Analysis of EMR Health Complaints Register Data 2021–2022

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 180 reports. The number of reports received for different years is shown below.
 

Year Number of Reports
2003-04 24
2004-05 5
2005-06 1
2006-07 7
2007-08 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
2020-21 2
2021-22 4

EMR sources

The sources of EMR reported during July 2021 - April 2022, noting that some reports included more than one EMR source, were:

EMR Source Cumulative July 2021 - April 2022
Smart Meter 71  
Mobile phone base stations 48 3
Mobile Phones 47 2
Wi-Fi 37 3
Household electric and magnetic fields 29  
Broadcast towers 8 1
5G 3  
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan 2 1

Health effects

The health effects reported during July 2021-April 2022, noting that the reports included more than one health effect, were: 

Health effects Cumulative July 2021 - April 2022
Headaches 92 3
Anxiety 54  
Lethargy 49 2
Tinnitus 44 1
Dizziness 35  
Nausea 34  
Concentration issues 33 1
Insomnia 31 1
Heart palpitations 25 1
Memory problems 22 1
Earache 15 2
Cognitive problems 9  
Digestive problems 8 1
Co-ordination difficulty 7 1
Shortness of breath 2 1

Demographics 

Age (years)

  Min Max Median
July 2021 - April 2022 27 56 45
Cumulative 8 88 53

Gender (no. of reports)

  Males Females Not specified
July 2021 - April 2022 1 (25%) 3 (75%) -
Cumulative 69 (38%) 107 (60%) 4 (2%)

State (no. of reports)

  NSW VIC SA WA QLD TAS ACT NT
July 2021 - April 2022 2 (45%) - 1 (25%) 1 (25%) - - - -
Cumulative 45 (25%) 104 (59%) 7 (3%) 8 (4%) 10 (6%) 5 (3%) 1 (1%) -

Other

  • All of the people reporting during July 2021 – April 2022 were willing to be contacted (33 people in total reporting since the commencement of the register were not willing to be contacted).
  • One person reporting during July 2021 – April 2022 had not seen a medical practitioner about their condition (36 people in total reporting since the commencement of the register had not seen medical practitioner).