ARPANSA’s RF Standards – Rock Solid or a House of Cards?

Part 4 of my Blog – Taking a Stand

As I mentioned in my previous blog “Taking a Stand Part 3”, ARPANSA eventually responded to my questions but unfortunately some of my questions were not directly answered, ARPANSA either provided an answer that skirted around the issue or in one case, simply removed the point from their response sheet as if it had never existed – perhaps a copy and paste error? I have updated the original question sheet I sent with ARPANSA’s responses and my commentary, which can be found here -> ARPANSA Questions with commentary

The original document returned from ARPANSA is attached here -> ARPANSA Questions response included a covering letter. I have decided to quote some key statements made by ARPANSA’s CEO that deserve additional attention in this blog.

The classification by IARC corresponds to the current ARPANSA advice, including its advice on practical ways in which people can reduce their exposure to the electromagnetic fields produced by wireless telephones.” This is all very nice but what about smart meters? I see no practical advice from ARPANSA on how I can reduce my exposure to smart meter emissions. Avoid usage of my front rooms and bedrooms to reduce my exposure or pay thousands of dollars out of my own pocket to shield those rooms in order to be able to use them again? Why should I be made to suffer so that the Power Utilities can save some money by remotely reading my meter without needing to employ meter readers?

The WHO does not have a specific position on smart meters, just on RF in general, therefore when ARPANSA says that they are “not aware of any change of position by the WHO in regard to the likelihood of health risks from the low exposures produced by smart meters” it is at best nonsensical and at worst an attempt to mislead.

The classification by IARC corresponds to the current ARPANSA advice….” Yet here in Victoria, the power utilities, in full knowledge of IARC’s classification of RF as a Group 2B carcinogen, are blanketing the state with unnecessary RF. Where a “precautionary principle” could have been implemented but in practice it is not being followed. I will have more on the role of the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the application of a precautionary principle in my next blog.

The WHO is currently undertaking a comprehensive assessment of the potential health impact of RF EMR exposures and this will take into account the IARC decision”. If this is true then wouldn’t it have been sensible to not roll out wireless transmitters in every home until this assessment is complete? Even if ARPANSA passes on this responsibility to ACMA because they regulate the standards, ARPANSA has assumed responsibility because they have allowed government bodies such as the DPI to promote and justify wireless smart meters to the general public using ARPANSA’s RF standards to say they are safe.

The statement: “ARPANSA maintains continual oversight of emerging research into the potential health effects of the RF emissions from smart meters…” is incorrect because to maintain continual oversight would entail commissioning a post rollout surveillance study that looks for possible health effects – no such study exists. To date all my requests to have my health issues investigated have fallen on deaf ears. (Many others are experiencing the same issue too!)

All in all I was quite disappointed in the response that I received from ARPANSA but it was to be expected. It is also very disconcerting that simple mistakes have been made by so called experts in responding to my questions which gives me no confidence in an organization that has been entrusted to protect our health from unnecessary exposure to all forms of radiation.

Apparently an Expert Panel is tasked to investigate the latest research to validate our standards, yet we have no idea what studies are being looked at and why it appears studies that show potential health effects below the thermal threshold are not worthy of consideration. There is a complete lack of transparency in the whole review process. Let us hope that ARPANSA considers what I have written here but I won’t hold my breath.

I would like to conclude with the following important pieces of information.

Dr Paolo Vecchia who was Chairman for ICNIRP (2004 – 2012) had presented at the Radiation Research Trust conference in September, 2008. In his presentation, he made it very clear that, “the ICNIRP guidelines are neither mandatory prescriptions for safety, the ‘last word’ on the issue nor are they defensive walls for Industry or others.”   <– please substitute “others” with “ARPANSA”

Exposure misclassification biases toward the null hypothesis

“A Swiss personal monitoring study found that mobile phone use currently accounts for one-third of total exposures to wireless and microwave radiation, with routers and base stations accounting for the rest.

Current standards rest on the assumption that permitted levels of microwave radiation from mobile phones do not induce any measureable change in temperature or biological effect. Several independent avenues of research have shown this assumption to be incorrect.

Misclassification of exposure is well known to bias toward the null hypothesis, or to a finding of “no effect” when, in fact, an effect may well be present. None of the studies carried out on cell phones thus far, including those of Hardell, has taken into account these important other exposures, many of which have changed quite recently and continue to rapidly expand.”

Source: Mobile Phone Radiation a Probable Human Carcinogen

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12 Responses to ARPANSA’s RF Standards – Rock Solid or a House of Cards?

  1. Tamara hicks says:

    Radiofrequency emissions are not safe near or in your home. How could it be when its other use is as a military weopon ??. its known effects have been documented in many military and non military studies .I have had many of the dangerous effects of it from the smart meter with the external disk aerial(s). The aerials have a forward directionality and as it was facing towards my house I was receiving the full brunt of emissions. I demanded it be removed and anyone else with this type of aerial should do so urgently. All the health effects I have had are documented in the Naval Medical Research Institue document –
    found in-

    • Sharron says:

      Well said tamara – we must band together and fight this! At the very least we need support groups in our neighbourhoods as it is a real (not imagined) threat to us ALL.

    • Hi Tamara,
      The Military home units for married couples and their families in America and England used to have the dopey and deadly Type 2B Carcinogen and not so smart Electric meters on them, as now do many Victorian privately owned homes and small businesses.

