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Elektromagnetische Felder

Baby monitors

  • Baby monitors are electrical devices and produce low-frequency electric and magnetic fields in the 50 Hz range if they are powered by electricity from the socket. Radio-operated devices use high-frequency electromagnetic fields to transmit sounds.
  • For precautionary reasons the BfS recommends:

    • Use devices with the lowest possible field intensity.
    • If possible, avoid out-of-range indicators in the case of which the transmitter in the nursery transmits continuously and check the range of the baby monitor yourself before use.
    • Make sure the distance between the device and the child's crib is as large as possible without impairing the functionality of the device.
    • For devices connected to the electricity grid, the distance between the separate power supply unit and the child's crib should be kept as large as possible as a precaution.

Baby monitors Baby monitors in the houseHigh-frequency electromagnetic as well as low-frequency electric and magnetic fields generated by a baby monitor transmitting sounds from the nursery

Baby monitors are also referred to as Babyphones, "Babyfon" and "Babyruf" devices ("Babyfon" and "Babyruf" are registered trademarks of individual manufacturers). They transmit sounds from the nursery to the parents thus enabling them to monitor their sleeping infant or toddler also from the distance. To that end, they use two different transmission paths:

  • The household circuit serves to transmit the sounds from the nursery.
  • A radio connection from the transmitter (nursery) to the receiver is established. Radio-operated devices use high-frequency electromagnetic fields to transmit sounds. These devices are often designed as intercoms which means that both devices are equipped with a transmitting and a receiving unit.

High- and low-frequency magnetic fields

Transmission over the power circuit works only if the transmitter and receiver are in the same circuit. Radio-operated devices do not have this restriction. In addition, the receivers are cordless and therefore mobile. That is why most baby monitors today are radio-operated. In the process, high-frequency electromagnetic fields are produced.
Baby monitors are electrical devices and also produce low-frequency electric and magnetic fields in the 50 Hz range if they are powered by electricity from the socket.

Precautions

From a precautionary point of view, both high-frequency and low-frequency fields have to be considered for baby monitors. It should also be pointed out that infants and toddlers are developing and that they could therefore be especially sensitive to electromagnetic fields.

Precautionary measures concerning high-frequency fields

For precautionary reasons the BfS recommends:

  • Use devices with the lowest possible field intensity.
  • If possible, avoid out-of-range indicators in the case of which the transmitter in the nursery transmits continuously and check the range of the baby monitor yourself before use.
  • Make sure the distance between the device and the child's crib is as large as possible without impairing the functionality of the device.

In addition to radiation protection aspects, the ecolabel Blue Angel also takes into account other environmental aspects of baby monitors such as recyclability and energy consumption. Furthermore, devices awarded the "Blue Angel" have to provide information on precautionary measures for electromagnetic fields in their manuals.

Precautionary measures concerning low-frequency fields

Epidemiological studies provide indications that low-frequency fields may possibly lead to an increased risk of leukaemia in children. Even though the results of these studies do not represent scientific evidence for an increased risk of leukaemia, the BfS recommends precautionary measures for baby monitors which are powered by electricity from the socket:

  • For devices connected to the electricity grid, the distance between the separate power supply unit and the child's crib should be kept as large as possible as a precaution.
  • If the device is powered by batteries, such low-frequency alternating fields do not occur.
State of 2017.02.09

© Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz