Radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy—known as ‘EME’—is emitted by telecommunications equipment such as mobile phones, Wi-Fi, smart meters and base stations. To make it easier for consumers to understand how EME is regulated, the ACMA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (Word), (PDF) with the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA). Under the MoU, the ACMA and ARPANSA have agreed to work together to ensure clear public messaging about the EME responsibilities of each agency.
This formal commitment between the two agencies is an extension of their existing collaboration and information-sharing, and will ensure that EME regulatory arrangements are developed from a sound evidence base.
The agencies have distinct but complementary roles in EME regulation:
- ARPANSA is the Australian Government’s primary authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety. Based on an assessment of relevant scientific research and international guidance, ARPANSA sets the human exposure limits for RF EME emitted by telecommunications equipment.
- The ACMA is Australia’s communications regulator. To make sure EME exposure from equipment is kept low, the ACMA applies the ARPANSA EME exposure limits to consumer devices (such as mobile phones) and telecommunications facilities (such as mobile phone base stations).
If you have questions about EME, check out the ACMA’s new consumer EME hub, which provides clear and concise information on a range of topics in one easy location. ARPANSA has also published new fact sheets on EME and health that consolidate and update previously available information in a handy new format. The ACMA and ARPANSA have also released joint statements on topics of consumer EME interest.