Study allows for mobile phone emission increase

Research in Australia has resulted in guidelines advising that mobile phone emissions could safely double, as no negative impact on health has been found

Mobile phone emission strengths may double following recommendations from Australia's radiation safety body to lift safe human exposure levels to handset radiation.

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has released a new set of guidelines for electromagnetic radio emissions

The new radiation protection standard seeks to prevent harmful effects of exposure radiation and ARPANSA's research on mobile phone emissions aimed to set safety limits for heating of tissues around the cheek and the skull.

"You're looking at a maximum temperature rise in tissue of something between 0.06 and 0.08 degrees Celsius," said Wayne Cornelius, head of ARPANSA's EMR and Laser and Optical Radiation section.

"You can look at it another way and say that a mobile phone is comparable to a pen-light torch in its output," he added.

ARPANSA said that the standard is not capable of making recommendations about safe levels of exposure in relation to more harmful conditons that some members of the community fear is linked to mobile phones.

According to Cornelius, the absence of conclusive and consistent evidence in its research of epidemiological links between mobile phone use and more serious disease such as brain cancer, leukaemia and lymphoma, make the task impossible.

"No-one can rationally set limits of exposure unless they know precisely what the mechanism for causing a harmful effect is," said Cornelius. "No harmful effects (from mobile phone exposure) have been shown to occur other than those associated with heating."

ARPANSA has reported its findings to the federal government.

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