Government targets schools

The Federal Government has prepared an information package on the safety of mobile phone technology which it has distributed to all primary and secondary schools in Australia.

A glossy brochure produced by the Australian Communications Authority promulgates the assumption that adverse health effects occur only if the body is significantly heated and contains advice that:

  • “At relatively low levels of exposure to RF EMR… the evidence for production of harmful biological effects is ambiguous and unproven”;
  • A standard protects the public “from the heating effects of RF EMR”;
  • “emissions [from base stations] are usually 150 000 times below the level at which significant heating can occur”;
  • “The weight of national and international expert opinion is that there is no substantiated evidence that living near a mobile phone tower or base station causes adverse health effects.”

An accompanying poster prepared by ARPANSA provides advice about the safety of base stations. It states that exposure limits are “at least 50 times below a level of exposure to EMR which is known to have adverse health effects on the human body” and that levels are comparable to or below emissions from TV and radio transmitters.

The information package does not advise about the nonthermal risks of mobile phone exposures.

EMRAA News Sept 2001, Vol 6 No 3