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Health Canada seek feedback on changes to national safety standards for wireless signals


Health CanadaThe Canadian government has requested public feedback on changes to the county’s safety standards for wireless signals, which are based on an independent expert review that recommended exposure limits in some frequency ranges be lowered.

 
Health Canada will allow two months to receive scientific feedback on the new Safety Code 6 – the national safety standard for human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy from sources like Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their base stations – before the standard is finalised in late 2014.
 
“Health Canada reminds all Canadians that their health remains well protected from RF energy by the human exposure limits required by the current Safety Code 6. The current Safety Code establishes and maintains a human exposure limit that is far below the threshold for potential adverse health effects,” Health Canada said.
 
“This is the first time Safety Codes have been opened for public consultation.”
 
In the new draft standards Health Canada have adopted the recommendations of an independent review produced by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) expert panel at the government’s request.
 
The review assessed the latest scientific research and found there was no evidence of negative health effects from exposure to wireless signals below the current limits, however the RSC panel did recommend slightly more restrictive limits in some frequency ranges to ensure that the large safety margins inherit in the national safety standards were maintained.
 
“Health Canada is proposing changes to Safety Code 6 based on the latest available scientific evidence, improved modelling of the interaction of RF fields with the human body and to align with exposure limits specified by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP),” Health Canada said in a statement.
 
“These changes are being proposed to ensure that wide safety margins are maintained to protect the health and safety of all individuals, including children.”
 
“The RSC has agreed that there are no established adverse health effects at exposure levels below these proposed limits.”
 
The independent guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) form the basis of Health Canada’s limits for safe human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy from sources like mobile phones, Wi-Fi and radio antennas.
 
In 2009, ICNIRP acknowledged (pdf) that some new studies of computer simulated exposures showed a theoretical increase in calculated radio signal absorption levels.
 
Higher resolution and more anatomically realistic models of adult men and women, pregnant women and child models of varying age and size have shown slightly higher exposures in some frequency ranges in more recent studies.
 

 

Published 29/05/2014

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