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Environmental and Workplace Health

Health Canada's Radiofrequency Exposure Guidelines

Health Canada has updated its human exposure guidelines to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy. The current version of these exposure guidelines is specified in a document entitled: Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz - Safety Code 6 (2009). This code is accompanied by the Technical Guide for Interpretation and Compliance Assessment of Health Canada's Radiofrequency Exposure Guidelines, to assist users in understanding and assessing the safety of electromagnetic exposures in working and living environments.

Safety Code 6 (2009)

The safety limits in this code are based on an ongoing review of published scientific studies, including both internal and external authoritative reviews of the scientific literature, as well as Health Canada's own research. This code is periodically revised to reflect new knowledge in the scientific literature. The current version of this code reflects the scientific literature published up to August 2009 and replaces the previous version published in 1999.

Errata - Section 2.3, page 19

"[...] Temperature increases in living tissue due to RF energy absorption follow a well-defined pattern with a time constant of approximately 6 minutes (thermal time constant), where 63% of the steady state temperature increase occurs within 6 min. [...]"

To obtain an electronic copy of this document, please contact: publications@hc-sc.gc.ca

Safety Code 6 DRAFT

To ensure that it continues to provide protection against all known adverse human health effects of radiofrequency fields, Safety Code 6 is reviewed on a regular basis. Currently a draft of a revised Safety Code 6 is undergoing review by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). The RSC hosted a public consultation on Safety Code 6 in October, 2013. Following receipt of the report from the RSC, anticipated in March 2014, Health Canada will consult further with Canadians prior to finalizing the revised Safety Code 6.

Health Canada reminds all Canadians that their health is protected from RF fields by the human exposure limits recommended in Safety Code 6. Health Canada has established and maintains a general public exposure limit that incorporates a wide safety margin and is therefore far below the threshold for potentially adverse health effects. The Department continues to monitor and analyze ongoing scientific research on this issue and should new scientific evidence arise demonstrating that exposure to RF fields poses a health risk to Canadians, Health Canada will take the appropriate action to safeguard the health of Canadians.

Technical Guide

This document contains technical information for guiding individuals or groups in their understanding of Health Canada's radiofrequency exposure guidelines, commonly known as Safety Code 6 (2009), and provides recommended best practices for ensuring compliance with the maximum exposure levels for controlled and uncontrolled environments. Information regarding survey methods and examples of calculations for the basis of assessing exposure levels are also provided.

To obtain an electronic copy of this document, please contact: publications@hc-sc.gc.ca