- What are electromagnetic fields?
- Static and low-frequency fields
- What are static and low-frequency fields?
- Reports & Evaluations
- Radiation protection relating to the expansion of the national grid
- Basics transfer of electrical power
- High-frequency fields
- What are high-frequency fields?
- Applications high-frequency fields
- Radiation protection in mobile communication
- What is mobile communication?
- Reports and evaluations
- What is optical radiation?
- UV radiation
- What is UV radiation?
- Sun but safe!
- Effects of UV radiation
- Protection against UV radiation
- UV index
- Infrared radiation
- What is ionising radiation?
- Radioactivity in the environment
- Where does radioactivity occur in the environment?
- What is the level of natural radiation exposure in Germany?
- Building materials
- Industrial residues (NORM)
- BfS laboratories
- Applications in medicine
- Applications in daily life and in technology
- Radioactive radiation sources in Germany
- Register high-level radioactive radiation sources
- Type approval procedure pursuant to RöV and StrlSchV
- Cabin luggage security checks
- Radioactive materials in watches
- Ionisation smoke detectors (ISM)
- What effect does radiation have?
- Acute radiation damage
- Effects of selected radioactive materials
- Consequences of a radiation accident
- Cancer and leukaemia
- Genetic radiation effects
- Individual radiosensitivity
- Epidemiology of radiation-induced diseases
- Ionizing radiation: positive effects?
- Risk estimation and assessment
- Radiation protection
- Nuclear accident management
- What happens in an emergency?
- Decision support systems
- Germany: IMIS
- Exercises for emergency situations
- Nuclear accidents
- Defence against nuclear hazards
- Service offers
- Radon measurements
- Incorporation monitoring
- Biological dosimetry
- What is nuclear waste management?
- Interim storage facilities
- Federal custody of nuclear fuels
- What are repositories?
- Site selection
- Konrad repository
- Decommissioning of the Asse mine
- Decommissioning of the Morsleben repository
- Repository surveillance
- About us
- Science and research
- Research concept
- Scientific collaborations
- EU research framework programme
- BfS research programme 2013-2017
- Third-party funded research
- Departmental research
- Selected research projects
- Selected research results
- Professional opinions
- Laws and regulations
- BfS Topics in the Bundestag
Smartphones and tablets – tips to reduce radiation exposure
Just like classic mobile phones, smartphones use the same high frequency electromagnetic fields to transmit speech and data. Besides mobile communication connections, Smartphones can usually also make use of Wireless Lan (wi-fi).
This is similarly the case for tablets: They use high frequency fields for wi-fi connections and often also have mobile communications inbuilt.
Smartphones, mobile phones and tablets using the UMTS or LTE standard emit less radiation
Modern mobile communications devices have an advantage over older models: They often transmit using UMTS standard, or more recently also using LTE standard. Compared to the GSM standard, these standards generate lower levels of radiation when forming connections.
GSM standard uses maximum power when setting up the call. Thereafter, the device regulates itself to the necessary transmission power. When using UMTS or LTE standard, the mobile communications device operates in precisely the opposite way. It begins making the connection using the lowest transmission power and then increases it to the necessary power.
According to the current status of science and technology, there are no health risks posed by mobile communications. However, the technology is still too new for a conclusive judgement of long-term effects. All questions relating to the effects on children have likewise not yet been conclusively answered. Therefore the Federal Office for Radiation Protection supports further research in these areas and advises users not to disregard precautionary measures.
Take note of low SAR values when purchasing
Taking note of low SAR values when purchasing can reduce individual radiation exposure. The BfS gathers information on the SAR values of all mobile communication devices that are available on the market (mobile phones, Smartphones and tablets). A device is considered to be low-radiation up to a SAR value of 0.6 watts per kilogram. 58 per cent of currently available smartphones can be classified as "low-radiation". SAR values of mobile communications devices currently on the market are published at www.bfs.de/sar-werte-handy.
The table also shows the SAR values for operation of the device on the body (body worn). The SAR value, as given by the manufacturer, is supplemented by the relevant measurement distance. The highest SAR value of 2 watts per kilogram must also be maintained during operation of the device on the body. The measurement norm thus enables a measurement distance of up to 2.5 cm. When tablets have mobile communications inbuilt, they must likewise comply with the SAR limit value.
Lowering individual radiation exposure
Through our own behaviour, we can reduce our exposure to radiation in daily life. Besides the Recommendation for making telephone calls on mobile phones, there are special tips for the new applications that are offered by smartphones and tablets:
- Make calls using a headset. This applies to smartphones as well as to classic mobile phones.
- Surfing on the internet and accessing e-mails should if possible be done only when there is good reception or using wi-fi. Wi-fi networks usually have a lower transmission power than the mobile communication standards UMTS, GSM or LTE.
- Access e-mails manually only when necessary.
- Avoid receiving e-mails during a telephone call. If you wish to keep your personal radiation exposure particularly low, switch off background data traffic.
- If you carry your smartphone on your body, take care to observe the minimum isolation distance given by the manufacturer. Use the carrying accessories supplied with it.
- When surfing the internet with your tablet or smartphone, take care to maintain sufficient distance from your body. Exposure to high frequency fields is reduced significantly with increasing distance.
- When purchasing, look out for the lowest possible SAR value.
Smartphones and tablets for children?
It is particularly important to minimise children’s exposure to radiation. They are still developing and could therefore react more sensitively in terms of health.
Recommendations especially for children and young people
Deactivate "data transfer via mobile communications". This leaves your child able to receive calls and play games offline while on the move. If playing games online on the smartphone or tablet is absolutely desirable, this should be done at home via a wi-fi connection. The duration of play should be kept within limits not only for reasons of radiation protection.
State of 2017.04.26