Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Health Canada's Position on WiFi

Wi-Fi is a hot topic these days and there have been questions about how safe it is?  Some of this concern is due to a 2011 report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) on RF energy.  The IARF classification of RF energy reflects the fact that some limited evidence exists that RF energy might be a risk factor for cancer.  
Health Canada is very clear on this issue:  

"Current scientific evidence supports the assertion that RF energy emissions from Wi-Fi devices are not harmful."

Wifi signals can be found in your home, neighbourhood, schools, coffee shops, malls, and city centres to name a few.  RF energy coming from Wi-Fi devices is similar to that emitted from commonly used household products such as cordless phones, video game controllers, remote controls for garage door openers, and baby monitors.  These devices have been used in consumer markets for years  Based on current scientific evidence, Health Canada has determined that low-level exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy from Wi-Fi equipment is not dangerous to the public. This conclusion is consistent with the findings of other international bodies including the World Health Organization, International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and the Instiute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Health Canada's position is that no precautionary measures are needed. Wi-Fi exposure levels are typically well below Canadian and international exposure limits, and there is no convincing evidence that they are a health hazard.

The information from this post and much more can be found at:



Anonymous said...

Great posting Doug,

The main point made by Health Canada is: "Health Canada has determined that low-level exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy from Wi-Fi equipment is not dangerous to the public."

The next question is... what constitutes low-level exposure? Would a commercial grade Wi-Fi antenna just meters from your desk @ 8hrs/day be low level exposure?

Douglas Sadler said...

Thank you for your comments Anonymous.

This has been taken into consideration. There is very detailed information on the Health Canada website describing "low-level exposure".

Health Canada has stated it agrees more research is necessary.

Health Canada does say:

"Radiofrequency energy levels from Wi-Fi equipment in all areas accessible to the general public, including school settings, are required to meet Health Canada's safety guidelines (Safety Code 6). The limits specified in the guidelines are based on an ongoing review of thousands of published peer reviewed scientific studies on the health impacts of radiofrequency energy. Levels of radiofrequency energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment are typically well below these safety limits. As long as exposure is below these established limits, there is no convincing scientific evidence that this equipment is dangerous to schoolchildren or to Canadians in general.

Health Canada scientists continually review new scientific studies in this area to ensure safety guidelines are sufficient for the protection of the health and safety of Canadians. Health Canada also continues to participate in international standards development and advisory bodies and undertakes its own focused research to support the development of its safety recommendations."

Thank you

Anonymous said...

It's important to remember that the government benefits from the sale of internet to Canadian consumers (think of how much we pay per month in HST on your Cogeco, Rogers, or Bell bills). Therefore, we should be leary of research conducted by government funded projects. Imagine the uproar it would cause, if Health Canada admitted that exposure to RF energy was dangerous? They would lose a substantial amount of tax revenue (even in the sale of products associated with WiFi).
Who, then, will conduct this necessary research? There is too much money at stake.