For something that has been a massive source of concern for general public for decades, it doesn’t appear the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), responsible for “protecting the health and safety of people … from the harmful effects of ionising and non-ionising radiation”, is in much of a hurry to allay anyone’s fears.
Of the 18,000 or so base stations located around Australia, only 99 have had their emission levels measured since 1999. Before you get too wound up, not only are a select number of results from these stations available online, none of the stations tested are even close to exceeding the 4.5mW/m2 maximum specified by the agency, with almost all coming in at one per cent or less of the exposure limit.
The Australian reported the news earlier this week and managed to get a follow-up from ARPANSA yesterday, which said it’s organising a “panel of experts” to help it review the body of new information on mobile radiation published in the last 10 or so years.
The Australian’s beef seems to be with the fact that Australia’s limits, while in line with those of the European Union, are much, much more generous than those of Russia, Switzerland and Belgium. From the results ARPANSA has collected so far, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch for it to significantly drop the limits without issue.
Image: Raymond Shobe / Flickr