General questions on electromagnetic fields

A series of questions and answers about standards, levels in other countries and minimising exposure.

Are there any Standards in Australia protecting the public from strong electromagnetic fields?

There is a standard for radiofrequency sources such as mobile phones and broadcast transmitters and guidelines (PDF 641 kb) for electrical sources such as powerlines and electrical appliances.

Are electromagnetic exposure standards in Australia higher than other countries?

The Australian Radiofrequency Standard is consistent with other national and international standards that are based on validated scientific evidence. Some jurisdictions overseas have taken a different approach to standard setting by adopting arbitrary precautionary limits in preference to requiring scientific justification.

Why are sources of electromagnetic fields deemed to be safe when there is some research showing possible health effects?

To date, despite large number of studies there is no established evidence that exposure to low level electromagnetic fields causes adverse health effects. There are some studies showing possible health effects but many more studies have not corroborated these results.

Is Australia conducting any research into the dangers of electromagnetic fields?

There is an Australian research program managed by the National Health and Medical Research Council to conduct research into electromagnetic fields and health that is of relevance to Australia and to complement overseas research activities.

How can I minimise my exposure to electromagnetic fields?

Your exposure may be reduced by increasing the distance from the source. Exposure from personal devices can also be reduced by limiting the time of use. For more information see the fact sheet How to reduce exposure from mobile phones and other wireless devices.