skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 157546 Find in a Library
Title: Facts About Police Radar and Cancer
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:22  Issue:9  Dated:(September 1995)  Pages:34-35,38-39,63-65
Author(s): C Peterson
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although periodic legal cases implicate police radar as a factor in cancer, cataracts, melanoma, and other medical ailments, scientific and government evidence does not justify police officer safety concerns.
Abstract: Some police departments are so concerned about radar-related cancer that they have banned the use of handheld radar. Other departments using two-piece radar models require the antenna to be mounted outside the patrol car, while still other departments have abandoned radar altogether and use speed lasers as a safer alternative. Despite studies claiming to document the harmful effects of police radar on health, a typical traffic radar's 15 milliwatt output is miniscule in comparison to a microwave oven's 600 milliwatt output, some 40,000 times more powerful. Further, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), health risks from long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation have not been demonstrated, and OSHA has not identified a clear risk associated with traffic radar operation. Even if a person using traffic radar placed the antenna against his or her body, most of the energy would tend to go right back into the generator (radar antenna) instead of penetrating the person's body. It is concluded that traffic radar poses no health risks to police officers and that the myth of radar cancer should be dispelled. 2 photographs
Main Term(s): Police equipment
Index Term(s): Occupational safety and health; Police safety; Radar safety; Science and Technology; Speed measuring laser devices
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.