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Health Canada’s Research and Related Activities on Radiofrequency Energy and Health

June 13, 2011
1:00 pmto2:00 pm

The IEEE Canadian Atlantic Section Signal Processing and Microwave Theory and Techniques Joint Chapter, along with the Dalhousie University Faculty of Engineering Speakers Series, invite you to the following seminar event which is open to public and the details are as follows:

Title: Health Canada’s Research and Related Activities on Radiofrequency Energy and Health
Speaker: Art Thansandote, PhD
Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau, Health Canada
Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm, Monday, June 13, 2011
Place: Room B310, Sexton Campus, Dalhousie University, 1360 Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Local Contacts: Dr. Zhizhang (David) Chen at zz <dot> chen <at> ieee <dot> org, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dalhousie University, Tel: (902) 494-6042

Abstract:

Over the past two decades, the use of wireless communication devices has increased significantly and become an essential part of everyday life. These devices include cellular phones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi enabled equipment (e.g. laptops) and their base stations for relaying information with radio signals. Base stations consist of antennas and electronic equipment which serve as hubs for cellular and local wireless networks. Common examples of base stations for local wireless networks include wireless access points (Wi-Fi hotspots), wireless routers, and those of cordless phones. Base stations for cellular communication usually have antennas installed on towers, utility poles, water tanks or rooftops.

The number of cellular phone subscribers in Canada rose from 100,000 in 1987 to 24.5 million by the end of 2010. With the growing popularity of cellular phones and other mobile wireless devices, questions have been raised about the safety of being exposed to the radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy they emit. Several members of the public have also expressed concern about the possible health effects caused by living near cellular base stations, which are often called cell phone towers.

In addition, recent media reports have suggested that Wi-Fi could be associated with a variety of ill-health symptoms. The growing public concerns and frequent media reports on this subject have resulted in hundreds of public inquiries made to Health Canada each year. As the federal department responsible for the health and safety of Canadians, Health Canada through the Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau has broadly investigated the RF-health issue by carrying out activities aimed at addressing the public concern.

These activities include monitoring the scientific literature related to the biological effects of RF energy, conducting laboratory studies to determine whether RF energy could cause damage to DNA or changes to certain genes, carrying out surveys of RF exposure levels from base stations, preparing communication materials and developing RF exposure guidelines, which are commonly known as Safety Code 6.

About the Speaker:

Artnarong (“Art”) Thansandote was born in Chumphon, Thailand. He received a B.Eng. (Hons) degree in electrical engineering from Khon Kaen University, Thailand, in 1973, a M.Sc. degree in agricultural engineering from University of Manitoba in 1976, and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Carleton University in 1982, respectively. From 1973 to 1988, he held teaching positions as a lecturer, an assistant professor and then an associate professor in electrical engineering at Khon Kaen University. From 1988 to 1991, he was a research associate and a part-time lecturer in electrical engineering at University of Ottawa.

In July 1991, he joined Health Canada where he is currently a research scientist and the leader of electromagnetics team. As the team leader, he initiates and manages research and other relevant activities which include carrying out studies related to the safety of exposure to electromagnetic fields and developing exposure guidelines and communication materials. Over the past 15 years, he has served as an adjunct professor at University of Regina and a number of universities in Thailand and has cooperated with them in research and graduate student supervision.

 
 
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