Communication Technology and Public Health

The abundance of cell phones, cell phone base stations, and other relatively new communication technology such as wireless internet technology (Wi-Fi) has raised questions about the potential for health effects from these technologies.

While some of these technologies are new, the use of the radiofrequency band for communications and other applications is not. Widespread public exposure to these frequencies has occurred for decades. For example, the radiofrequency energy given off by cell phones and Wi-Fi is similar to the energy used in AM/FM radios, TV broadcast signals, home cordless phones, and microwave ovens.

Health Canada developed a guideline called Safety Code 6 (revised 2009), which sets exposure limits for the protection of human health from adverse effects of radiofrequency exposure. Industry Canada, which regulates the radiofrequency band in Canada, has adopted this guideline.

Health Canada continues to monitor the science regarding radiofrequency exposure. In the meantime, the consensus of the scientific community is that radiofrequency energy from Wi-Fi, cell phones, cell phone towers, and other communication technology is too low to cause adverse health effects in humans.


Additional information

Communication Technology and Public Health - Fact Sheet


Useful links

Wi-Fi Equipment
Health Canada, February 2013 

Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health: Mobile Phones
World Health Organization, June 2011 

EMF (Electric and Magnetic Fields)  
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Updated December 2011

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