World Health Organisation Updates its view on Mobile Phones and Health and Cancer Clusters

Following a review of the scientific evidence on the health effects from continuous low-level human exposure to mobile phone base stations, the Word Health Organisation (WHO) has released a new fact sheet.

The WHO update immediately follows the release of independent test results, which found the emissions from mobile phone base stations on the upper floors of RMIT’s Bourke Street building were more than 117,000 times below (or 0.00085% of) the Australian safety standard.

The WHO specifically addressed the issue of cancer clusters in the fact sheet and said:

“Media or anecdotal reports of cancer clusters around mobile phone base stations have heightened public concern. It should be noted that geographically, cancers are unevenly distributed among any population. Given the widespread presence of base stations in the environment, it is expected that possible cancer clusters will occur near base stations merely by chance.

“Moreover, the reported cancers in these clusters are often a collection of different types of cancer with no common characteristics and hence unlikely to have a common cause. Scientific evidence on the distribution of cancer in the population can be obtained through carefully planned and executed epidemiological [population] studies.

“Over the past 15 years, studies examining a potential relationship between RF transmitters and cancer have been published. These studies have not provided evidence that RF exposure from the transmitters increases the risk of cancer. Likewise, long-term animal studies have not established an increased risk of cancer from exposure to RF fields, even at levels that are much higher than produced by base stations and wireless networks.”

Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) CEO Chris Althaus said: “We welcome clarification of this issue by the WHO and this update should help to address the significant concerns caused by speculation that mobile phone base stations on the roof of RMIT or any other building are linked to cancer.”

Added to the fact that the independent test results found the radio frequency levels on the upper floors were many thousands of times below the Australian Safety Standard, the public can be assured of the safety of wireless technologies used in Australia, Mr Althaus said.

The new WHO fact sheet can be found at:


For more information contact Randal Markey, AMTA, (02) 6239 6555 or 0421 240550