Health and Safety of 802.11


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 802.11 radio devices are not bad for the health of people using radio LANs. Also a list of frequently asked questions will be presented.

Safe, Low-Power Radio

802.11, like other radio devices, emits radio frequency electromagnetic energy. Because 802.11 operates within the guidelines found in radio frequency safety standards and recommendations, HVTC believes 802.11 is 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.

          Standards Coordinating Committee 28 of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

          National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP)

          National Radiological Protection Boards (NRPB) in the United Kingdom.

          International Radiation Protection Association’s International Non-Ionizing Radiation Committee (IRPA/INIRC) (under World Health Organization sponsorship)

IEEE/ANSI Standard (ANSI/IEEE C95.1-1992)

In September of 1992, 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, was approved by the IEEE Standard Board. 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 andd 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, 1992.)