|M.Sc Student||Laks Yael|
|Subject||Radio Frequency Radiation: Biological Effects, Assessment|
of Hazards and Safety Considerations
|Department||Department of Quality Assurance and Reliability||Supervisor||Dr. Phineas Dickstein|
Exposure to electromagnetic radiation has become a part of our daily reality. Some exposure is to natural sources, however, most exposure currently comes from unnatural sources, such as radar, antennas, and various devices for home or medical use.
Exposure to electromagnetic radiation has biological effects, some of which are reversible and some of which carry a risk of irreversible damage. Because of the increasing variety of appliances which emit electromagnetic radiation, it is becoming ever more important to set standards which will define exposure levels aimed to minimize the risk of irreversible biological damage.
We first reviewed the various mechanisms for biological effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiation, based on epidemiological studies and the results of a large number of experimental research studies, especially on animals. It is problematic to apply results of animal based research to humans, because the biological effect of radiation depends on the size of the exposed subject, and because of the physiological differences between animals and humans.
Some of the studies demonstrate an apparent biological effect, but in no case was such an effect demonstrated to be statistically significant. Some of the biological effects described are controversial, and we discuss the reasons for that. Furthermore, the experiments do not point to any long term risk due to exposure to radiation. Nevertheless, the exposure is not considered to be free of risk
The third part of this paper reviews and discusses various international standards dealing with the exposure to electromagnetic radiation.