The federal government has responded to a petition calling for Canada to restrict the installation of cellphone towers and antennas around schools and playgrounds, saying such measures are unnecessary.
“Canada’s standards for cellphone and antenna safety are some of the toughest in the world. These rules use limits on human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF) for various devices, which are far below the threshold for potential health effects,” the response filed Monday on behalf of Health Minister Patty Hajdu said. “Based on the available scientific evidence, there are no health risks, including to children, from exposures to the low levels of radiofrequency EMF emitted by cell phones and antenna installations.”
The petition, sponsored by Liberal MP Ron McKinnon, called on the government not to allow cellphone towers and antennas to be installed within 305 metres of all schools and playgrounds.
The government’s response said that its Safety Code 6 is designed to ensure that even with 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week exposure to multiple sources of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, Canadians — including small children — would not suffer any adverse health effects.
It said the safety code was updated in 2015.
“When developing the exposure limits in Safety Code 6, our top scientists considered all peer-reviewed scientific studies and employed a weight-of-evidence approach to evaluate possible health risks from exposure to RF EMF. Canada’s Safety Code 6 limits are among the most stringent science-based limits in the world,” the response outlined.
In its response, Innovation Canada noted that different antennas can have significantly different radiofrequency energy levels.
“As a result, establishing a buffer zone at an arbitrary distance around them would be counterproductive to SC6,” the response said.
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