On November 17, 2009 the Energy Networks Association (ENA), the peak national body representing the gas and electricity distribution industry in Australia will host an EMF scientific workshop on the proposed Australian power-frequency exposure standard. The workshop will be exploring the scientific rationale for a three-fold increase in allowable exposure limits.
This is a radical departure even from the ICNIRP limits which for 50 Hz. remain at 1,000mG for residential and 5,000mG occupational.
If incorporated as a standard, the new residential limits will increase to 3,000mG and the occupational limits will increase to 15,000mG.
How the Australian trade union movement responds to this radical increase remains to be seen. In the past the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) took an active role on the committee that worked on the Australian RF standard and then actively opposed the incorporation of the relaxed ICNIRP limits for RF. Now Australian workers are faced with a significant relaxation of supposedly health based standards that are well beyond even ICNIRPs limits for power frequency EMF.
These limit values are only based on “instantaneous exposures” and do not address prolonged exposures at environmental levels. The epidemiological evidence has been dismissed as not suitable for consideration when setting standards. The workshop speaker will be Professor Andrew Wood from the Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. Wood is also Chairman of the ARPANSA Standard Working Group that devised the new limits.
As a ‘sugar coating’ to help Australians swallow this rather large and bitter pill there will also be discussion of the use of “precaution” as part of the new EMF Standard. There is no charge for attendance. Morning and afternoon teas, lunch and summaries of papers will be provided. Registration Forms need to be submitted by 6 November.
ENA EMF Scientific Workshop 2009 – 2
For further details and registration go to the ENS website: http://www.ena.asn.au/?p=1717
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