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Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift

, Volume 161, Issue 9–10, pp 226–232 | Cite as

Children's health and RF EMF exposure. Views from a risk assessment and risk communication perspective

  • Peter WiedemannEmail author
  • Holger Schütz
Main topic

Summary

A review of the scientific literature published until August 2010, covering epidemiological studies on the effects of RF EMF exposure on the incidence of brain tumours and leukaemia in children as well as experimental studies on RF EMF effects on cognition and CNS in children, reveals no or only scant evidence for the assumption that RF EMF exposure poses a hazard to children. This result is at odds with public risk perceptions, i.e. prevailing concerns of (at least part of) the public about adverse health effect of RF EMF. Consequences for risk communication are discussed. A scientifically sound and easy-to-understand risk communication is especially exacerbated by the fact that current risk assessments cannot exclude that RF EMF might have adverse health effects due remaining knowledge gaps, but especially due to the impossibility to prove a non-effect.

Keywords

Risk Children Mobile telephony Risk perception Risk communication 

Kindergesundheit und Mobilfunk: Risikoabschätzung und Risikokommunikation

Zusammenfassung

Ein Review der epidemiologischen Studien zu den Auswirkungen von HF EMF-Expositionen auf Tumorbildung und Leukämieerkrankungen bei Kindern sowie experimentellen Untersuchungen zu Effekten von HF EMF-Expositionen auf Kognition und ZNS bei Kindern, das die wissenschaftliche Literatur bis August 2010 umfasst, findet keine oder nur unzureichende wissenschaftliche Evidenz für die Annahme, dass HF EMF ein Risikofaktor für Kinder ist. Dieser Befund steht im Gegensatz zu der Risikowahrnehmung in (zumindest Teilen) der Öffentlichkeit, die einen Zusammenhang zwischen HF-Exposition und Gesundheitsrisiken befürchtet. Konsequenzen für die Risikokommunikation werden diskutiert. Besonders erschwerend für eine wissenschaftliche korrekte und zugleich leicht zu verständliche Risikokommunikation ist es, dass nicht ausgeschlossen werden kann, dass HF EMF ein Risikofaktor ist, zum einen wegen der bestehenden Wissenslücken, zum anderen aber insbesondere wegen der Unmöglichkeit, einen Nicht-Effekt zu beweisen.

Schlüsselwörter

Risiko Kinder Mobilfunk Risikowahrnehmung Risikokommunikation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)ITASBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Neurosciences and Medicine (INM-8)Research Center JülichJülichGermany

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