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Do Wireless LANs Pose a Health Risk to the Consumer?

Influence on the health is one of most discussed topics of radio LANs, since radio devices emit radio frequency electromagnetic energy. This document wants to clarify that radio devices are not bad for the health of people using Wireless LANs (WLANs). Also a list of frequently asked questions will be presented.

Safe, Low-Power Radi
Wireless LAN (WLAN) devices emit radio frequency electromagnetic energy. Because WLANs are designed to operate within the guidelines found in radio frequency safety standards and recommendations, WLANs are safe for use by consumers. These standards and recommendations reflect the consensus of the scientific community and result from deliberations of panels and committees of scientists who continually review and interpret the extensive research literature.

Radio Frequency Safety Standards
The following organizations have independently issued similar recommendations for exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic energy. &#aacute; Standards Coordinating Committee 28 of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) &#aacute; National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) &#aacute; National Radiological Protection Boards (NRPB) in the United Kingdom. &#aacute; International Radiation Protection Association's International Non-Ionizing Radiation Committee (IRPA/INIRC) (under World Health Organization sponsorship) <p><b>IEEE/ANSI Standard (ANSI/IEEE C95.1-1992)</b><br> In September of 1992, the IEEE Standard Board approved the IEEE Standards for Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz, IEEE C95.1-1991. This standard is a revision of the American National Standard Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, 3kHz to 100GHz, ANSI C95.1-1982. The IEEE standard resulted from the deliberations of over 120 leading biologists, biophysicists, physiologists, physicists, physicians, engineers and members of other scientific disciplines representing academia, federal agencies with public responsibilities, industry and other interested groups and organizations. In November of 1992, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved the IEEE C95.1-1991 standard. The following is stated in the IEEE standard: " No verified reports exist of injury to human beings who have been exposed to electromagnetic fields within the limits of frequency and [specific absorption rate] specified by previous ANSI standards, including ANSI C95.1-1982."IEEE USAB Entity Position Statement "Measurements have shown that routine exposure of users and other persons to low power portable and mobile transceivers and cellular telephones do not induce rates of [radio frequency] absorption that exceed any of the maximum permissible rates of energy absorption defined by these guidelines" [IEEE, ANSI]. Therefore, based on present knowledge, the exposures from low-power transceiver are considered to be without risk for the users and the public. (Quoted from the IEEE USAB Entity Position Statement Human Exposure to Radio frequency Fields from Portable and Mobile Telephones and other Communication Devices, December 2, 2020.) <p><b>Conclusion</b><br> The interpretation of over four decades of research in this area has led to a scientific consensus on the safety of exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields. This consensus is reflected in the recommendations and standards developed by expert committees such as NCRP Scientific Committee 53, IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 28, IRPA/INIRC and NRPB. Manufacturers of Wireless Networking products design their products to operate within the guidelines of these standards and recommendations and, therefore, are considered safe. <p><b><span class="head">Questions and Answers</span></b> <p><b>Can you absolutely assure customers that Wireless LAN products are safe?</b><br> Extensive research on the safety of exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic energy has been carried out for more than four decades. This research is continually reviewed and interpreted by committees of scientists who develop safe limits for exposure. Manufacturers of wireless LANs monitor this research and participate in the consensus standards process and ensure that WLAN products operate within the guidelines of these standards. Consequently, manufacturers of WLAN products believe their products are safe. <p><b>What if the network has 100 nodes?</b><br> Only one transmitter is active at any point in time, so the radiated power of a total network even when it has 100 nodes is actually equivalent to the radiated power of a single transmitter. WLAN transmitters operate at a power of 0.035 Watts (35 mW) in the 2.4 GHz band depending on the specific product in use and the local regulations. <p><b>How does WLAN technology differ from cellular technology?</b><br> WLAN products use a "bursty" type of transmit/receive protocol, while Cellular transmits and receives constantly (connection oriented). As an example: If a user would transfer data on an average of 100 MB per day, the WLAN transmitter would be on the air for approximately 10 minutes. Moreover, a typical hand held-cell phone has a RF power output of 0.600 Watts (600 mW) or almost 20X more output power! <!-- CONTENT END --> </td> </tr> </table> <br> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="750" border="0"> <tr> <td class="darkgrayBG" width="100%"><img src="/img/no.gif" width="1" height="15"></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="100%"><img src="/img/no.gif" width="1" height="5"></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="small" align="right"> <span class="gray">Copyright ©2004 WLANA. All rights reserved.</SPAN> </td> </tr> </table> </body> </html>