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Analysis of EMR Health Complaints Register data 2019-2020

PDF icon Analysis of EMR Health Complaints Register Data 2019–2020

File Analysis of EMR Health Complaints Register Data 2019–2020

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 174 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
2019-20 7

EMR sources

The sources of EMR reported during July 2019-June 2020, noting that some reports included more than one EMR source, were:

EMR source Cumulative July 2019 - June 2020
Mobile phone base stations 44 4
5G 3 3
Household electric and magnetic fields 29 2
Smart meter 70 1
Mobile phones 45 1
Wi-Fi 33 1
Solar inverters 5 1

Health effects

The top ten health effects reported during July 2019-June 2020, noting that the reports included more than one health effect, were: 

Health effects Cumulative July 2019 - June 2020
Lethargy 46 5
Tinnitus 42 5
Cognitive problems 9 3
Insomnia 28 3
Anxiety 53 2
Concentration issues 32 2
Digestive problems 7 2
Dizziness 35 2
Headaches 89 2
Nausea 34 2

Demographics

Age (years)
  Minimum Maximum Median
July 2019 - June 2020 46 75 57
Cumulative 8 88 53
Gender (no. of reports)
  Males Females Not specified
July 2019 - June 2020 1 (14%) 6 (86%) -
Cumulative 67 (39%) 103 (59%) 4 (2%)
State (no. of reports)
  NSW Vic SA WA Qld Tas ACT NT
July 2019 - June 2020 2 (29%) 3 (43%) 1 (14%) 1 (14%)- - - - -
Cumulative 43 (24%) 104 (59%) 5 (3%) 7 (4%) 9 (6%) 5 (3%) 1 (1%) -

Other

  • All of the people reporting during July 2019 – June 2020 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 2019 – June 2020 had seen a medical practitioner about their condition (34 people in total reporting since the commencement of the register had not seen medical practitioner).