Exposure to Radio Frequency (RF) Signals
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published information for consumers
relating to Radio Frequency (RF) exposure from wireless phones.
The FDA publication includes the following information:
Do cell phones pose a health hazard?
Many people are concerned that cell phone radiation will cause cancer or other
serious health hazards. The weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones
with any health problems.
Cell phones emit low levels of Radio Frequency (RF) energy. Over the past 15 years,
scientists have conducted hundreds of studies looking at the biological effects of
the radio frequency energy emitted by cell phones. While some researchers have
reported biological changes associated with RF energy, these studies have failed to
be replicated. The majority of studies published have failed to show an association
between exposure to radio frequency from a cell phone and health problems.
The low levels of RF cell phones emit while in use are in the microwave frequency
range. They also emit RF at substantially reduced time intervals when in the stand-
by mode. Whereas high levels of RF can produce health effects (by heating tissue),
exposure to low level RF that does not produce heating effects causes no known
adverse health effects.
The biological effects of radio frequency energy should not be confused with the
effects from other types of electromagnetic energy.
Very high levels of electromagnetic energy, such as is found in X-rays and gamma
rays, can ionize biological tissues. Ionization is a process where electrons are stripped
away from their normal locations in atoms and molecules. It can permanently damage
biological tissues including DNA, the genetic material.
The energy levels associated with radio frequency energy, including both radio
waves and microwaves, are not great enough to cause ionization of atoms and
molecules. Therefore, RF energy is a type of non-ionizing radiation. Other types of
non-ionizing radiation include visible light, infrared radiation (heat), and other forms of
electromagnetic radiation with relatively low frequencies.
While RF energy does not ionize particles, large amounts can increase body
temperatures and cause tissue damage. Two areas of the body, the eyes and the
Important Safety Information