EME and health | ACMA

EME and health


We understand that some people have concerns about the possible health effects of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy (EME).

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) within the Commonwealth Government Health portfolio, is the expert body on the health effects from EME produced by communications equipment and other sources.

ARPANSA sets the EME human exposure limits within Australia in the Radiation Protection Standard for Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields – 3 kHz to 300 GHz (2002) (the ARPANSA Standard). The ACMA’s regulatory arrangements use the exposure limits in the ARPANSA Standard.

At typical levels, emissions from communications equipment are significantly below the ARPANSA exposure limits. ARPANSA and the World Health Organization have assessed the scientific evidence on EME and health and have concluded that there are no established health effects at levels below the exposure limits in the ARPANSA Standard.

If you would like to better understand the reasoning behind the setting of the EME exposure limits, ARPANSA has produced a series of fact sheets on EME and health, how scientific evidence is assessed and the scientific research on which the ARPANSA limits are based. ARPANSA also provides information on how members of the public can reduce EME exposure (with particular focus on mobile phones and other wireless devices).

If you have questions about the adequacy of the ARPANSA limits in minimising potential human health effects, you should contact ARPANSA.

Individual health concerns

The ACMA is not a health regulator or advisory body, and is unable to respond to individual health queries.

If you have questions about individual health concerns and exposure to EME—including ‘EME hypersensitivity’—you should direct those questions to a health professional.

If you have questions about the use of communications equipment in government programs (including smart meters and Wi-Fi in schools), you should contact the government department responsible for the deployment.

Last updated: 23 September 2014