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Potential health risks of radiofrequency fields from wireless telecommunication devices.
Krewski D; Byus CV; Glickman BW; Lotz WG; Mandeville R; McBride ML; Prato FS; Weaver DF
J Toxicol Environ Health, B 2001 Jan-Mar; 4(1):1-143
The use of wireless telecommunications devices in Canada has increased dramatically over the past decade. With the increased use has come a greater visibility of the technology and a concurrent rise in public concern over its safety. Guidelines for safe exposure limits to radiofrequency (RF) fields are laid out in Health Canada's Safety Code 6. The Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on radiofrequency fields was brought together to examine potential biological and health effects from RF fields resulting from the use of wireless telecommunications technology in order to review the adequacy of Safety Code 6. Surveys conducted in proximity to base stations operating in Canada indicate that the public is exposed to extremely low intensity RF fields in this environment. These exposures are typically thousands of times lower than the recommended maximum exposure levels in Safety Code 6. Workers who maintain base-station antennas may experience somewhat higher exposures, although these exposures can be controlled by careful work practices. Exposures from commercial cellular telephones and wireless communication devices are below the limits given in Safety Code 6, although exposures near these limits can occur. In preparing this review, the panel primarily used information obtained from published peer-reviewed scientific papers. The panel met with representatives from the two sponsoring agencies (Health Canada and Industry Canada). The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) was consulted regarding the use of wireless telecommunications devices in Canada and for engineering and technical information. The panel also took note of research that is currently underway, communicating with scientists involved in major studies in this field. Finally, interested parties were invited to send written submissions to the panel. Approximately 30 submissions were received from both organizations and individuals, and were circulated to all panel members so that they could be taken into account in preparing this report. The terms of reference for the panel were specified in the form of a series of questions about the potential health effects of exposure to RF fields. These questions, and the panel's responses, follow.
Health-hazards; Public-health; Exposure-limits; Biological-effects; Exposure-levels; Workers; Work-practices
Daniel Krewski, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Room 3229C, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8M5, Canada
Issue of Publication
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical Reviews
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division