Joint press release with the Federal Ministry for the Environment,Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Two companies have demonstrated pioneering spirit and become the first in the mobile telephony business to be awarded the Blue Angel for their low-emission products. ”After years of manufacturer stumbling blocks put in the path of the Blue Angel, I applaud this sign that resistance is weakening”, explained Federal Environmental Minister Sigmar Gabriel. The Blue Angel is the most recognised eco-label worldwide and stands for monitoring of supply, transparency in choice, and safe purchasing. Thomas Holzmann, Vice President of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), said, ”Choosing a baby monitor or mobile phone bearing the Blue Angel guarantees a low-emission device that meets strict requirements. You can trust the Blue Angel.” The devices will be in shops as of September 2007.
All mobile phones and baby monitors on sale in Germany comply with the strict statutorial limit values with regard to radiation protection. According to present knowledge, they pose no health risk to their users if handled properly, yet there is still some public debate about the consequences of ”mobile phone radiation”.
The Blue Angel is only awarded to devices that have particularly low emissions, that is, lie below the legally stipulated SAR limit value of 2.0 watts per kilogramme. The SAR value—short for specific absorption rate- indicates maximum radiation intensity. The Blue Angel is only given to devices that demonstrate 0.6 watts per kilogramme maximum. Up to now, manufacturers have shied away from the environmental label even though 30 per cent of the models available in Germany meet the strict requirements of the Blue Angel.
Since toddlers generally react especially sensitively to environmental influences, the Blue Angel jury set very high standards and demands to limit the high and low frequency radiation in cordless baby monitors. The high and low frequency ranges, often called electrosmog and is generated in the vicinity of the transmitter or child, are considered problematic to health. In addition, the devices may not contain any problematic materials such as halogenated flame retardants. Finally, their energy consumption in standby mode must be limited to 2 watts maximum.
Some 10 per cent of households in Germany own a baby monitor according to a recent survey by the IWD market research institute. Nearly 75 per cent of those polled consider electromagnetic radiation problematic. About 90 per cent would be eager to see more low-emission baby monitors with the Blue Angel.
The organs that back the Blue Angel are the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety, the Environmental Label jury, UBA, and RAL - German Institute for Quality Assurance and Certification. There are at present 3,700 contracts for some 10,000 products from roughly 520 manufacturers that have been awarded the label.
The Blue Angel is now on the ”BabyRuf MBF 3333” by the Hartig+Helling company in Bochum and the ”Kandy Mobile Handy-Paket für Kinder” by Kandy Mobile AG in Munich.
For more information go to: www.blauer-engel.de
Dessau, 9 August 2007