Answer to Question #8635 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"
The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:
In general there is nothing to worry about. There are government standards to protect both the public and occupational workers. Microwave emissions from radar sites must be below certain levels, while higher levels must have restricted access, usually achieved with fencing or distance, sometimes by mounting on a tower. This assures that the radar emissions are safe when exposed to the general public.
In addition to existing regulatory requirements, there also continues to be a lack of credible scientific evidence to show that such emissions pose a safety issue for the public.
Microwave radiation, the type emitted from radar, is also similar to the type used by cell phones. Their primary mode of biological interaction is heating, unlike ionizing radiation (x rays, radioactivity).
However, there may be situations, particularly workplace environments near high-powered radiofrequency (RF) sources, where recommended limits for safe exposure of human beings to RF energy could be exceeded. In such cases, restrictive measures or actions may be necessary to ensure the safe use of RF energy. The workplace is regulated by the Department of Labor, radio transmitters and their emissions are regulated by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), and emissions may also be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The military also regulates such environments and conducts its own safety surveys.
I am attaching several URLs from several organizations, some of which provide additional links. As you can see there is quite a lot of information on this subject.
The FCC website answers frequently asked questions.
The FDA website covers a broad range of such electromagnetic products.
The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration website provides some excellent information.
The American Cancer Society also considers such radiation safe.
The EPA has an excellent and informative site.And finally, I will refer you to our own Health Physics Society site. Simply search on "radar" for additional answers to related questions.
I hope this is useful information.
Orhan H. Suleiman, MS, PhD