The health debate

The debate over whether electric and magnetic fields have any effect on human health began in the 1960s. Since then, many hundreds of scientific studies have been undertaken around the world into the effects of electric and magnetic fields and their possible relationship to human health. The studies have looked at a wide variety of possible health consequences. Ausgrid relies on advice provided by health bodies to determine the status of any possible human health effects.

Australian Radiation and Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency's (ARPANSA) public information on the issue says the results of all EMF studies to date have indicated either no association or a weak association with adverse health effects. It says association does not mean causation.

The scientific evidence does not establish that exposure to the electric and magnetic fields found around the home, the office or near powerlines causes health effects.


The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that:

Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields.  

Ausgrid will continue to monitor the results of scientific studies, and the findings of reports and reviews conducted across the world. This is only a snapshot of a large amount of information available on EMF from ARPANSA. Please visit or contact for more details.