How is EME regulated?
ARPANSA sets the EME exposure limits that apply to telecommunications facilities. These are found in the Radiation Protection Standard for Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields—3 kHz to 200 GHz(the ARPANSA Standard).
ARPANSA is the Government's primary authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety. It sets exposure limits in line with the guidelines published by the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The ARPANSA Standard is based on decades of Australian and international peer-reviewed research into EME. It is set well below the level at which adverse health effects occur and includes a wide safety margin to further protect the public. ARPANSA also undertakes research and engagement with international experts to inform its Standard.
Mobile phone networks and wireless devices must operate at levels below the safe limits set for EME exposure. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) conducts compliance checks to make sure they do not exceed the exposure limits set by ARPANSA. Contact ARPANSA for information on exposure limits.
The Department of Health and the Department of Communications and the Arts administer policy for protective health measures and the laws regulating the telecommunications sector, respectively. Regulation of EME and the telecommunications sector is detailed below.
Find out more:
Visit the ACMA's EME webpage for a range of information.
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5G and EME
What about 5G and EME?
5G is the next generation of mobile wireless technology. It will offer much higher upload and download speeds than 3G and 4G, more capacity to transfer bigger files and stay connected in busy areas, and better responsiveness for applications. As new generations of wireless telecommunications technologies come along, the Government makes sure they meet the ARPANSA Standard.
Is 5G safe?
Yes. 5G will initially use the same frequencies as the current 3G and 4G networks. As 5G network rollouts progress, higher frequencies will be used. Higher frequencies do not mean higher exposures. These higher frequencies are covered by the ARPANSA Standard, and are already used in a range of other technologies such as radar guns and airport screeners.
Misinformation and 5G
Australia's Chief Medical Officer and Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts have warned Australians to be on the lookout for misinformation circulating online linking 5G mobile networks to COVID-19.
Decades of global scientific research shows there is no evidence that the low levels of electromagnetic energy generated by use of radio waves in wireless networks are harmful to our health. This includes the frequencies used by all generations of mobile and wireless technology, including 5G, and does not cause or spread COVID-19.