Wireless: What does current research say?

Canadian radiofrequency (RF) exposure guidelines are based on a careful review of medical and scientific research from around the world. This review of evidence allows safety limits for RF exposure to be set.

The current scientific consensus is that exposure to RF fields at levels similar to those from cellphones or cell sites do not cause adverse health effects. The World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) are among a number of scientific groups investigating possible health effects of RF exposure. The IARC is coordinating the 13-country INTERPHONE study, in which Canada is taking part, to assess whether RF exposure from mobile phones is associated with cancer risk.

What is the link between research and RF exposure?

Scientists have been studying the potential for health effects of RF fields for decades, long before cellphones were widely used. Consequently, scientists know that RF fields can generate heat when absorbed by the human body. They also know how much heat the human body can absorb without causing harm. Using this knowledge, the Government of Canada has developed RF exposure guidelines for the protection of the public. Considering all of the available scientific research, expert reviews have determined that there is no clear evidence of harm to human health, provided RF exposure guidelines are respected.

The Government of Canada regulates wireless devices and requires that these devices are designed, installed and operated so that public RF exposure is within established limits. As a result, wireless device manufacturers are required to design and test their models to make sure that established safety limits are respected. Wireless carriers are also required to design and locate their antennas to ensure that public exposure to RF energy respects Canadian guidelines.

How are Canadian RF exposure requirements kept up to date?

Government of Canada scientists research the effects of RF exposure and also monitor published findings. That way, if new, credible information suggests that amendments to the Canadian guidelines are required, then they would be made quickly.

More information: Research on Radiofrequency Energy and Health