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Electromagnetic energy

What is electromagnetic energy?


Electromagnetic energ7 :E)E; can /est /e descri/ed as 0a,es of electric and magnetic energ7 mo,ing together through space< E)E is emitted /7 natural sources li=e the sun. the earth and the ionosphere< Radiofre>uenc7 E)E is emitted /7 artificial sources such as mo/ile phone /ase stations. /roadcast to0ers. radar facilities. some t7pes of remote control de,ices. and electrical and electronic e>uipment< :ARPANSA;< ARPANSA is go,ernment agenc7 responsi/le for ad,ice a/out radiation matters< The regulations. 0hich came into effect on )arch 2%%1. co,er all porta/le transmitters designed for use close to the human /od7. including hand?held t0o?0a7 radios. 0al=ie?tal=ies and remote controlled to7s. as 0ell as radiocommunications installations such as /roadcast to0ers and amateur radio stations< The regulations e"tend the pre,ious arrangements. 0hich onl7 co,ered mo/ile phone handsets and /ase stations< The legal instruments :under the Radiocommunications Act 1992; that underpin the AC)AAs E)E arrangements are as follo0s$ Radiocommunications installations > Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Apparatus Licence) Determination 2003 > Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Temporary Community Broadcasting Licence) Determination 2003. Portable transmitters intended for use close to the human body > Radiocommunications ( !ectromagnetic Radiation"#uman $posure) %tandard 2003 and its amendments > Radiocommunications (Comp!iance La&e!!ing " !ectromagnetic Radiation) 'otice 2003. The regulations 0ere de,eloped. through appropriate consultations. in response to communit7 concerns a/out possi/le health effects associated 0ith the use of radiocommunications e>uipment and the siting of radiocommunications transmitter infrastructure< These regulations support and complement other initiati,es of the AC)A and address the possi/le health effects of e"posure to E)E. 0ithout unnecessaril7 compromising the /enefits that radiocommunications technolog7 has /rought to modern li,ing<

Is radiofrequency EME dangerous?


Radiofre>uenc7 E)E. also =no0n as radiofre>uenc7 electromagnetic radiation :E)R;. is non?ionising radiation< This means that it is not a/le to directl7 impart enough energ7 to a molecule or atom to /rea= chemical /onds or remo,e electrons< 4n contrast. ionising radiation such as @?ra7s can strip electrons from atoms and molecules< This process produces molecular changes that can lead to damage in /iological tissue< 4t is important that the terms ionising and non?ionising not /e confused 0hen discussing the /iological effects of radiofre>uenc7 E)E< This is /ecause each t7pe of radiation interacts differentl7 0ith the human /od7< At relati,el7 lo0 le,els of e"posure to radiofre>uenc7 E)E. the e,idence for production of harmful /iological effects is am/iguous and unpro,en< Although there ha,e /een studies reporting a range of /iological effects at lo0 le,els. there has /een no determination that such effects might /e a human health ha2ard. e,en 0ith long term e"posure<

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Are there regulations that limit the publics exposure to radiofrequency EME?
To protect the Australian pu/lic from the =no0n health effects of radiofre>uenc7 E)E. especiall7 0ith the increasing use of mo/ile telecommunications. the AC)A introduced E)E human health e"posure regulations for radiocommunications installations and porta/le transmitting e>uipment< The regulations ma=e mandator7 the E)E limits set out in a standard de,eloped /7 the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safet7 Agenc7

Are mobile phones safe?


The 0eight of national and international scientific opinion is that there is no su/stantiated e,idence that using a mo/ile phone causes harmful health effects< of 3

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The AC)A liaises 0ith Common0ealth health agencies to monitor ne0 research< To date. 0e are informed that. although su/tle /iological effects caused /7 radiation emitted from mo/ile phones ha,e /een reported in some la/orator7 studies. there remains no e,idence that these effects ma7 lead to ad,erse health outcomes<

"o! can I find out !hat the #AR of my mobile phone is?
4n Octo/er 2%% . the Australian )o/ile Telecommunications Association :A)TA; introduced a ,oluntar7 scheme of reporting SAR le,els on mo/ile phones sold in Australia<

an I reduce my exposure to radiofrequency EME !hen using a mobile phone?


