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Wireless telecommunications rely on a wide network of cell phone towers (base stations) to send and receive information. Cell phone towers consist of antennas and electronic equipment which serve as hubs for cell phones and local wireless networks. When you make a call with your cell phone, your phone and a nearby cell phone tower communicate back and forth using low-power radiofrequency (RF) energy.
RF energy (sometimes called RF emissions, RF waves, or RF fields) is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes microwave radiation, visible light and X-rays. Health concerns are sometimes expressed by people who live or work near cell phone tower antennas located on towers, poles, water tanks or rooftops. Yet, the consensus of the scientific community is that RF energy from cell phone towers is too low to cause adverse health effects in humans. In fact, RF exposures from cell phone towers are typically well below Health Canada's exposure standards.
Over the past decade, the use of wireless telecommunication technology has increased significantly: more than 24 million Canadians now have cell phones. To ensure that the public's RF exposure falls within acceptable guidelines, Industry Canada, the federal regulator responsible for the approval of RF equipment and performing compliance assessments, has chosen the human exposure limits established by Health Canada (outlined in Safety Code 6), as their regulatory exposure standard ( Radio Standards Specification 102).
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.