FCC Standards

FDA: Scientific Evidence for Cell Phone Safety - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlines its position regarding RFR and US RFR regulation, asserting that RFR at FCC regulated levels are safe, and continue to be sufficient for new 5G technologies. This page provides FDA statements under headings including: The FDA’s Review of the National Toxicology Program’s Studies on High Dose Radio Frequency Radiation, Epidemiological Studies and Public Health Surveillance Data, and No New implications for 5G.

"The FDA is responsible for, among other things, ensuring cell phones – and any radiation-emitting electronic product – are safe for the public to use. This includes, understanding the health risks (if any) of new electronic products that emit radiation as they become widely available to the U.S. public, such as 5G cell phones. While many of the specifics of 5G remain ill-defined, it is known that 5G cell phones will use frequencies covered by the current FCC exposure guidelines (300 kHz-100 GHz), and the conclusions reached based on the current body of scientific evidence covers these frequencies." 

NTP: Cell Phone Radio Frequency Radiation - The National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the  National Institute of Health describes its recent research into the effect of RFR exposure at frequencies associated with 2G and 3G wireless technologies on rats and mice. The study demonstrated an association between such RFR exposure and certain kinds of tumors in rats, however peer and inter-agency reviews of the study largely agree that the duration and intensity of the RFR exposure rats were subject to in the study are far greater than what humans are exposed to in a regulated environment, therefore the results should not be extrapolated to the normal human environment (See the FDA link above to read The FDA’s Review of the National Toxicology Program’s Studies on High Dose Radio Frequency Radiation). Concerning 5G RFR (sometime referred to as millimeter waves), NTP indicates plans for future research:

"Millimeter waves do not travel as far and do not penetrate the body as deeply as do the wavelengths from the lower frequencies. Millimeter waves are likely to penetrate no deeper than the skin, whereas the lower frequencies have been shown to penetrate at least three to four inches into the human body. NTP is currently evaluating the existing literature on the higher frequencies intended for use in the 5G network."

Other agencies also investigate the health effects of RFR include OSHA and NIOSH, however these agencies are more concerned with occupational exposure, as opposed to public exposure originated from wireless communications technology.

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State Regulation: Within FCC guidelines, state legislators have been introducing new laws to regulate the new technology. See this resource from the National Conference of State Legislatures: Mobile 5G and Small Cell 2019 Legislation

Radiofrequency Energy and Safety  - A resource from the Government of Canada, includes information specific to 5G, FAQs and links to other resources addressing radiofrequency sources, health impacts, and Canadian regulation of RF energy.

Cell phones and cell phone towers - A resource from the Government of Canada which provides information on RF radiation associated with cell phone and towers, health impacts, and recommendations for the public.


Radiofrequency Toolkit for Environmental Health Practitioners, (2012), British Columbia Center for Disease Control

This toolkit summarizes and assesses scientific research published between 2006 and 2012 on the physics, exposure, and health effects of RF. It is based on collections of articles assessing the[Radiofrequency] RF literature and original research. Sections relevant to this resource include: Section 2: Physics of RadiofrequencySection 6A/B which addresses biological effects of RF; Section 13: RF Guidelines and Standards.

“RF-emitting devices such as mobile phones, baby monitors, WiFi and Smart Meters are used extensively for wireless communication... Information on RF and RF safety is abundant but broadly scattered, technically complex, and not easily understood. RF emitting devices differ in such characteristics as frequency, power, and continuity of output, yet the public sometimes sees exposure to RF as a single issue without considering the strength and nature of the RF source and the distance between the source and the individual who might absorb its energy.”

Similar to many studies, literature reviews and meta-analyses, this 2012 toolkit from the British Columbia Center for Disease Control does not specifically mention “5G.” However, it addresses RF ranges up 300 GHz, which is inclusive of the frequency bands utilized by 5G networks, and is therefore a useful tool in understanding the science and rationale behind regulations governing 5G as well as previous generations of wireless technology.