Monday, 20 May 2019
MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS HEALTH AND SAFETY NEWS

Review finds Australia’s safety standards for mobiles are highly protective


ARPANSA LogoA review of the latest scientific evidence by an expert panel has found the safety standards, put in place to protect Australians from the electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones, base stations, radio, television and other wireless devices, are highly protective.

 
The Federal Government safety agency, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) published its 10 year review of the Radiofrequency (RF) Exposure Standard in March.
 
“On the basis of an examination of the scientific literature in this area from January 2000 to August 2012, the Expert Panel concluded that the science behind the ARPANSA RF Exposure Standard remains sound and that the exposure limits in the Standard continue to provide a high degree of protection against the known health effects of RF electromagnetic fields,” Dr Stephen Solomon, Chief Radiation Health Scientist, ARPANSA, said.
 
“However, the Expert Panel find that while the exposure limits of RPS3 are still valid for protection against known adverse effects, under some circumstances the margin of safety between these limits and the threshold for harmful effects may be less than originally intended.”
 
Since the Australian RF exposure standard was last published in 2002 there have been significant advances in scientific knowledge about mobile phones and health.
 
“ARPANSA has identified more than 1300 publications relevant to the understanding of possible health effects of RF electromagnetic fields,” Dr Solomon said.
 
“These include the review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2011 that resulted in the classification of RF fields as possibly carcinogenic but which did not assess the magnitude of any risk to health, and the 13-country INTERPHONE epidemiological study in 2010.”
 

arpansa report

Based on the findings of epidemiological, or population studies, the report concluded there was no need to change the current standard:
 
“Although the epidemiology in the past decade has improved our understanding of the limitations of exposure assessment and likely extent of RF exposure to humans, it has not progressed with any dose-response relationships regarding carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects which would warrant significant changes to the current Standard.”
 
The review also considered the claim, made in the BioInitiative Report for example, that there is a group of the population that is uniquely sensitive to RF exposure and therefore exposure limits need to be reduced.
 
However the ARPANSA review concludes that there is no evidence that raises any doubt about the adequacy of the exposure limits and “…neither the BioInitiative Report (2007) nor the ARPANSA literature review provide any further evidence that mitigates against that conclusion, and to the Author’s knowledge there is no additional human provocation research that demonstrates that the RPS3 limits are inadequate for protecting humans.”
 
The expert panel included three Australian academics who are experts in the areas of biophysics, experimental research and epidemiology as well as ARPANSA scientific staff.
 
The panel independently examined the major reviews and key individual papers in their area of expertise and identified issues that have arisen in the research since 2000.
 
The expert panel also identified areas where the RF Standard and its annexes could be updated, to incorporate increased scientific knowledge and to better harmonise with revised international guidance.
 
“ARPANSA will continue to monitor the scientific research on RF fields and health and to monitor, in particular, the national cancer incidence trends and emerging trends in the use of RF,” Dr Solomon said.

 

Published 9/04/2014

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