Standard for Limiting Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields – 100 KHz to 300 GHz (RPS S-1)

Closed 21 Oct 2020

Opened 31 Aug 2020

Feedback updated 15 Dec 2020

We asked

We asked for your feedback on the new ARPANSA Standard for Limiting Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields – 100 KHz to 300 GHz (RPS S-1) because we want to make sure that the standard is fit for purpose and provides clear guidance to industries and regulators to ensure the safety of Australian workers and the general public including people of all ages and health status.

You said

We received 61 submissions from a range of stakeholders, including health authorities, scientists, academic bodies and members of the general public. There were a range of technical comments, questions, and suggestions, as well as comments from members of the public expressing concern about the certainty of the science underpinning the exposure limits.

We did

We have reviewed all submissions and made some amendments, primarily to clarify technical aspects of the Standard. The revised Standard and our responses to individual consultation comments will now undergo formal approvals prior to publication.  

The new Standard will be published on the ARPANSA website in the first quarter of 2021.

Overview

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is the Australian Government’s primary authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety. We protect the Australian people and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation through understanding risks, best practice regulation, research, policy, services, partnerships and engaging with the community.

ARPANSA maintains the safety standard for radiofrequency electromagnetic energy (RF EME) – also known as radio waves. RF EME is mainly produced by wireless telecommunications equipment such as radio and television broadcasting, mobile telecommunications including the new 5G network, Wi-Fi networks and personal devices. Other sources of RF EME include microwave ovens, radar, industrial sources and some medical applications.

Our safety standard is based on guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and relied on by the World Health Organization (WHO).

ICNIRP has recently released a revision of its guidelines for radiofrequency radiation protection.

The 2020 ICNIRP guidelines are an update of the previous 1998 guidelines and include a detailed explanation of how exposure limits have been set, along with a review of current research into RF EME and health.

The exposure limits set in the updated guidelines are similar to those in the 1998 guidelines, with some refinements. These refinements take into account increased knowledge on how RF EME is absorbed within the body.

In light of this, ARPANSA has developed a new safety standard for RF EME [Standard for Limiting Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields – 100 KHz to 300 GHz (RPS S-1)] and we welcome your views on this new standard.

For people seeking further information there is a comprehensive list of frequently asked [Questions and Answers] in relation to RF EME exposure and the new ARPANSA Standard.

Detailed information on the [changes] in the new ARPANSA Standard is also available.

Audiences

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
  • Seniors
  • Men
  • Women
  • Carers and guardians
  • Families
  • Parents
  • Young people
  • Academics

Interests

  • Environmental health