Analysis of EMR Health Complaints Register data 2018-2019

PDF icon Analysis of EMR Health Complaints Register Data 2018–2019

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ARPANSA commenced Australia’s first centralised Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) Health Complaints Register on 4 July 2003. The Register collects reports of health concerns related to possible EMR field exposures in the range of 0-300 GHz. Members of the public who believe they have suffered ill-effects as a result of exposure to EMR can lodge a written complaint to the Register describing the nature of their exposure and any adverse health effects they claim to have experienced. ARPANSA does not investigate or attempt to resolve individual complaints. Relevant data gathered is used to produce annual statistical summaries on the nature and level of complaints received. The Register operates in strict compliance with the Privacy Act 1988 and, as such, personal information on people reporting may not be disclosed.

Reports received

Since its commencement the Register has received 167 reports. The number of reports received for different years is shown below.

Year Number of reports
2003-4 24
2004-5 5
2005-6 1
2006-7 7
2007-8 3
2008-10 9
2010-12 6
2012-13 36
2013-14 35
2014-15 22
2015-16 7
2016-17 6
2017-18 2
2018-19 4

EMR sources

The sources of EMR reported during July 2018-June 2019, noting that some reports included more than one EMR source, were:

EMR source July 2018 - June 2019 Cumulative
wi-fi 3 32
mobile phones 2 44
smart meter 1 69
mobile phone base stations 1 40
cordless phones 1 13
bluetooth 1 1
EFTPOS machines 1 1

Health effects

The top ten health effects reported during July 2018-June 2019, noting that the reports included more than one health effect, were:

Health effect July 2018 - June 2019 Cumulative
Poor concentration 4 30
Headaches 2 87
Body pain 2 52
Disturbed sleep 2 52
Nausea 2 32
Heart palpitations and arrhythmia 2 24
Memory problems 2 21
Anxiety 1 51
Lethargy 1 41
Dizziness 1 33

Demographics

Age (years)
  Minimum Maximum Median
July 2018 - June 2019 41 61 54
Cumulative 8 88 53
Gender (no. of reports)
  Males Females Not specified
July 2018 - June 2019 2 (50%) 2 (50%) -
Cumulative 66 (40%) 97 (58%) 4 (2%)
State (no. of reports)
  NSW Vic SA WA Qld Tas ACT NT
July 2018 - June 2019 2 (50%) 1 (25%) 1 (25%) - - - - -
Cumulative 41 (24%) 101 (60%) 4 (2%) 6 (4%) 9 (6%) 5 (3%) 1 (1%) -

Other

  • All of the people reporting during July 2018 – June 2019 were willing to be contacted (33 people in total reporting since the commencement of the register were not willing to be contacted).
  • All of the people reporting during July 2018 – June 2019 had seen a medical practitioner about their condition (34 people in total reporting since the commencement of the register had not seen medical practitioner).