AUVA-Study ATHEM: Recommendations for mobile phones

AUVA irritates rather than informs (FMK Press Release)

 'A warning that is not conclusively substantiated provokes contradiction. Irritating tips cause confusion,' FMK manager Maximilian Maier comments on the mobile phone recommendations given today by AUVA (an Austrian insurance body) within its information meeting 'ATHEM'. The researchers around project leader DI Dr. Hamid Molla-Djafari (AUVA) are supposed to have found out that non-thermal effects arise while using a mobile phone even below the limits.

'We think that the result of one single study is not enough to inform the population objectively', Maier said. Contrary to all scientific rules, this study of the ATHEM project has not yet been published so far and therefore is not acknowledged as a scientific fact. Maier also questions the content of the study as the AUVA recommendations are full of technical errors and are even contradictory: Interrupted telephoning (5 minute call, 10 minute break) is supposed to cause more changes to cells than non-stop phoning (uninterrupted call). Yet experts still advise taking precautions by avoiding phoning for hours on end.

'This is how a well-intentioned educational promotion has a contradictory, absurd and misleading effect,' said Maier. 'It is incomprehensible why here old myths about mobile phones are rehashed without any sound inspections having been carried out and without questioning the sense of it all,' responds Maier to AUVA's suggestions. The majority of the tips can be strongly criticised because they are all based on an incorrect understanding of the technology; they stoke fears and provide no real information. 'Mobile phones are not constantly transmitting. When mobile phones are not being used, they only contact the base station every 4 to 6 hours for a duration of 0.48 seconds. Otherwise they do not transmit at all', said Maier, clearing up one prejudice.'Furthermore it is a fact that the transmission power is not excessive. Modern UMTS devices only transmit at 0.25 watts. The threshold value of 2 watts/kg (SAR) is not exceeded by any mobile phone available in the shops', he explained. 'This course of action hits us hard, as we value AUVA as a serious institution with a high degree of credibility. These recommendations merely have an unsettling effect and do not bring us any further in holding an objective and fair discussion about mobile telephone systems,' concluded Maier.