      But wait for it, I say, Now that these military homes have had these deadly machines removed and have reinstalled the Safe and Passive Analog Electric Meters, it’s not too hard to work out why Tamara ! I’d reckon that these military family home residents have learnt the hard way about this Microwave Filthy Poisonous radiation the same way as Civilian Street here in Victoria and the rest of the world is now learning the hard way.

      So if it’s good enough for the Army Navy and Air Force to get back their Safe and Passive Analog Electric Meters, it’s good enough for us too.

  2. Eric says:

    I think ARPANSA should stop shirking issues address the specific concerns expressed by the author in respect to the some of the inadequate answers they provided to the questions asked

  3. Freddie says:

    I sincerely hope that both power companies and Victorian Government are reading this blog. Do they know the facts? Have they done as much research as the author of this blog, BEFORE IMPOSING A KNOWN CLASS 2 B CARCINOGEN on every Victorian household? Especially when recent developments point to an upgrade of RFs to a CLASS 2A classification in the future – that’s why the UK has pushed commencement of their (non-mandatory) roll-out back by one more year to 2015. How can they hide behind the ICNIRP guidelines, when the just retired ICNIRP chairman himself pointed out that ICNIRP guidelines ARE NOT THE LAST WORD, NEITHER A DEFENSIVE WALL FOR INDUSTRY?

    • Eric says:

      RF’s are a class 2A PROBABLE carcinogen on an American EPA Draft Report. Only big industry lobbying caused a change to 2B on their final report.

      Take the $$$ out of the equation and the independant verdict is 2A Probable.

  4. Steve says:

    I neglected to include this key statement from the document I linked at the bottom of the blog and it is of critical importance especially if the IARC upgrade the classification as this reports suggests is being recommended. It is going to cause a huge public out cry! The CEO’s of power companies, telecommunication companies and government officials better check to ensure their indemnity insurance is paid up and will cover them should this classification eventuate.

    By reviewing key epidemiological studies, some of which have been published since the IARC review, addressing methodological critiques of their own and other studies, and reporting the results of a meta-analysis of their own and the IARC coordinated Interphone study, Hardell et al provide new and compelling evidence for IARC to re-evaluate its classification of “a possible carcinogen”, with a view to changing that assessment of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones, cordless phones, and other wireless devices at least to a “probable human carcinogen,” i.e. Group 2A

  5. Pam says:

    Steve – I think I mentioned this before – it is called “PASSING THE BUCK”. I have no doubt at all that SMART METERS make people ill. I have two very dear friends who have had to leave their jobs, because they suffer with EMR and I know they are not LIARS. They have written to just about everyone seeking ANSWERS all to no avail, either NO REPLIES AT ALL or PASSING THE BUCK.
    Steve keep fighting, you have to for the safety or yourself and your lovely Family. I was unable to view the Danish link on this computer…………………….Cheers Pam 🙂

  6. While ARPANSA does recognise that there are non-thermal effects from RF, they stop at whether these effects cause health problems. ARPANSA standards are based on proven (after-the-fact) effects. Proof of causation of actual adverse health effects will take decades, first, decades of exposure, and second, decades of scientific studies. We saw this with tobacco and asbestos. This time span is further exaggerated by the influence of industry on science which can dilute and direct evidence. Studies are also complicated by lack of control population in the case of EMR (e.g. all high schools have wifi).

    There is no mechanism in our society to prevent/avert a massive public health crisis, except for the Precautionary Principle. It is ARPANSA’s job to set standards based on evidence of adverse health effects after this time span. That is how they are set up. IF ARPANSA uses the Precautionary Principle to provide the public with warnings, their use of it is subject to political and social influences. (“…The decision on the degree of safety factor that is acceptable to the community is partly based upon science, but also based on societal perceptions and values. Judging what is an acceptable level of risk for society to trigger intervention is a political responsibility…” – under the heading ‘Trigger of the precautionary principle’ on p2 of a Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council (for ARPANSA) document (2002) at

    We have seen the ARPANSA’s selective use of the Precautionary Principle in the inconsistent advice given in Fact Sheet 14, where it is advised to use corded landlines rather than cordless phones (rationale: there is continuous transmission and no power reduction from cordless phones, and yet there is no similar advice to use a corded landline rather than a mobile phone(!!), and no similar advice to use wired internet rather than wi-fi, which would have huge implications where such use is mandated e.g. by schools for children.)

  7. Just wish to say thank you sincerely for all your information and hard work.
    This blog is invaluable to citizens who need help in understanding the issues brought about by the smart meters, of which there are several.
    Probably the health issue is the most important and is also the most difficult to deal with.
    It is certainly upsetting for the public to be told that the radiation type and levels are “safe” when
    1. ‘They’ cannot prove that it is,
    2. Many people do suffer related ill-effects. The authorities are in effect, calling them liars!
    3. We can provide evidence that it is not, providing we believe the sufferers, and why would they lie?
    4. There is ample expert and scientific evidence to counter their definitive ‘safe’ claim.
    5. They take absolutely no responsibility for their claim, there is no “if we are wrong, we will respond accordingly.

    Keep up the great work!
    Best wishes to all hard-working persons trying to get justice.

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