ARPANSA has provided a submission to the 2019 parliamentary inquiry into the benefits and challenges of 5G – the fifth generation of the mobile telecommunications network.


While the terms of reference of the inquiry focus on the technology and its applications, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide factual information around some common questions we have been hearing about the safety of 5G.


Health authorities around the world, including ARPANSA and the World Health Organization (WHO), have examined the scientific evidence for possible health effects from telecommunications sources.


Current research indicates that there is no established evidence of health effects from radio waves used in mobile telecommunications. This includes the upcoming roll-out of the 5G network.


‘We are aware of concerns from some members of the public about potential health impacts from 5G’, said Dr Gillian Hirth, ARPANSA’s Chief Radiation Health Scientist and Deputy CEO, ‘it is our assessment that 5G is safe and does not present any health concerns’.


ARPANSA’s role in this area involves the establishment of the Radiation Protection Standard for Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields – 3 kHz to 300 GHz (ARPANSA RF Standard).


This Standard is in line with international best practice and will be updated in the coming months in line with the soon-to-be-released international guidelines prepared by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).


‘The Standard is designed to protect children and adults of all health statuses from the harmful effects of radiation,’ said Dr Hirth.


‘The limits set in the standard are well below the level at which any harmful effects, such as heating of tissue, are known to occur.’


The Australian Government’s Inquiry into the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia is being facilitated by the Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts and is due to be completed by early next year.


For further information on the inquiry, please visit:

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