A team of Melbourne scientists measuring electromagnetic output from the city’s phone towers is confident the controversial cell phone upgrade poses no health risks.

Experts from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Authority (ARPANSA) want to combat misinformation about the continued rollout of 5G.

Australia’s fifth-generation mobile cellular network has been plagued by protests in most major cities in recent years, with critics warning the technology has not been tested.

The ARPANSA team surveyed output from 50 towers, from Hurstbridge in the northeast of the city to Hoppers Crossing in the west to Skye near Frankston.

This is the first time 5G power has been comprehensively measured in Australia by ARPANSA.

Radio power output varies with frequency, but Australian standards based on the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection allow an average of 2-10 watts per square meter.

ARPANSA scientist Stuart Henderson says the highest reading so far is 1,000 times less than that.

The towers of Mount Dandenong were identified as the largest source of emissions.

“The best reading we reported was about 700 times less than the acceptable limit. It was from a radio broadcast tower, not a cellular network,” said Dr. Henderson.

He said the highest levels of production from other sites in the city are more than 2,000 times below the limit.

An average microwave uses about 1,000 watts of electromagnetic energy.

The phone used less than 2 watts of power, not a sustainable level.

Australian 5G transmissions peak at 3.7 GHz, well below radio altimeter frequencies.

“Emotional Issues”

Dr. Henderson said he hopes the findings, due to be published by the end of the year, will help even the most die-hard critics understand the science.

“The problem is that a lot of people don’t approach it rationally. It becomes an emotional issue,” he said.

“People get angry because they feel like they have no say or are out of control over this new technology.

“There is a lot of extortion going on around the world about 5G and the spectrum in general, but it misses the point.”

Dr Henderson said output levels from several sites surveyed in 2011 and 2013 have not changed much.

“I think each generation of cellular technology has actually gotten more efficient at transmitting data and used far less electromagnetic energy to do so,” he said.


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