The Trades Union Congress in the UK has a document about carcinogens in the workplace (http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/occupationalcancer.pdf ). This offers guidance for all Trade Unions in the UK. In it they say ‘trade unions believe the aim should be to remove all exposure to any known or suspected carcinogen in the workplace .’ ‘Caution should be used to prevent exposure to substances in Group 2B .’ ‘The regulations are clear: that the first aim should always be to remove the hazard .’ ‘ Management Regulations and COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) lay down clear principles for prevention that must be followed when deciding what to do about a potential hazard. This means the first step must always be, where possible, to remove the hazard altogether – removing any cancer-causing hazards from the workplace .’ ‘There is a legal requirement on employers to only use a carcinogen if there is no reasonable alternative .’
Following this to the letter of the law, UK Unions should now be advising their members, as precautionary approach, to take steps to minimize their exposure to RF, which is classified as a 2B possible carcinogen. This could include:
1) Don’t hold your mobile phone next to your head – use the speaker phone facility, use a hands free kit (with ferrite filter on the earpiece wire), use text messaging, and when there is no other option, keep conversations brief and to the point and return calls on a land line if possible. etc.
2) Maintain conventional phone landlines in the workplace.
3) Avoid the use of wi-fi in the workplace, use wired computers instead wherever possible.
4) Avoid the use of DECT phones when held against the head and ensure that if they are used in the workplace, their cradle base stations (which emit pulsed microwaves constantly) are not placed in close proximity to where people work. Unlike mobile phones that have use adaptive power control, DECT phones always operate at full power and so not holding them next to the head is just as important as when using a mobile phone.
5) And as children are the workforce of the future how about advice for children and parents on this issue?