investigative team published recommendations in favor of establishing an information center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

2005: Inter-ministerial Committee of Directors-General

In 2005 the government set up an inter-ministerial committee of DirectorsGeneral to investigate the deployment of cellular base-stations in Israel (Inter-Ministerial Committee on amendment to National Master Plan 36A)

  • National Master Plan 36A, authorized by the Israeli government in 2002, is a national outline plan determining the deployment of small transmission stations, including cellular base stations.  Its aim is to install such stations efficiently in order to enable transmission and reception of wireless communications over the entire country, while avoiding radiation hazards and minimizing the damage to the environment and landscape.
  • The Inter-ministerial Committee was appointed by the government in 2005 to examine the need for amendments to National Master Plan 36A.
  • Among the Committee's recommendations:
    • There should be stringent licensing procedures for the installation of large transmission stations in populated areas, giving preference to the erection of smaller base stations (relatively densely deployed, to reduce the radiation from each station)
    • The discretionary powers of local authorities should be broadened, in particular with regard to the erection of transmission installations emitting relatively high levels of radiation and having an appreciable impact on the environment and the landscape.
    • There should be a mechanism for indemnification, dependent on the degree of involvement of the local authority in the planning process and its discretionary powers.
    • The public should be informed of the intention to install cellular base stations, and should be allowed to participate in the planning process.
    • The Committee also recommended that: a national information center be established in Israel, to deal with the effect of non-ionizing radiation on public health and welfare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

2006:  Governmental resolution

In 2006 the government decided to adopt the main recommendations in the final report of the investigative team (dated 2005).  The main points of the resolution:

  • A National Research and Information Center should be established, to collect up-to-date reliable information, from Israel and abroad, on non-ionizing radiation and its effect on public health.  The center will compile the information and make it available, to the general public and decision-makers in the government, in the form of annual reports and in response to requests.
  • Publish a 'call for proposal' for the establishment of the center.
  • Appoint a steering committee for the establishment and operation of the center.​

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

2012: Publication of the 'call for proposal' and announcement of the winners

In 2012 the Ministry of Science and Technology published a 'call for proposal' for the establishment of an information center on non-ionizing radiation and its effects on public health.

  • The Cancer and Radiation Epidemiology Unit of the Gertner Institute and the Holon Institute of Technology (H.I.T) won the tender (on recommendation of the Steering Committee of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space).
    • In line with this decision, a Steering Committee was appointed to establish and operate the Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

2013: Establishment of the TNUDA Information Center

The Israeli National Information Center for Non-ionizing Radiation and its Effects on Public Health – TNUDA - was established in 2013.

Aims of the Center: to constitute a leading professional source of information on non-ionizing radiation and its effect on public health, making it accessible to target audiences.  The Center will act in the public's interest and protect it against risks as and when they appear, will make recommendations to government bodies on the means of minimizing hazards, and will inform the public on the educated use of technologies involving exposure to non-ionizing radiation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

2013 - 2016:

During the first three years (2013-2016) the Tnuda Information center operated in collaboration with the Cancer and Radiation Epidemiology Unit of the Gertner institute and the Holon Institute of Technology (H.I.T).

 

Since 2016 the Center is directed by the Cancer and Radiation Epidemiology Unit of the Gertner institute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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