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No Radiation Hazard from TV Sets

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' No hazard arises from X-ray emission from black and white television

sets in use in Australia or from the colour television sets already available

for experimental purposes. This was shown in a series of tests conducted

recently by the X-ray and Radium Laboratory of the Commonwealth Department

of Health and the Australian Broadcasting Control Board,, in association, in a

study of X-ray emissions from television receivers.

None of the wide range of makes and ages of black and white

television receivers tested had a level of X-ray emission greater than l/25th

of the internationally recommended level for such receivers and none of the

colour television sets had an X-ray emission greater than 1/I0th of that level.

The higher level for colour television receivers arises from the higher voltages

of their electronic components.

The instruments used in the tests were of sufficient sensitivity to

measure the radiation from a radioactive luminous watch. The level of

X-radiation from black and white television receivers was well below the

radiation from this commonly used item.

The Minister for Health, Dr. Forbes, and the Postmaster-General, Mr. Hulme,

gave this information today in a joint statement, in which Dr. Forbes

announced that the National Health and Medical Research Council has recommended

to State Governments that they amend their Radioactive Substances Regulations to

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permit the sale only of television receivers which comply· with the standards

of X-ray emission it has now defined. Council noted that the amendment

should be made well in advance of the introduction of colour television

into Australia.

The Ministers said the question of acceptable standards of X-Ray

emission from television receivers was raised with the National Health and Medical

Research Council by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board because of

earlier reports from the United States of colour television receivers

emitting dangerously high levels of X-rays. The Board was anxious that

standards of X-ray emission be defined, to permit manufacturers of colour

television receivers for Australian use to adopt, in advance, receiver designs

which will conform with satisfactory emission levels.

The recommendation of the National Health and Medical Research

Council prescribes a maximum level of X-ray emission at a distance of five

centimetres (about two inches) from any surface of a television receiver.

The level adopted by the National Health and Medical Research Council is

identical with that recommended by the International Commission on Radiological

Protection which is recognised throughout the world as the authority for

setting permitted levels of radiation exposure.

The conditions for measurement of X-ray emission from television

receivers have been defined by the National Health and Medical Research Council

to ensure that the maximum X-ray emission ever likely to occur will take

place at the time of test measurement. The X-ray emission under normal use

will be less than under the conditions of measurement.

The technical requirements of the recommendation adopted by the

National Health and Medical Research Council are the same as those which will

become effective through regulations in the United States from 1 June 1971.

Canberra, June 14, 1970. Departmental No. 19·