DECT Phones and German Medical Community


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Soon after DECT phones were first introduced in Europe, mainly for use in office buildings, concerns were raised over possible health effects. One of the largest white collar trade unions in Europe, the Swedish Union of Clerical and Technical Employees in Industry, issued advice to its members to take steps to minimize their exposure to DECT because the system always operated at maximum power and there was insufficient research on possible long-term health effects. (10)

The initial market success for DECT was found in Germany in the early 1990s and it was in that country where adverse health effects from DECT technology soon became apparent. Soon after the introduction of DECT in Germany Dr. Leberecht von Klitzing, a medical physicist and researcher from the University of Luebeck had infants brought to him who were perfectly healthy, but their heart beat became erratic for no obvious reason. As soon as the DECT cordless phone was removed from the bedroom or neighboring apartment, the infant’s heart beat returned to normal. (11)

Concerns within the German medical community led to the Freiburger Appeal in October 2002 , signed by over 130 medical practitioners from the German environmental medicine medical organization, Interdisziplinäre Gesellschaft für Umweltmedizin e. V. (IGUMED). The appeal was to express their concern over their medical observations of adverse health impacts from the use of both cell phones and DECT cordless phones. Symptoms were attributed to exposure to pulsed microwave radiation from cell phone and DECT technology. The following is an extract:

Germany, Berlin
Jordan, Amman
France, Paris
Albania, Tirana
Qatar, Doha
Iceland, Rekyavik
Bathurst, Australia
Malawi, Lilongwe
St. Kitts and Nevis, Basseterre
Russian Federation, Moscow City

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