Wi-Fi is the second most prevalent form of wireless technology in Canada next to cell phones. The technology allows devices such as computers, smart phones, and video game consoles to communicate data wirelessly. Wi-Fi is all around us -- in schools, offices, coffee shops, homes, as well as countless other locations.
A number of media reports have suggested that Wi-Fi could be associated with a variety of health concerns. Yet, there is no convincing scientific evidence that exposure to low-level radiofrequency (RF) energy from Wi-Fi causes adverse health effects in humans.
RF energy levels from Wi-Fi equipment in all areas accessible to the general public are required to meet Health Canada's exposure guidelines. The limits specified in the guidelines are based on an ongoing review of thousands of published scientific studies on the health impacts of RF energy. Based on scientific evidence, Health Canada has determined that exposure to low-level RF energy, such as that from Wi-Fi equipment, is not dangerous to the public.
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.
Industry Canada is the federal regulator responsible for the approval of RF communications equipment and performing compliance assessments, to ensure that public RF exposures fall within acceptable guidelines. Industry Canada has chosen the human exposure limits established by Health Canada as their exposure standard.
More information about Wi-Fi equipment is available on the Frequently Asked Questions page:
- What does Health Canada say about the potential health risks from Wi-Fi?
- Should parents be concerned about Wi-Fi in schools?
- Should parents take any precautions to limit their children's exposure to Wi-Fi?
- How do Health Canada's exposure guidelines compare to those of other countries?
- How often does Health Canada revise its guidelines?
- What about studies that show biological effects at RF energy levels below Health Canada's exposure limits? Did Health Canada consider those studies when developing its exposure limits?
- Is it true that there are no studies of long term effects of Wi-Fi radiation on children?
- What scientific studies support Health Canada's RF energy exposure limits?
Learn more about RF fields by consulting the following resources:
- International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)
The ICNIRP reviews current scientific evidence about the health consequences of exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields and publishes its advice on its web site.
- Safety of Cell Phones and Cell Phone Towers
With the growing popularity of cell phones, concerns have been raised about the safety of exposure to RF energy. This document addresses these concerns and outlines the respective responsibilities of Health Canada and Industry Canada for the safety of these devices.
- Health Canada's RF exposure guidelines (Safety Code 6)
These guidelines describe limits for safe human exposure to radiofrequency energy. Industry Canada has adopted these exposure limits and included them in their regulatory documents.
- Industry Canada's Radio Standards Specification 102
Radio Standards Specification 102, Radio Frequency Exposure Compliance of Radiocommunication Apparatus (All Frequency Bands) sets out the requirements and measurement techniques used to evaluate RF exposure compliance of radiocommunication apparatus designed to be used within the vicinity of the human body.
- Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health
This World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet reviews scientific evidence on the health effects from continuous low-level human exposure to cell phone towers and other local wireless networks.
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