In the early days of TETRA deployments, questions were asked whether TETRA was safe. That was particularly true in the UK where much general information on the matter was collected and research was conducted to alleviate concerns by users.
Research has been reviewed by independent panels of scientific experts and standard setting bodies around the world, such as the Health Protection Agency (HPA), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation (ICNIRP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). In short there has been no evidence established that exposure to radio waves within the accepted exposure guidelines results in any adverse health effects.
The exposure guidelines, designed to protect both the public and occupational users of radio technologies, are set by independent expert organisations such as ICNIRP. The guidelines are endorsed by the World Health Organisation and other authorities around the world and set limits for exposure, incorporating a significant safety margin, based on extensive reviews of the scientific evidence. Companies that produce radio equipment or build networks must ensure they comply fully with the guidelines through careful product design and rigorous testing. The extensive body of scientific research into radio-frequency emissions, to which scientists continue to add, and which is reviewed regularly by expert bodies and standard setting organisations, provides a sound basis for confidence in the safety of radio technologies, including TETRA.
In particular the UK Home Office has provided significant research funding to Imperial College, London, which has carried out a long term study into the health effects of TETRA on police officers. Imperial College in May 2019 published a final report which states:
“There were similar or lower risks of sickness absence in TETRA radio users compared with non-users. Among users, the higher risk of sickness absence with greater radio use may reflect working pattern differences among police personnel rather than effects of radiofrequency exposure.”
The UK regulator OFCOM now requires ICNIRP public compliance as part of radio operating licence renewals.
Further information from Imperial College https://www.police-health.org.uk/
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