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Mastbruch: Outcome

Informational talk

First, Prof. Adlkofer remarked that the state of research did hardly improve during the last year. Especially the question on the effects on humans through the radiation emitted by base stations is still open. He reported that radiofrequency radiation has been classified 'possibly carcinogenic' by the WHO's International Agency for Cancer Research in May 2011. With this decision, which is based on the vote of 30 scientists from all over the world and which is explained with the results from epidemiological research with long-term mobile phone users, the Agency ignored the view of other bodies responsible for radiation protection. This is certainly a call to national and international radiation protection to take its assignment to protect the people more seriously. The classification had one dissenting vote and this vote came from a member of the German Commission on Radiological Protection. Participation of the head of the Committee Non-Ionizing Radiation of this Commission was turned down by the Agency because of his ties to industry. Under these circumstances, German radiation protection might not win the people but surely the mobile communication industry.

Looking ahead, Prof. Adlkofer risked the statement that the recent classification of radiofrequency radiation as being 'possibly carcinogenic' will be graded up to 'probably carcinogenic' within 10 years, and that after 10 more years a causal link between radiofrequency radiation and cancer will be proven. Thus, we have to ask what are the consequences for humans exposed to radiation from base stations for 24 hours a day, no matter whether they use a mobile phone or not. If we find pathological changes this depends not only on the dose taken in but also on how our body deals with the strain, an ability that varies considerably from person to person. The pilot study in Mastbruch was to find out which prerequisites are needed to successfully clarify these links. Prof. Adlkofer thanked the citizen's initiative Gegenwelle and, especially, Mrs. Ellen Zajonz that the study - certainly an important one - could have been carried out and he thanked the Mastbruch residents, who took part in the study.


a) Increase of radiation between March 2010 and March 2011 (Dr. Voigt)
Before the base station was switched on in March 2010 the mean values in the flats without any inside sources (WLAN, DECT) were 2.7 µW/sqm. In March 2011 they increased to 384.0 µW/sqm, that is more than a hundred times higher. In the same period peak values reached 1,012 µW/sqm. In rooms with active WLAN and/or DECT equipment emissions were in the same range as with the base station. While using a mobile phone the exposure of the user is considerably higher. When the planned UMTS is finally switched on emissions in the vicinity will still increase.

b) Results of the questionnaire (Prof. Mosgoeller)
The evaluation of the questionnaires from 96 persons who participated in both examinations showed that the well-being of the affected persons got significantly worse after the base station had been switched on. The trend was especially conspicuous with women. We clearly see that this concerns especially symptoms which - in a series of studies - are linked to the radiation emitted by base stations. Based on the selection necessary for the composition of the study collective, however, it does not seem justified to come to a reliable conclusion.

c) Results of the FRAS test (Prof. Mosgoeller)
With the Free Radikal Analytical System (FRAS) we can determine any free radicals in the human organism and the anti-oxidative capacity to protect against free radicals. In the pilot study we restricted the measurement on the concentration of free radicals, an increase of which generally speaks in favour of strain. The result after evaluating the data from 70 persons who participated in both examinations did - neither in women nor in men - show a relevant change in the concentration of free radicals as a consequence of a higher exposure.

As expected from a pilot study, the obtained results do not allow a statement on possible health effects being a consequence of increasing exposure after the base station had been switched on. We must notice that the intensity of the radiation is still rather low. This can also be attributed to the fact that the UMTS system has not been switched on contrary to the announcement of the provider.

The course of the pilot study did show that we can create the technical and organizational prerequisites for a complex study. However, the original plan needs several decisive adjustments when measuring the exposure and its possible health effects on humans. We could show that the individual radiation level differs very much, and this independent from expousre to the new base station. Reason is the fact we hardly find radiation-free areas in our daily life and, therefore, possible health effects from radiation cannot be recorded only by measuring the radiation emitted from one base station. This has to be adjusted accordingly in the design of a follow-up study.