Professor Rodney Croft. Photo by Paul Jones.

Professor Rodney Croft to investigate potential dangers of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy.

A research centre based in IHMRI has been awarded a $2,499,671 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant over five years to continue its investigation into the possible health risks of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy, such as from mobile phones and Wi-Fi for example.

RF is used to enable a range of communication devices, including radio and mobile phones. Although these technologies have brought substantial benefits to society, they have also raised the concern that frequent RF exposure may pose an unknown but pervasive health risk.

The grant to the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR) was revealed in the latest round of NHMRC funding, announced by the Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP on 11 October.

ACEBR is an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence and was established in 2012 with a five-year $2.5 million grant. ACEBR’s other participating institutions are RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, University of Adelaide, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and SA Pathology.

Centre Director Professor Rodney Croft from UOW’s School of Psychology and the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, said the NHMRC funding would further the Centre’s research into RF electromagnetic energy.

“Our research will have a particular emphasis on RF from new and emerging technologies, such as the 5th Generation mobile communication protocol that is due to be implemented in 2020,” Professor Croft said.

“The research will address issues ranging from the potential for RF to impact on early neurodevelopment, neurodegenerative disorders, cellular processes, as well as on the relative physiological sensitivity of those reporting sensitivity to chronic RF exposure.

“It will also look at better understanding of RF exposure to and within individuals and the community more generally; the exploration of psychosocial triggers to electrohypersensitivity; and the understanding and improvement of strategies for the communication of RF risk information.”

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