The CEO of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is to be commended for his prompt reply to SSMA, following our correspondence taking issue with ARPANSA’s response to the ABC Catalyst programme Wi-Fried?.
ARPANSA has come up with a new justification for its web statement on “Wi-Fried?”. We have been informed that the statement is based on ARPANSA’s assessment of the scientific evidence on mobile phones, Wi-Fi devices and health and “is in line with international best practice; including the advice provided by the peak international health authority, the World Health Organization, and the peak international authority on the protection of RF EME, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection”.
Thankfully, this new phrasing avoids the inflated claim made in ARPANSA’s web statement. Surely, however, the jurisdictions which have seen fit to instigate more protective RF limits are the ones that are leading the way in international best practice? As one writer to SSMA’s website correctly pointed out, Australia has “slacker RF/microwave standards by a factor of 100 times … Why doesn’t Australia have the best?”
SSMA also finds it difficult to give credence to ARPANSA’s claim that ARPANSA is in agreement with many of the statements from various organisations which SSMA mentioned. The example given by ARPANSA is its acknowledgement of the findings of the INTERPHONE study. ARPANSA’s May 2010 media release on this study states that the “results of the INTERPHONE study do not establish an increased risk of brain cancer related to mobile phone use”. This conclusion is poles apart from that reached in Israel as a result of its participation in INTERPHONE. As stated by their Ministry of Health, in a report titled Environmental Health in Israel 2014, “Findings in Israel clearly indicated a link between cellphone use for more than 10 years and the development of tumors in the salivary glands, particularly among people who held the telephone on the same side where the tumor developed and individuals in the highest category of exposure (heavy use in rural areas)”.
SSMA members look forward to the day when ARPANSA is no longer merely paying lip service to following international best practice, but is up there with the best.