The former Soviet Union (USSR) and the USA were the first countries to introduce standards limiting exposure to radiofrequency (RF) fields. However, the exposure limits in the USSR standards were always much lower than those in the USA and other countries. The objective of this article is to provide a history of the development of the Soviet and Russian RF standards. In addition, we summarize the scientific evidence used to develop the original USSR RF and subsequent Russian public health standards, as well as the mobile telecommunications standard published in 2003, but we do not critique them. We also describe the protective approaches used by the Soviet and Russian scientists for setting their limits. A translation of the papers of the key studies used to develop their standards is available in the online version of this publication.
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