Inquiry into Electromagnetic Radiation

Inquiry into Electromagnetic Radiation

4 May 2001

© Commonwealth of Australia 2001
ISBN 0 642 71126 7

View the report as a single document - (PDF 2608KB)

View the report as separate downloadable parts:

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Terms of reference (PDF 111KB)

Membership of the Committee - 39th Parliament

Acronyms and glossary (PDF 69KB)
Executive summary (PDF 96KB)

The research
Possible mechanisms
Other health effects
Mobile phone towers and base stations
Minimising the risk
Funding of research and public information

Recommendations (PDF 51KB)
Chapter 1 - Introduction (PDF 211KB)

Reference to the Committee
Conduct of the inquiry
Terminology and background

Chapter 2 - Research on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation (PDF 470KB)

Exposure to electromagnetic radiation – if biological effects are shown, what are the
health implications?
The role of epidemiology, in vitro and in vivo studies
Is the scientific evidence inconclusive?
Anecdotal and non-peer-reviewed evidence
Publication and research bias
Biological effects
The search for a mechanism
How important is it to distinguish between frequencies?
Observed biological and health effects of radiofrequency radiation
Health effects discussed
Mobile phone towers and base stations
Benefits of mobile phones
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
Electromagnetic radiation from non-telecommunication technologies
Measures to minimise potential health risks
Complaints mechanism
International research
Australian research
Future research

Chapter 3 - Allocation of Australian radiofrequency electromagnetic energy program funds (PDF 242KB)

Committee on Electromagnetic Energy Public Health Issues (CEMEPHI)
Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy Program
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Where the Funds Have Been Allocated

Chapter 4 - Australian standard on radiofrequency fields exposure levels (PDF 343KB)

Development of the standard
Basis of Radiofrequency Standards
Standards Australia International Limited
Standards Australia Technical Committee TE/7
Standards Australia Processes
History of the Australian Standard
The Transfer of Responsibility for Setting a New Australian Standard to ARPANSA
Precautionary Approaches
Testing for compliance with the Standard
Testing of shielding devices
Other precautionary measures
Occupational Standards
ARPANSA Working Group Draft Standard

Government Members comments (PDF 88KB)
Minority report by Labor Senators
(PDF Format Only)
(PDF 483KB)

Recommendations of Labor Senators
1. Introduction
2. Critique of Chair's report
3. Term of reference (A) - electromagnetic radiation research funding allocation
  1. Decision-making processes for the distribution of research funding
  2. Timeframe for distribution and use of funds
  3. Inappropriate expenditure of funds
  Adequacy of research funding
4. Term of reference (B) - review of research
  Expert evidence: contradictory
  Scientific value of studies
  Witness conclusions – EMR effects
  International research reviews
  International research
  Conclusions of international research
  Conclusions in evidence to the Committee
  Recommendations based on conclusions
  Recommendations of consumer and community groups
  Powerlines and leukaemia
  Planning issues – telecommunications and electricity infrastructure
5. Terms of reference (C) & (D) - The current Australian interim standard [AS/NZS 2772.1 (INT)L [1998], as it applies to telecommunications & efforts to set an Australian standard dealing with EME
  History of setting standards relating to EMR in Australia
  The appropriate standard
  Metals industry and EMR standards
6. Term of reference (E) - ARPANSA's standard setting responsibility
  Draft ARPANSA Standard
  ARPANSA’s role in standard setting - appropriateness
  ARPANSA Draft and prudent avoidance/precautionary approach
  Precautionary approach in ARPANSA draft standard
Appendix 1 - Critique of Chair's report
  (a) Issues extraneous to terms of reference
  (b) Chair’s recommendations/conclusions inconsistent with evidence
  (c) Relative credibility of witnesses – distorted in Chair’s report
  (d) Evidence taken out of context/distorted
  (e) Recommendations imprecise

Appendix 1 - List of submissions (PDF 70KB)
Appendix 2 - Witnesses at hearings (PDF 91KB)
Appendix 3 - Additional information (PDF 91KB)

Tabled Documents
Answers to Questions on Notice
Additional Correspondence
Responses to Adverse Comments made in Written Submissions

For further information, contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Environment, Communications and the Arts
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3526
Fax: +61 2 6277 5818