Austria – Policy Recommendations On Cell Phones, Wireless Radiation & Health

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Information on How to Reduce Exposure Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields at the Homepage of the Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs.

 

Federal Law Gazette No. BGBl. II No. 179/2016 on EMFs: “Ordinance of the Federal Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, which enacts the Ordinance on the Protection of Workers against the Effects of Electromagnetic Fields (Electromagnetic Fields Regulation – VEMF) and with which the Ordinance on Health and Safety at Work 2014 and the regulation on employment prohibitions and restrictions on juveniles is amended”

  • Employers must identify and assess worker exposure to electromagnetic fields with professional assessment and measurements. The evaluation should include the nature, extent, duration and frequency or wavelength spectrum of exposure to electromagnetic fields, taking into account multiple sources of electromagnetic fields with multiple frequencies, the  action values for particularly vulnerable workers, and the information provided by manufacturers, distributors or the operating instructions (in particular information on the correct use, maintenance and marking of work equipment) and published information such as scientific findings.
  • Measures must be adapted to the needs of particularly vulnerable workers, such as when an employee has a medical implant or a body-worn medical device.
  • Hazards of electromagnetic fields must be minimized to the extent possible. In order to keep electromagnetic fields as low as possible, employers must comply with the principles of hazard prevention. When developing measures to address EMFs particularly vulnerable workers shall be considered.
  • Work equipment and work processes that cause electromagnetic fields at workplaces shall be designed or performed in such a way that the level of exposure is reduced as much as possible.
  • Workplace evaluation must be updated regularly.
  • At the request of the employer, the employee must provide evidence of EMF measurement documentation.
  • AUVA EMF Brochure for Evaluating Worker/Office Spaces

 

Austrian Workers Compensation Board

The Austrian workers’ compensation board (AUVA) recommends reducing exposure to EMF and cell phone radiation. AUVA provides support for employers to adequately implement the requirements of legislation on EMFs. In addition, information is provided on the website along with reports and brochures.

 

Salzberg Public Health Department Advises Against Wi-Fi in Schools

  • Original Letter
  • “The official advice of the Public Health Department of the Salzburg Region is not to use WLAN and DECT in Schools or Kindergartens.” – Gerd Oberfeld, MD.
  • The public health department of Salzburg (Landessanitätsdirektion) also recommends evaluating mobile phone base station exposures based on the EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016
  • Lists Electrosmog studies highlighting the EUROPAEM EMF guideline 2016 as representing the current state of medical science that it is used by the Landessanitätsdirektion Salzburg for the health assessment of EMF.

 

Salzberg Department of Health Publications

Salzburg Department of Health developed a School Curicullum Kit for elementary school children.

“The School Kit (Schulkoffer) was developed by the public health office of the land Salzburg under the direction of Dr. Gerd Oberfeld and in collaboration with educators. It aims to help educators work on the subject with students through games and experiences that make the invisible electrosmog visible, audible and liveable. Possible effects on health and how to maintain a healthy environment should also be discussed. The Target group consists of educators and children and adolescents from 3TH TO 6th year.Regionnews.at news report on the curriculum “Salzburg: -Schulkoffer Elektrosmog- clarifies”

 

The Vienna Medical Association issued cell phone safety guidelines

  • Guidelines state that cell phones should be used for as short of a time as possible and that children under 16 should not use cell phones at all. They also state that “wireless LAN leads to high microwave exposure”.
  • Ten Cell Phone Guidelines:
  1. Make calls as short and little as possible – use a landline or write SMS. Children and teenagers under 16 years old should carry cell phones only for emergencies!
  2. Distance is your friend- Keep the phone away from the body during connection of Phone. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s safer distance recommendation in the manual, keep a distance during the call set-up from the head and body. Take advantage of the built-in speakerphone or a headset!
  3. When using headsets or integrated hands-free, do not position mobile phones directly on the body – special caution applies here for pregnant women. For men, mobile phones are a risk to fertility if Mobile is stowed in Trouser pockets. Persons with electronic implants (pacemakers, insulin pumps et cetera) must pay attention to distance. Unless otherwise possible, use coat pocket, backpack or purse.
  4. Not in vehicles (car, bus, train) calls – without an external antenna, the radiation in the vehicle is higher. In addition, you will be distracted and you bother in public transport the other passengers!
  5. During the car when driving should be an absolute ban on SMS and internetworking – the distraction leads to self-endangerment and endangering other road users!
  6. Make calls at home and at work via the fixed corded (not wireless) network – Internet access via LAN cable (eg via ADSL, VDSL, fiber optic) no Radiation, is fast and secure data transfer. Constant radiation emitters like DECT cordless telephones, WLAN access points, data sticks and LTE Home base stations (Box, Cube, etc.) should be avoided!
  7. Go offline more often or use Airplane mode – Remember that for functions such as listening to music, camera, alarm clock, calculator or offline games an internet connection is not always required!
  8. Fewer apps mean less radiation – Minimize the number of apps and disable the most unnecessary background services on your smartphone. Disabling “Mobile services” / “data network mode” turns the smartphone again into a cell phone. You can still be reached, but avoid a lot of unnecessary radiation by background traffic!
  9. Avoid Mobile phone calls in places with poor reception (basement, elevator, etc) as it increases transmission power. Use in poor reception Area a headset or the speakerphone!
  10. For buyers of mobile phones, Look out for a very low SAR value and an external antenna connection!

Austria’s Highest Health Council of the Ministry of Health Advice to Reduce Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation: Brochure states that since the long term research is still not completed, it is advisable to take simple precautions to reduce exposure.

Guideline of the Austrian Medical Association for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF related health problems and illnesses (EMF syndrome)

  • Original Guidelines
  • The Austrian Medical Association has developed a guideline for differential diagnosis and treatment of health problems associated with outdoor and indoor electrosmog.

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