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Health effects of TETRA

In 2008 the BfS and the Federal Agency for Digital Radio of Security Authorities and Organisations (BDBOS) reached an agreement to pay adequate attention to basic requirements of radiation protection and to information and risk communication when setting up the new digital voice and data communication system for security authorities. The agreement ended in 2017. The terms of condition were that BDBOS financed research projects aiming at clarifying open scientific questions for risk evaluation of the electromagnetic fields used for TETRA. Two research projects and one literature study were carried out which are already completed.

Article Effects of the TETRA radio signal on cognitive functions

Several international studies on the influence of electromagnetic fields from mobile communications on cognitive performance and brain function during wakefulness and sleep have been performed during the last years. No health relevant effects were found below the maximum exposure of 2 Watt per kilogram (W/kg), which applies for the use of mobile devices by the public. In Germany, the construction of a new digital radio communication network for security authorities and organisations based on the TETRA standard has been finished at the end of 2015. TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) uses a frequency band around 400 MHz and has been much less investigated than public mobile communications.

Article Modelling of the SAR-distribution within the whole body from TETRA terminals

The nationwide digital radio system for security authorities and organisations changes the employees’ work-related exposure to electromagnetic fields. Powerful radio transmitters that operate in close contact to or very near to the human body at frequencies just below 400 MHz, is an exposure situation which was not studied in detail up to now from a radiation protection point of view. Primarily exposures at higher frequencies were studied in the German Mobile Telecommunication Research Programme (DMF), so that the transfer of results from the DMF to the expected exposure situations of employees of authorities and organizations with security tasks (BOS) is limited. The research projects aims at determining the exposure of users of radio transmitters that are applied in the digital BOS radio network in Germany.

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