General aspects

The problem of general population exposure to electromagnetic fields originating from radiocommunication stations came to the fore in Portugal in around 2000, when a number of people/organisations began to express concerns in this area.

It was in this context that the then Instituto das Comunicações de Portugal (ICP) decided, by Determination of 6 April 2001, to adopt transitional reference levels (which are the limits applicable to electromagnetic fields from radiocommunication stations in sites of general population exposure) Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC of 12 July 1999 (based on the values recommended by the International Commission for the Protection of Non-Ionizing Radiation - ICNIRP and applicable, as a technical parameter, to all radiocommunication stations to be installed pursuant to a network or station licence.

Subsequently, upon the initiative of the government, Decree-Law no. 11/2003 of 18 January created conditions (article 11) for the establishment, in national legislation, of the limits applicable to electromagnetic fields originating from radiocommunication stations at sites of general population exposure.

This was implemented through Administrative Rule no. 1421/2004 of 23 November, based on the recommendations of a multidisciplinary Inter-ministerial working group set up for this purpose, in line with those defined by ICNIRP and by the Community Recommendation.

Being responsible for overseeing compliance with reference levels of radiation originating from radiocommunications stations, ANACOM makes the conclusions of investigations carried out following complaints or expressions of concern by organisations/persons available on its website - assessment of non-ionizing radiation

In addition, there is a set of provisions which complement the regulatory framework associated with the problem of general population exposure to electromagnetic fields originating from radiocommunications stations:

  • Regulation no, 609/2011 of 25 November - methodology for the preparation and execution of plans to monitor and measure the intensity levels of the electromagnetic fields resulting from the emission of radiocommunications stations;
  • Decree-Law no. 151-A/2000 of 20 July, as amended by Decree-Law no. 264/2009 of 28 September - regime applicable to the licensing of radiocommunication networks and stations and to oversight of the installation of such stations and of use of the radioelectric spectrum, as well as the regime applicable to radio fees, protection from electromagnetic radiation and the sharing of radiocommunications infrastructure.