The IEEE Committee on Man and Radiation (COMAR) has issued an invitation to its webinar, “RF Exposure in the Time of Conspiracies.” The 1-hour event is set to get under way at 1800 UTC on Wednesday, May 12. COMAR is a group of experts on health and safety issues related to electromagnetic fields, from power line through microwave frequency ranges. Its primary focus is on biological effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation.
“The real idea behind the webinar is to highlight some of the…news articles, comments, etc. that purport to declare the hazardous nature of exposure to weak RF fields, such as those posed by new 5G wireless communications base stations, explain how they are not scientifically based and, possibly, some ideas on how to better communicate what we really know about potential health effects,” said COMAR chair Ric Tell, K5UJU.
Presenters are professional engineer Matt Butcher, KC3WD, and Jerrold Bushberg, a clinical professor of radiology and radiation oncology at the University of California-Davis School of Medicine. He is an expert on the biological effects, safety, and interactions of ionizing and nonionizing radiation; a specialist in risk communication, he holds multiple radiation detection technology patents. Both are COMAR members. Butcher and Tell are also members of the ARRL RF Safety Committee.
Tell said that Webex, the platform on which the webinar will be held, imposes a limit of 1,000 simultaneous connections. Those interested may check in at 1730 UTC, a half-hour before the webinar is scheduled to start.
ARRL RF Safety Committee Chair Greg Lapin, N9GL, said the committee devotes a lot of time examining the science to help keep people safe, but, he added, “there remains considerable fear in our society about that exposure. It would be to our benefit to understand what people are thinking.”
ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, said radio amateurs are often asked by neighbors about their stations — either out of curiosity, or concern that the antennas may pose a safety hazard. “This webinar will help amateurs and the public understand why radio energy at exposure levels found in standards and regulations is safe,” Hare said. “I look forward to watching this to learn more about the best ways that we can answer those questions.”
Topics on the COMAR webinar agenda include “What is RF?” and “What are the applicable exposure standards,” as well as discussing how to address concerns on the part of the general public, and how to improve communication.
COMAR is a technical committee of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. The webinar is free.