Monday, 17 June 2019

Federal government pledge $5 million over five years for mobile signals research

NHMRCThe second 2.5 million dollar research grant for studies into the possible health effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone technology has been awarded in the space of a year by the Australian government. 

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) announced the funding in August 2013 for researchers from Wollongong and Monash Universities to establish a Centre of Research Excellence for Population Health Research on Electromagnetic Energy.
Professor Rodney Croft, who will be one of the lead researchers of the new research project, was just last year awarded a similar 2.5 million dollar grant to set up the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR).
Professor Croft is a researcher from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) in Wollongong and is also a commissioner of the independent standards setting body, the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
Professor Croft said the general aim of the new Centre of Research Excellence was to understand whether “there's a link between radiofrequency emissions that come from things like mobile phones, and health in general.”
“While there is currently no clear evidence that low-level electromagnetic energy is impacting our health, there is not enough information, particularly relating to children, to be sure that it doesn’t,” Professor Croft said.
“The ubiquity of mobile phones coupled with the fact that digital technology will play a huge role in our future means this research is critical, with risk assessment agencies such as the World Health Organization consistently calling for further research to ensure that we identify any potential risks.”
“The end game is really to try to answer the kind of questions that the World Health Organization have said are important in this area,” Professor Croft said.
One arm of the research will involve the development of a sleep laboratory set up to study the effects of mobile phone signals on children’s brains while they sleep.
The research project will also try to determine the mechanisms by which electromagnetic energy from radio frequencies interacts with brain function, as well as addressing cancer risks.
The researchers will also look into the role electromagnetic energy plays in people who claim to be sensitive to wireless signals.
Drawing on expertise from both the university of Wollongong and Monash, the new research project hopes to employ the skills of multi-disciplinary teams of academic researchers and clinician researchers to solve problems and challenges along the way.
“You can only address these big health issues through a multi-disciplinary approach,” Professor Croft said.
Published 6 November 2013

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