Safety Advice for Electromagnetic Fields (PDF)
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EMF Safety Standards

Jump to: Microwaves | Magnetic Field Body Voltage
             
See also: Distance Matters | Effects By Power | SAR

Outdated International Safety Standards for Microwaves

Compare our current international safety standards for mobile phone base stations with recommended guidelines for wireless safety below. Current safety limits are dangerously out of date.

August 2021 Update: On August 13, 2021, the Environmental Health Trust had a historic win challenging the FCC's failure to respond about environmental harm caused by RF.

YearPower Density LimitNameDescription
1966100,000,000 μW/m2ANSI C95.1Based on thermal effects
199210,000,000 μW/m2ANSI/IEEE C95.1-1992 Based on thermal effects, first recommended by IEEE ten years earlier in 1982. EPA calls it seriously flawed.
1996 10,000,000 μW/m2
5,800,000 μW/m2
FCC USA: 5,800 mW/m2 averaged over a 30-minute period (869 MHz), previously recommended in 1986 by NCRP;
10,000 mW/m2 for PCS frequencies(1.85-1.99 GHz)
1998 9,000,000 μW/m2
4,500,000 μW/m2
ICNIRP 9000 mW/m2 for 1800 MHz and 4,500 mW/m2 for 900 MHz.
4,500 mW/m2 is the equivalent of 61.0 V/m
Prevalent standard

The units above are provided in μW/m2. Check the conversion formulas if you need to convert the units to W/cm2 or V/m.

Standards for personal wireless devices are also extremely high. For example:

Recommended Precautionary Limits for Microwaves

The following precautionary guidelines are based on scientific research about biological and health effects at extremely low power densities. These are approximately 9000 times lower than international safety standards, which are based on an outdated dogma maintaining that the only harm of microwaves lies in its thermal effects. Check the Table of Effects to see the levels at which various effects have been reported.

Year Power Density Limit Name Description
2001 1,000μW/m2 Salzburg Resolution Equivalent of 1 mW/m2 = 0.1 μW/cm2 = 0.6 V/m ;
The recommendation of Salzburg, Austria and now also organizations like BioInitiative and Next-Up. In 2008, Liechtenstein adopts the goal of 0.6 V/m, approximately 1000 μW/m2 by 2013.
Proposed Limit for Public Exposure to Mobile Phone Base Stations
2011 170 μW/m2Seletun Scientific Statement 2011Equivalent of 0.17 mW/m2
2001 100 μW/m2EU Parliament STOA 2001Equivalent of 100 nW/cm2
2002 10 μW/m2 New Salzburg Precautionary Exposure Limit Outdoor Equivalent of 10 μW/m2=0.06 V/m
The recommendation for GSM 900/1800 mobile phone base stations updated by Salzburg Public Health; See also SBM 2008 below.
Proposed Target for Personal Precaution
2012 3-6 μW/m2 Bioinitiative 2012 Recommendation Equivalent of 0.3-0.6 nW/cm2
2002 1 μW/m2 New Salzburg Precautionary Exposure Limit Indoor Equivalent of 1 μW/m2=0.02 V/m
Recommendation for indoor exposures, updated by Salzburg Public Health. Burgerforum 1999 & London Resolution of 2007 agree with the New Salzburg Exposure Limit.

Click here to see what precautions other governments are recommending for wireless safety.

SBM 2008 (Standard of Building Biology Testing Methods) Guidelines for Sleeping Areas

No ConcernSlight ConcernSevere concernExtreme concern
<0.1μW/m2 0.1μW/m2 to 10μW/m2 10μW/m2 to 1000μW/m2 > 1000μW/m2

The Oberfranken study evaluated medical complaints of 356 people with long-term radiation in their homes. Above 100 microW/m2, only 5-6% of the people did not have adverse health effects. This is a level far below current safety standards.

Compare the radiation received from typical Wi-Fi routers and mobile phone base stations by applying the Inverse Square Law.


Safety Standards and Precautionary Guidelines for Power Line Magnetic Fields

In terms of power line magnetic fields, ICNIRP regulations allow for a generous AC (alternating current) magnetic field of 100,000 mG in Europe and 83,330 mG in North America.

Meanwhile, the Bioinitiative Working Group and Seletun Scientific Panel recommend exposures less than or equal to 1 milligauss, even though this, too, may turn out to be high. See factsheet on power lines.

SBM 2008 (Standard of Building Biology Testing Methods)

No ConcernSlight ConcernSevere concernExtreme concern
<0.2 mG 0.2 mG to 1 mG 1 mG to 5 mG > 5 mG

As a reference point, Powerwatch notes that the average level in houses in the UK is 0.5 milligauss. Nevertheless, I have definitely seen homes or apartments with higher levels than this.


Safety Standards and Precautionary Guidelines for Body Voltages

SBM 2008 (Standard of Building Biology Testing Methods)

No ConcernSlight ConcernSevere concernExtreme concern
<10 mV 10 to 100 mV 100 to 1000 mV > 1000 mV


Further References

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