1. Health Canada Guidelines Safety Code 6

A proponent is responsible for ensuring that all of their facilities are constructed in compliance with all health and safety regulations under the federal statutes of which radiocommunications sites must adhere. This includes Health Canada’s Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy in the Frequency Range of 3 kHz to 300 GHz - Safety Code 6(2009) - or more commonly referred to as "SC6".

A proponent’s obligations under Health Canada requirements are to ensure that all equipment used on a site, and its configuration, do not allow for exposure limits to be exceeded under SC6. To achieve this, the proponent obtains undertakings from their equipment manufacturers that the individual equipment components meet the requirements of SC6.

During the site design the proponent conducts a site simulation to ensure that the cumulative effects of the equipment emissions in the specific configuration adopted in the design result in electromagnetic energy (EME) exposure that is less than the limits imposed by Health Canada when combined with other sources of electromagnetic energy in an uncontrolled environment.

Each site design is then approved by a Professional Engineer licensed in the Province where the site is located, and the SC6 report is available to Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISEDC) as part of its regulatory undertakings.

There are a number of studies purporting that radiocommunications structures increase risks of certain types of illnesses and symptoms. Health Canada has the mandate and responsibility to consider these studies and revise its guidelines and requirements in those cases where they feel these studies warrant changes to the regulations that proponents operate under. Proponents defer to Health Canada to establish proper exposure limits.

Notwithstanding any of the above, the proponent is not responsible during the consultation process for proving to the public or LUAs that SC6 provides adaquate protection from EME, nor disproving statements regarding possible health implications of EME exposure. Provided the proponent is compliant with SC6, CPC 2-0-03 (2014) indicates that a proponent may proceed with a proposed radiocommunications site independent of any such concerns from the public or LUA.

Concerns of a health nature from the public or LUA can be directly addressed by Health Canada by contacting:

Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau
Health Canada
775 Brookfield Road
A.L. 6302C
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1C1

E-mail: HC.ccrpb-pcrpcc.SC@canada.ca
Telephone: 613-957-2991
Tollfree: 1-866-225-0709
Teletypewriter: 1-800-465-7735 (Health Canada)

2. Other Research into Electromagnetic Energy Emissions (EME)

While Health Canada conducts its own research into the effects of electromagnetic energy emissions (EME), it does not conduct this research in a vacuum, nor is Canada the only country conducting such research.

There are other governmental and academic organizations which have issued reports on the effects of EME. These peer review papers and reports provide additional information and, in some cases, differing views than that shared by Health Canada. Members of the public should use caution in drawing conclusions from these studies however as not all published papers have been vetted by the scientific community and their conclusions may not withstand scrutiny.

It is recommended that members of the public consider the following when reading scientific papers:

  1. Academic papers written about EME are written with a scientific audience in mind. As a result, a reader who is not "skilled in the art" of engineering or biology may misinterpret phrases which are commonly used by those familiar with this field of study. Care should be taken to make sure that the meaning of study recommendations and conclusions, which may include caveats and limitations of study methods, are fully understood prior to drawing conclusions.
  2. Research into EME is funded by a number of organizations, some of whom have inherent biases. The public should ensure they understand the source of funding used to conduct research and author studies so that any conflict or possible bias can be considered in the context of any recommendations.

The following are a list of resources which can be considered reliable and have been vetted by the international scientific community: