ARPANSA releases new Australian radio wave safety standard

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has today released a new radio wave safety standard that offers strong health protection for all Australians.

The new Standard updates the Standard that was published by ARPANSA in 2002 and specifies the limits of human exposure for workers and the general public to radiofrequency fields in the range 100kHz to 300GHz, which includes the radio waves used in wireless communications such as Wi-Fi and 5G.

‘The new Standard was developed using the updated international guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP) and the vast body of scientific research across the whole spectrum of radiofrequency electromagnetic energy’, said Dr Ken Karipidis, Assistant Director, Assessment and Advice at ARPANSA.

‘The exposure limits in the new Standard continue to be set conservatively, meaning they remain well below the level at which any harm can occur, and will protect the community from all new and existing technologies using radio waves,’ said Dr Karipidis.

Australia is one of the first countries in the world to update its radio wave Standard based on the new international guidelines.

‘ARPANSA is committed to public protection and is pleased to be leading the way in ensuring our exposure guidelines are fit for purpose into the future’, said Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, ARPANSA CEO.

‘The new Standard is also a critical component of the Australian Government’s enhanced Electromagnetic Energy (EME) Program, which aims to promote health and safety and address misinformation about EME emissions,’ said Dr Larsson.

ARPANSA has developed an action plan led by recently appointed Program Director, Dr Sarah Loughran.

Under the action plan, ARPANSA is committed to:

  • continuing to assess radio wave exposure levels in the community
  • funding and leading radio wave research
  • building a world-class radio wave laboratory
  • collaborating with international organisations on radio wave science
  • engaging with the Australian community to address misinformation on radio waves and health.

The new Standard is now in effect and is expected to be implemented by the relevant regulatory bodies in telecommunications, manufacturing and health sectors over the coming months.

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