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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.26 SNIP: 0.375 CiteScore™: 1.4

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v31.i3.20
58 pages

Health Risks of Electromagnetic Fields. Part II: Evaluation and Assessment of Radio Frequency Radiation

Riadh W. Y. Habash
McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, Institute of Population Health/School of Information Technology and Engineering, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 800 King Edward Avenue, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5
Lynn M. Brodsky
Risk Management Unit, Senior Medical Advisors Bureau, Therapeutic Products Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
William Leiss
School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Daniel Krewski
McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Michael Repacholi
Department of Protection of the Human Environment, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland


The increasing use of different radio frequency (RF)-emitting devices in residential and occupational settings has raised concerns about possible health effects of RF energy emitted by such devices. The debate about the potential risks associated with RF fields will persist with the prevalent network-connected wireless products and services targeting the marketplace for all kinds of consumer use. The aim of this article is to provide biomedical researchers with a review and critical evaluation of the current literature on acute and long-term health risks associated with RF radiation (RFR). Issues examined include safety standards for RFR; dosimetry and measurement surveys; and toxicological, epidemiological, and clinical studies of health outcomes that may be associated with RFR. Overall, the existing evidence for a causal relationship between RFR and adverse health effects is limited. Additional research is needed to clarify possible associations between RFR and biological effects noted in some studies. Particular attention should be directed toward long-term, low-level exposure to RFR.

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