With 5G threatened serious consequences for people and the environment – warn meanwhile more than 400 doctors and scientists in an international appeal.
In a US animal study, rats and mice exposed to mobile phone radiation were found to have significantly more cancer tumors than non-irradiated conspecifics.
However, the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) sees no cause for concern: “The studies in animal experiments used very high levels of radiation that are very far away from radiation that we have in everyday life,” said BfS President Inge Paulini. Nevertheless, the Office recommends a “careful handling” with 5G – in view of increasing data transmission rates, the own radiation exposure during telephoning and surfing should be kept low:
- Who has the choice, instead of a smartphone to use better landline phone, advises the authority.
- In addition, consumers should keep cell phone calls as short as possible, write text messages and not make phone calls in case of bad reception. Because the weaker the connection to the next base station, the more intense the electromagnetic field works in the vicinity of the phone.
- Who calls via a headset, set his head less radiation. Decisive for the radiation exposure is also the distance of the device to the body.
- Consumers who surf the Internet a lot with their smartphone or tablet should do so best with good reception or WLAN, advises the BfS. In the wireless network, the transmission power is usually lower than with standard mobile radio standards such as LTE.
Questions & Answers about 5G
Which radiation is used? How does it affect the body?
The radiation exposure of the 5G network on the human body are still largely unexplored. The mobile radio radiation, as used in 5G, is electromagnetic radiation. Numerous studies have already dealt with the effects. “Clearly demonstrated so far only that the high-frequency fields have a thermal, so warming effect. This is also known from the microwave, “explains Sarah Drießen from the Research Center for Electromagnetic Environmental Compatibility at RWTH Aachen University.
However, this effect is much lower in mobile communications. To exclude a harmful effect, there are limits, such as the SAR value, the recommended maximum value of two watts per kilogram should not be exceeded at the head.
Where can I find the SAR value of my device?
For each smartphone, the value of two measurements must be given – when telephoning the ear and when wearing the device on the body. The values can be found in the operating instructions of the device and online in a database of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), which is updated regularly. At a value below 0.6 experts speak of a low-radiation device.
Is cell phone radiation considered carcinogenic?
The answer to this question is controversial. “No”, says Gunde Ziegelberger from the BfS. “We have no evidence that using the smartphone in compliance with international limits could cause cancer.” Although studies have not yet been able to provide complete certainty because tumors developed over a long period of time. “But every year we see no increase in disease, we get more certainty.”
Biologist Drießen, meanwhile, refers to a group of experts from the WHO, which summarized in 2011 all published studies to date. “The IARC came to the conclusion that cell phone radiation, possibly carcinogenic ‘is.” But that is not a clear judgment, she stresses. “Nevertheless, we should take the studies in principle seriously.” Definitely the question can not yet be answered.
What does all this mean for the 5G expansion?
“It is to be expected that 5G leads to a massive increase in forced exposure to radio-frequency radiation,” warned the Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND). For example, Telekom alone wants to double the number of mobile communications sites. The BfS demands a “prudent expansion”. The 5G frequencies are 2.0 and 3.6 and 3.7 gigahertz. “So you are largely in the frequency ranges, which we know from the current mobile and are already well researched,” says BfS spokeswoman Nicole Messmer. “In perspective, however, higher frequencies in the range of about 26 gigahertz are to be used, and these are little researched at the present time.”
The Federal Office also sees open questions when installing new mobile communications systems. “There are several opposing effects here.” On the one hand, more transmitters would be installed, but with lower transmission power. These would then be operated closer to places where people actually stay. “How that will affect how high the radiation that is exposed to each individual is difficult to predict at the moment.”