Mobile phones meet stringent safety standards

All mobile phone models sold in Australia are required to undergo agreed testing procedures to ensure they meet stringent safety standards that limit exposure to radiofrequency emissions.

The Australian safety standard for mobile phones is fully harmonized with international guidelines recommended by the Word Health Organisation (WHO).

Mobile phone handsets are designed, built and tested to comply with science-based safety standards, which are recognized by national and international health agencies, including the WHO, as providing protection for phone users.

The Australian safety limit also includes a substantial safety margin to ensure mobile phones are safe.

Mobile phone users can be confident that their mobile phones comply fully with Australian safety standards. The tests referred to by ‘Today Tonight’ did not use the standard testing procedure, which is part of the Australian safety standard.

The standard procedure tests phones in normally held positions, such as next to the ear, when making phone calls. Phones are also tested in body-worn configurations using belt-clips, holsters or similar accessories.

People can check their mobile phones to see the A-tick stamped on the phone (usually under the battery). The A-tick on phones indicates that they operate below the Australian safety limit when tested using the agreed test procedure.

Like most other consumer goods, mobile phone manuals advise owners on appropriate use. Some manuals recommend distances that mobile phones should be kept away from the body - usually between 15mm to 25mm away.

These reflect the distances, used in the standard test procedure, where a phone will be away from the body due to the use of belt-clips, holsters or similar accessories.

If users are concerned about close contact with their phone the World Health Organisation’s advice on precautions is:

Present scientific information does not indicate the need for any special precautions for use of mobile phones. If individuals are concerned, they might choose to limit their own or their children's RF [radiofrequency] exposure by limiting the length of calls, or using 'hands-free' devices to keep mobile phones away from the head and body.

For more information contact Randal Markey, AMTA, (02)62396555 or 0421 240550