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BACKGROUND BRIEFING: 5G Jitters - how safe is 5G for our health?

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

With the imminent roll-out of 5G around the country, concerns have been raised about a raft of potential issues from cancer to espionage. How different is 5G from 4G technology and what does the science say about the possible impacts of the technology on health, communications and privacy? In this two-part series, we will be looking at what the technology will mean for Australia and what the available evidence can tell us about the future impact of 5G. Part I will investigate the science behind exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy from mobile phones and antennas using 5G technology and what the evidence can tell us about their impact on health.

Organisation/s: Australian Science Media Centre, Monash University

The briefing will discuss the following issues:

  • What is radiofrequency electromagnetic energy and why are some people worried about it?
  • What regulations will be put in place to ensure exposure to electromagnetic energy from 5G antennas and devices is kept within safe limits?
  • Do we know enough about the biological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic energy exposure? Is more research needed?


  • Dr Ken Karipidis, Assistant Director, Assessment and Advice Section, Radiation Health Services Branch, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)
  • Dr Sarah Loughran, Director of the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research at the University of Wollongong
  • Dr Geza Benke, Senior Research Fellow (School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine), Monash University

Date: Tuesday 16 July 2019
Start Time: 10:30am AEST
Duration: Approx 45 min 
Venue: Online

Journalists can follow the briefing online via audio and video streaming. Each presenter will speak for 5-7 minutes followed by questions. Journalists will have the opportunity to ask questions online.
1. Go to the briefing web portal by clicking here 5 minutes before the start time or anytime during the briefing. Alternatively go to and follow the links.
2. Enter your name and email address
3. Click "Join".
If you are having difficulties logging in, we suggest you try pasting the link into a different browser.
(System requirements: You will need a broadband connection and speakers/headphones to hear the event. Allow 1-2 mins for your computer to be configured correctly, you can now also choose the 'join by browser' option which can eliminate administrator download issues)

1. For phone only access please call: 02 8518 1927.
2. Enter meeting number/access code 576 445 292#.

You can now also tune into media briefings using your smartphone, but you will need to install the 'Webex Meet' app first. To follow the briefing using this app, enter the 9-digit meeting number mentioned above.

Radio stations can also record the briefing over a phone line. If you would like to make sure that you can connect, please contact us to arrange a quick test before the day.

If you have any problems joining the briefing online, phone Webex on 1800 493 239 quoting event number 576 445 292.

Video files will be posted on our website at as soon as possible after the event.
For further information, please contact the AusSMC on 08 7120 8666 or email

Disclaimer: None of the panelists have declared conflicts of interest. The AusSMC receives funding from more than 70 different organisations with individual sponsorship capped at under 10% to maintain the Centre's independence. The Australian Mobile and Telecommunications Association is a sponsor of the AusSMC, and provides just under 0.5% of the AusSMC's funding. Click here for a full list of sponsors.


  • Australian Science Media Centre
    Web page
    Briefing recording playback

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