Building community confidence in 5G safety
The Morrison Government is investing $9 million over four years to build public confidence in the safety of telecommunications networks – including new 5G mobile networks – and to address misinformation about electromagnetic energy (EME) emissions which has caused concern in some parts of the community.
New initiatives include additional scientific research and further public education – building on the existing and long standing EME safety program.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said that the Government recognises that there is significant community interest in being satisfied that rigorous safety standards are in place as new 5G mobile networks are rolled out around Australia.
“The rigorous safety standards for mobile networks and devices in Australia draw on extensive scientific research into EME emissions, globally and in Australia, over many decades,” Minister Fletcher said.
“Emissions from mobile networks and devices in Australia typically fall below the regulated limits by factors of a hundred or more. EME levels from mobile networks and devices are typically at similar levels to familiar household devices such as microwave ovens and baby monitors.
“The safety standards for 5G networks are consistent with those applicable to early generations of mobile technology – even though 5G networks typically use radio signals which are lower power and over more tightly targeted areas than earlier generation networks.
“These standards have been developed with expert advice from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), drawing in turn on work by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The enhanced EME program will make sure all Australians have access to clear, reliable and reputable information so they can take advantage of new technologies like 5G – and feel empowered to do so safely.”
Additional funding will be provided to ARPANSA for continued research on radio frequency safety.
ARPANSA, WHO, and ICNIRP advise that there are no known health effects from EME at levels below those set out in the ARPANSA safety standard.
Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, who has portfolio responsibility for ARPANSA, welcomed the investment in strengthening our understanding of the impacts of 5G.
“Through greater research and education this investment will ensure Australians can continue to take comfort in the safe use of these emerging technologies,” Minister Colbeck said.
Aaron Langmaid | 0456 889 018 | Aaron.Langmaid@health.gov.au