Mobile phone base station

From 2007 to 2013 ARPANSA coordinated a survey of environmental radio frequency electromagnetic energy (RF EME) levels arising from mobile phone base station antennas.

The purpose of this survey was to confirm that the highest levels of measured RF EME produced by these antennas was within the limits set by the ARPANSA radiofrequency exposure standard RPS3 and consistent with the predictions made in the Environmental EME Report relevant to that installation.

The limits in the ARPANSA Standard have been determined on the basis of established health effects and include safety margins. They are designed to protect all members of the public including those sometimes thought to be particularly vulnerable (the elderly, the infirm, pregnant women and children).

ARPANSA selected measurement sites to cover the wide range of network operators, technologies, geography and type of installations.

Measurements of the vast scale required for this survey were made possible with financial support from the Mobile Carriers Forum (MCF), a division of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA). However, to maintain independence, the measurements were conducted by consultants from companies appointed by ARPANSA and accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). The data were obtained following the established ARPANSA measurement protocol.

The table below summarises the measurements covered by the survey and shows the levels of RF EME as a percentage of the public exposure limit set in the ARPANSA radiofrequency exposure standard. All measurements in this survey were well below the limits in the ARPANSA Standard. Further, the measurements were generally below the levels reported in the Environmental EME report.

Summary results

Suburb/Town Address State Date
RF Level
(% of exposure limits)
Merewether Townson Oval, Merewether Street NSW May 2013 0.268%
Lennox Head 20 North Creek Road NSW May 2013 3.433%
Skennars Head 2A Basalt Court NSW May 2013 0.060%
Shepparton 20 Fraser Street VIC April 2013 0.434%
Alfredton Learmonth Street VIC Feb 2013 0.152%
Sunbury The Heights, Jackson's Hill Estate VIC July 2012 1.311%
Maidstone 31A Hampstead Road VIC May 2012 0.559%
Drummoyne 224 Victoria Road NSW Aug 2011 1.182%
Ermington 700 Victoria Road NSW Aug 2011 0.423%
Heidelberg Heights 23, 27 & 33-35 Southern Road VIC Dec 2010 0.265%
Roxburgh Park 180 Somerton Road VIC Dec 2010 0.315%
Bulleen East 123A Thompsons Road VIC Jun 2010 1.334%
Calamvale Corner of Beaudesert & Compton Roads QLD Oct 2009 0.051%
Palmerston 65 Chung Wah Terrace NT Oct 2009 0.890%
Wynnum North 14 Mungala Street QLD Oct 2009 0.065%
Holt Playing Fields, Ormsby Place ACT Aug 2009 0.127%
Lalor 320 Station Street VIC May 2009 0.194%
Lower Sandy Bay Sandown Park, Long Point Road TAS May 2009 0.277%
Pascoe Vale Rayner Reserve, Devon Road VIC Apr 2009 0.316%
City Beach Lot 245 Kilpa Court WA Dec 2007 0.303%
Oaklands Park Warradale Barracks SA Dec 2007 0.579%
Beaconsfield 20 Moran Street WA Nov 2007 0.009%
Bli Bli Whitecross Road QLD Nov 2007 0.026%
Bathurst 230 Howick Street NSW Oct 2007 <0.001%
Rosemeadow Lot 1 Appin Road NSW Oct 2007 0.109%
South Coogee 175 Malabar Road NSW Sep 2007 1.163%
Goodwood 147 Goodwood Road SA Aug 2007 0.132%
Sandringham 48 Bay Road VIC Apr 2007 0.505%

At these low levels of exposure to RF EME, it is the assessment of ARPANSA and international health authorities such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation (ICNIRP) that there is no established scientific evidence to support adverse health effects.

For more information about mobile phone base stations see mobile phone base stations and health.

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