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levels of RF can produce health effects (by heating tissue), exposure
to low level RF that does not produce heating effects causes no
known adverse health effects.
The biological effects of radio frequency energy should not be
confused with the effects from other types of electromagnetic
Very high levels of electromagnetic energy, such as is found in
X-rays and gamma rays, can ionize biological tissues. Ionization is a
process where electrons are stripped away from their normal
locations in atoms and molecules. It can permanently damage
biological tissues including DNA, the genetic material.
The energy levels associated with radio frequency energy, including
both radio waves and microwaves, are not great enough to cause
ionization of atoms and molecules. Therefore, RF energy is a type of
non-ionizing radiation. Other types of non-ionizing radiation include
visible light, infrared radiation (heat), and other forms of
electromagnetic radiation with relatively low frequencies.
While RF energy does not ionize particles, large amounts can
increase body temperatures and cause tissue damage. Two areas of
the body, the eyes and the testes, are particularly vulnerable to RF
heating because there is relatively little blood flow in them to carry
away excess heat.
Research Results to Date: Is there a connection between RF
and certain health problems?
The results of most studies conducted to date say no. In addition,
attempts to replicate and confirm the few studies that have shown a
connection have failed.