Corporate Responsibility

How expert bodies assess mobile communications

The limit values are based on a broad consensus among scientists.

Many specialists and national authorities are unanimous in their approval of the limit values. Their conclusion: Provided the valid exposure limits are complied with, mobile communications presents no risk to people's health – including that of the infirm, pregnant women, and children.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection ICNIRP

ICNIRP stands for the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. ICNIRP is an independent panel of experts and is recognized by the World Health Organization WHO. ICNIRP's exposure limit recommendations for mobile communications were issued in 1998. In 2009 and 2011 they were confirmed again, after evaluation of current research results.

In 2020 the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) released new  guidelines  for  the  protection  of  humans  exposed  to  radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. The guidelines have been developed after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature and also cover the 5G technology. 

ICNIRP Guidelines 2020


Germany's Commission on Radiological Protection (SSK)

Germany's Commission on Radiological Protection (SSK) advises the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) on all matters relating to protection against ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. In September 2011, SSK again endorsed the limit values for Germany. On the basis of all the available research findings relating to mobile communications and health, SSK concludes: "In agreement with other international bodies (ICNIRP 2009, WHO 2011), we do not see any reason to challenge the protection concepts on which the present exposure limits are based."

Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS) (Federal Office for Radiation Protection, BfS)

One duty of the BfS is to assess the risk of new technologies with regard to radiation protection. In its statement from 2013, the BfS gives the all-clear for mobile communications and confirms the applicable safety concept in Germany: "The results of the German Mobile Telecommunication Research Program have significantly reduced the knowledge gaps and thus improved the data basis for risk assessment. A careful review reveals that the findings do not give any cause to question the protective effect of the existing limits."

According to statements by Germany's Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) from the year 2018, provided the legally defined limits are complied with, operation of the 5G mobile communications technology will not have any detrimental impact on human health. The BfS bases this statement not only on results from the German Mobile Communications Research Program, which is carried out by independent scientific institutions – results that are largely transferable to 5G – but also on assessments by national and international committees of experts who have reviewed all available publications. 

In addition, the BfS sees a need for further research for the use of frequencies above 20 GHz. The electromagnetic fields from the newly introduced technical innovations and new networks are also to be researched, along with the effect on exposure of the population overall. Appropriate research projects are being carried out by the BfS. 

BfS on 5G

EU Scientific Committee: SCENHIR

SCENIHR (Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks) is an independent scientific body and advises the European Commission on issues relating to health and consumer protection. Based on the current state of research, SCENHIR also reassures the public in its latest 2014 evaluation. This new assessment of SCENHIR issued since the last 2009 evaluation give no cause to question the exposure limits.