#1073: Further comments on the draft Australian standard
From John Lincoln, ARPANSA ELF Working Group member
Look I understand the concerns of so many people about the ELF draft, but let me make a few points.
1. There is now a very large inclusion on precaution, both within the body of the standard (Section 6) and in the Annexe (Annexe 6). this doesn’t get a mention but it is extremely important.
2. The 3,000 mG level is intended for very short term exposure. I concede this is far from clear in the draft and needs comment from outside the working group. Keep hammering that issue. It is not clear enough yet, that the high level does not relate to long-term exposure. Of course if this is spelt out it becomes very obvious there is a huge gap between short-term exposure and long-term low level precautionary exposures. Keep watching that space.
3. If Eileen O’Connor wants to be taken seriously she needs to understand the significant difference between ELF and RF and the basis on which ICNIRP levels were derived, they were not related to thermal effects but rather to the firing of synapses.
In answer to some of her questions, as a member of the working group I can comment as follows. These are my views and not necessarily representative of the working group.
a. Please define electrosensitivity. If we are to protect these people, who are they and how has their condition been determined?
b. RF/MW Wifi WIMAX DECT phone towers have little to do directly with ELF, excluding Dr Beckers quoted comments, see below.
c. Yes the Govt has a duty of care to alert the public to non-thermal biological effects, that’s what the precautionary section is about. Please note again we are talking about ELF only, in the draft standard.
d. wireless devices are outside the scope of the ELF draft standard.
e. The standard at the moment is a draft only, not yet released for public comment, so save your well considered comments until it is ready for release. It has been a long and painful process to get to this point and there is still serious editing to take place. Please don’t torpedo the serious work that has gone into it over a long period of time.
f. In my view Dr Becker’s comments on the ELF effects of pulsed RF are very relevant and the ELF component is most likely to be the significant agent in non-thermal effects. This needs to be addressed in an RF standard, with maybe some cross reference in the ELF standard.
John Lincoln BE