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We have great respect for people's concerns regarding the data on electromagnetic fields in cars, which has been reported by the media, and we take them with utmost seriousness. We would therefore like to clarify the following:

There is no scientific evidence today, which shows that electromagnetic fields in measured values can cause illness. The research world is deeply divided as to whether these fields can eventually have an effect on humans. There have been no documented cases where people have become ill from electromagnetic fields in cars.

All electric/electronic equipment generates a field of force. People are subjected to fields of varying strengths from a number of sources: under power line pylons, at a computer, in front of the TV, from clock radios, under fluorescent lamps, by using mobile phones and in the car.

Electromagnetic fields are measured in microteslas (uT). Electromagnetic current in itself is not dangerous. Teslas and microteslas (= millionth parts of a tesla) are not a measure of the danger level of the radiation. This can be likened to a light meter in a camera, which can decide whether a person has been out in the sun for too long or not.

Frequency of the electromagnetic field is an important parameter, which effects how an outer field can pass through the skin to nerves and other organs.

The electromagnetic fields in Volvo cars have low frequencies and there are considerably higher recommendations compared with, for example, visual display units where the electromagnetic field lies at a higher frequency and consequently recommendations on limits also lie at a considerably lower level.

There are different recommendations on limits. Even in these cases one must differentiate between the type of environment and which frequency the electromagnetic field has. The EU's ministerial counsel has sent out a proposal for recommendations surrounding electromagnetic fields, where considerations in Sweden will be co-ordinated by SSI (The National Institute of Radiation Protection).

The levels in Volvo cars are 10-100 times under the recommended limits, which the EU has sent out. These recommendations concern electromagnetic effects on the head and chest. The main source of electromagnetic fields in Volvo cars lies along the floor. This field subsides very quickly at a distance from the source. According to the Swedish car magazine, Vi Bilägare, the measurements were found to be 0,9 uT at chest height and 0,6 uT at head height. EU-recommendations lie at 100 uT for these areas of the body. There are no recommendations for other areas of the body.

There are, in other contexts, for example in an office environment a limit that has been registered at 0,2uT. This limit takes into consideration the continuous effect in an environment with a high frequency electromagnetic field.

Volvo's range of cars has for reasons of space and weight distribution positioned the battery in the boot of the car. This means that the positive cable is drawn through the car along to the starting motor. A corresponding solution can be found in several of Volvo's competitors.

As no evidence of risk regarding electromagnetic fields has been found in cars, there are no reasons for Volvo to take technical or other measures.

If you would like to read more on this subject we recommend this following web page at the WHO, World Health Organisation: http:// www.who.int/inf-fs/en/fact205.html
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