Navigation and service

Electromagnetic fields

Mobile communication, WLAN & Co. - Grid expansion - Household appliances & electric installations

Elektromagnetische Felder
Zwei junge Frauen telefonieren mit Handy und Smartphone

Recommendations for mobile phones

Mobile communications use high-frequency electromagnetic fields to transmit information. Mobile phones generate these fields directly by the head when making telephone calls without using hands-free equipment. According to current knowledge, the internationally recommended limit values are sufficient to protect the user from proven health risks.

Specific Absorption Rates (SAR) for mobile phones

Mobile communication uses high frequency electromagnetic fields for information transmission. When talking to someone on a mobile phone, the energy of these fields is partly absorbed in the head. If a headset is used and the mobile phone is, for example, put in one’s pocket, the energy is absorbed by the body part close to the mobile phone. The specific absorption rate (SAR) is a measure for the energy absorbed by the body. Its measure is Watt per kilogram (W/kg)

Voluntary commitment

In December 2001 the Mobile Network Operators incurred a voluntary commitment towards the federal government. The aim of this commitment was the improvement of safety, consumer, environmental and health protection, information and confidence-building measures with respect to the upgrading of mobile telecommunication networks.

A woman, using a tablet.

Smartphones and tablets

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.

The BfS gives tips to reduce individual radiation exposure.

Limit Values

The German Electromagnetic Field Ordinance, which is based on the Federal Pollution Control Act (26th BImSchV), entered into force in 1997 and was amended in August 2013. It was enacted to protect the population against possible health effects from electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields.

© Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz