Sunday, 21 April 2019
MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS HEALTH AND SAFETY NEWS

In Brief


4G and smart meters the focus of annual Science and Wireless conference

The newly formed Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR) will be hosting the annual Science & Wireless 2013 public forum at RMIT University in Melbourne this November.
 
The focus of this year’s event will be Health and Future RF Technologies, with an ACEBR presentation on new and emerging RF technologies and presentations by industry on 4th Generation Telecommunication and Smart Meter technologies, followed by the associated health perspective of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.
 
A facilitated panel discussion will then provide plenty of opportunity for open discussion on these issues, followed by more informal conversation over coffee.
 
This is ACEBR’s first public event since commencing operation earlier this year. The Centre Director Professor Rodney Croft, will briefly introduce the Centre, before ARPANSA’s CEO, Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, will formally open the Centre.
 
The event is open to the public and registration is free.

Users of illegal mobile repeaters that disrupt coverage risk jail, warns ACMA

Devices selling on eBay for around $100 that claim to legally improve mobile phone coverage are banned in Australia because they disrupt mobile networks and people who use them risk a two year jail term.
 
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) issued a stern warning about the deceptive online sale of mobile phone repeaters in August and encouraged people to report offenders who operate a repeater without the written permission of a mobile phone carrier.
 
“Despite what you may hear, read or be told by someone who wants to sell you one, mobile telephone repeaters cannot be used in Australia, unless you're the holder of an applicable spectrum or apparatus licence (in practice, usually a mobile telecommunications carrier), or the licensee has personally given you direct permission,” the ACMA said.
 
“The ACMA is aware that certain overseas-based internet traders (often appearing to be located in Australia) have been informing the Australian market that anyone in Australia can use repeaters 'legally'. This is not correct.”
 
“Only the holder of an applicable spectrum or apparatus licence is permitted to use, or authorise the use of, repeaters.”
 
The ACMA said if users wanted to improve the mobile phone reception at their home that they should speak with their carrier about the range of legal products available that can be used to improve coverage, including femtocells and legal repeaters.
 

Canadian health authority releases toolkit to educate doctors on wireless signals

In response to community concerns about radio frequency (RF)  signals from mobile phones, baby monitors, Wi-Fi and smart meters, the British Colombia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health (NCCEH) have published a comprehensive 370 page toolkit for doctors and other health professionals.
 
The toolkit was written by public health scientists and is intended as a background document to assist medical health officers and environmental health officers in their role of communicating evidence of potential hazards of radiofrequency to the public.
 
It provides background on the physics of RF, its sources, measurement and exposure characteristics as well as an evaluation of the current scientific literature on potential biological and health effects associated with exposure to RF.
 
This Toolkit is intended for use by public health professionals but is now available to the general public.
 
“Health officers have been asked for their advice and sometimes for their involvement on issues as varied as whether children should use mobile phones, where mobile phone towers should and should not be located, whether WiFi should be allowed in schools, whether baby monitors are safe, and increasingly about the transmission strength of BC Hydro’s new Smart Meters, and whether Smart Meters cause a variety of health effects,” Tom Kosatsky, Medical Director at the BCCDC, said.
 
“As elsewhere, individuals and community advocacy groups in BC have expressed concerns about the widespread use of RF and about specific applications.”
 
“Much of the concern is directed to wireless communication despite RF having been the basis for radio transmission since the 1920s, and despite its extensive use in health care and in industry.”
 
“Information on RF and RF safety, while widely available, is often also highly technical and not easily understood.”
 
Published 6 November 2013

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