Safe use of cell phones

Transcript - Safe Use of Cell Phones

Transcript - Safe Use of Cell Phones

Hands using cell phones.
Woman talking on a cell phone.
Man talking on cell phone.
Hands using cell phones.

Narrator -- Millions of messages are sent and received every day - nearly all by wireless users...and the demand for wireless services is growing like wildfire. But so is concern about the potential health effects from long-term exposure to RF (radiofrequency) energy.

Man dialling on a cell phone.
Man talking on cell phone in an office.
Teen talking on cell phone on the street.
Teen texting on cell phone.
Cell phone tower.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently classified RF energy as "possibly carcinogenic to humans," based on limited evidence that RF energy might be a risk factor for cancer. However, the vast majority of scientific research to date does not support this link.

Dr. Daniel Krewski walking into his office and sitting at his desk.

Dr. Daniel Krewski is the Scientific Director of the McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment.

Dr. Daniel Krewski -- Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa -- "You have to look at the entire body of literature when you're reaching overall conclusions and of the literally thousands of papers that have been written on this topic, very few have suggested health concerns and all of that information needs to be taken into account when reaching an overall conclusion."

Levels of RF energy displayed on monitor in a science lab.
RF testing in science laboratory.

Narrator -- Levels of radiofrequency energy that are coming from cell phone technology are typically well below the safety limits.

Dr. Frank Prato -- Lawson Health Research Institute -- "If you're being exposed to cell phone technology or just the phone inside the house which is a hand-free technology. Remember again that you're going to be exposed from that little base station that you plug into the wall in your home. You're going to be exposed just as much as you are from cell towers because the signal has to get to you. And then you're going to send a signal back, you don't have to send it back as far, you only have to only send it back the width of your house, so the radiation dose from that hand held system will be quite low..."

Scientist working inside a science lab.

Narrator -- The limits set in Health Canada's RF exposure guidelines are actually 50 times lower than the threshold for potentially adverse health effects. These limits are based on ongoing research and scientific studies.

Pregnant woman walking into baby nursery and sitting on a rocking chair.

Dr. Anthony Muc -- Environmental Health Professor - University of Toronto -- "If you go back historically, and look at how the standards and guidelines, SC6 - how they evolved; it was taken into account, the size of the individual. There were models done for children, for fetuses even. The standard and guideline as it exists now has evolved from considerations that have been incorporated. All of that over the last 50 years."

Teen talking on cell phone.


  • Limit length of calls
  • Use hands-free devices
  • Text

Narrator -- There are things you can do to reduce RF exposure such as limit the length of cell phone calls; using hands-free devices or texting.

Teen texting on cell phone.
Teen talking on cell phone.

Since children are typically more sensitive to a variety of environmental agents, parents are encouraged to reduce their kids' RF exposure from cell phones.

Texting on cell phone.


  • Must meet safety guidelines
  • Regularly reviews research

Remember all equipment associated with exposure to radiofrequency fields must meet Health Canada's safety guidelines. Also, Health Canada continually reviews scientific studies to ensure that safety guidelines are sufficient.

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