Mobile phone technology has become part of our everyday lives
With over 26 million mobile phone subscriptions, most Australians now use mobile phones to communicate with their friends, family and customers in a flexible way, at a time that suits them.
Mobile devices, and the base stations that make them work, operate well within international and national safety limits. According to the World Health Organization and others, there is no established evidence to date to convince experts that the use of mobile devices and their base stations cause health effects. However some people remain concerned.
Research continues into mobile devices, base stations and health. Our approach to managing health issues is based on all available scientific evidence, to ensure we safeguard our customers, employees and the public.
We have designed this section of our website to answer the most frequent questions asked of us, and to communicate the most up-to-date scientific opinion.
We refer to mobile phones throughout this section of our website, but the information applies equally to other wireless items such as wireless-enabled computers and handheld email devices.
Mobile phones, base stations and health overview
All the wireless communications equipment including mobile phones we sell, and the base stations we operate, meet strict international safety guideline limits (ICNIRP). These guidelines have a substantial safety margin built into them and remain the basis for ensuring safety of our technology.
Vodafone relies on and recommends the advice of independent scientific experts, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), to give consumers accurate information to assist them in making informed choices about mobile technology and health.
On mobile phone safety the World Health Organization says,
"A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use."
"The electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic to humans"
The WHO explains:
"Possibly carcinogenic (Group 2B) [is] a category used when a causal association is considered credible, but when chance, bias or confounding cannot be ruled out with reasonable confidence."
The WHO provides information on how to effectively reduce mobile phone exposure:
"In addition to using "hands-free" devices, which keep mobile phones away from the head and body during phone calls, exposure is also reduced by limiting the number and length of calls. Using the phone in areas of good reception also decreases exposure as it allows the phone to transmit at reduced power."
WHO Fact Sheet 193 June 2011 – Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones
The WHO will conduct a formal risk assessment of all studied health outcomes from radiofrequency fields exposure by 2012.
Vodafone supports effective measures to reduce exposure when using mobile phone devices while we wait for the completion of the additional research and WHO's formal risk assessment for radiofrequency fields in 2012.