The AC)A is not a/le to ad,ise on the use of 7our mo/ile phone< Co0e,er. 7ou should al0a7s read and follo0 the manufacturerAs instructions on the correct use of the mo/ile phone handset< 4f 7ou are concerned a/out radiofre>uenc7 E)E 0hile using 7our mo/ile phone. 7ou ma7 choose to use a porta/le hands?free de,ice< These are sold as an accessor7 to 7our mo/ile phone. so as= 7our retailer for ad,ice< +sing a porta/le hands?free attachment means that the transmitter 0ithin the phone is not held to 7our ear for e"tended periods of time< )o/ile phone users should /e mindful of an7 manufacturersA recommendations a/out spacing from the /od7 if phones are to /e placed in poc=ets or attached to /elts<
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What are the radiation emission limits to !hich mobile phones must adhere?
Rather than emission limits. the standard specifies e"posure limits to radiofre>uenc7 E)E that regulate the rate at 0hich the mo/ile phone user a/sor/s energ7 from the handset< This is =no0n as the specific a/sorption rate :SAR;< The SAR limit for all mo/ile. cordless and satellite phone handsets for sale in Australia is 2 0atts per =ilogram of tissue :a,eraged o,er % grams;< The human e"posure limits for mo/ile phones set /7 the AC)A are considered 0ell 0ithin international guidelines de,eloped /7 the 4nternational Commission on Non?4oni2ing Radiation Protection< These are /ased on a careful anal7sis of all scientific literature :/oth thermal and non?thermal effects; and offer protection against all identified ha2ards of radiofre>uenc7 energ7 0ith large safet7 margins<

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4nformation a/out this scheme is on the A)TA 0e/site at 000<amta<org<au :then clic= on SAR 4nformation;<

Is there a difference in #AR le$els bet!een phones?


There are differences in SAR le,els /et0een different mo/ile phone handset models< The SAR rating pu/lished /7 the manufacturer is the result of tests conducted at D0orst case scenarioA< The energ7 7ou a/sor/ from 7our mo/ile phone handset cannot e"ceed that le,el< 4n practice. the energ7 7ou a/sor/ in dail7 use of 7our phone 0ill ,ar7 and in man7 instances 0ill /e much less than the pu/lished SAR< This is /ecause the mo/ile phone handset onl7 uses as much energ7 as is needed to communicate 0ith a /ase station< 4f the /ase station is near/7. the phone 0ill onl7 use as much energ7 as is efficient to communicate 0ith the /ase station<

More information
The 8orld Cealth Organi2ation :8CO; maintains an up?to?date 0e/site on E)E issues 0ith international lin=s at 000<0ho<intEpeh? emfEpu/licationsEenE<
CANBERRA Purple Building Benjamin Offices Chan Street Belconnen ACT 26 ! PO Bo" !# Belconnen ACT 26 6 T$ %2 62 & '''' ($ %2 62 & '2%% )E*BO+RNE *e,el --. )el/ourne Central To0er 16% Eli2a/eth Street )el/ourne 34C 1%%% PO Bo" 1 2 *a0 Courts )el/ourne 34C #% % T$ %1 &&61 6#%% ($ %1 &&61 6#&& S56NE5 *e,el '. The Ba7 Centre 6' Pirrama Road P7rmont NS8 2%%& PO Bo" 9'%% 9ueen 3ictoria Building NS8 21% T$ %2 &11- !!%% ($ %2 &11- !!&&

There are also fact sheets on the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safet7 Agenc7 0e/site at 000<arpansa<go,<auEemeEinde"<cfm< (or more information a/out E)E SAR le,els. contact the AC)AAs Radiocommunications *icensing and Telecommunications 6eplo7ment Section on telephone :%2; 62 & ''''. fa" :%2; 62 & '1'1. email to emr<issuesFacma<go,<au. or /7 mail to PO Bo" !#. Belconnen ACT 26 6< The AC)A has fact sheets on ,arious topics for consumers and industr7 on its 0e/site<
(!ease note) t*is document is intended as a guide on!y and s*ou!d not &e re!ied on as !ega! ad+ice or regarded as a su&stitute ,or !ega! ad+ice in indi+idua! cases. %he electronic $ersion of this fact sheet is a$ailable at !!!&acma&go$&au'WE('#%A)*AR*'pc+P ,-.-/ and contains lin0s to all referenced documents and !ebsites&

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