Radar Commission Report (Germany) - radar exposure and sickness

The German Radar Commission Report concluded that during the operation, maintenance and repair of radar units operated by the Bundeswehr and the former DDR's Nationale Volksarmee (NVA), exposures to ionizing radiation and high-frequency radiation can occur and that this ionizing radiation arises from stray sources such as component parts and electron tubes, in some cases resulting in serious health problems. The report was first published in 2003, but an English translation of its summary has only recently been produced, and has been circulated by EUROMIL to its member and observer associations, including BAFF.

Information supplied by EUROMIL:

The radar commission was set up by the Federal Ministry of Defence at the request of the German Bundestag's defence committee in 2002 and issued its report in July 2003. This report has only recently been translated into English. There has been an exchange of views on this issue during previous EUROMIL Presidium meetings.

Sick, mainly former soldiers of the Bundeswehr and the Nationale Volksarmee (NVA) and civil staff have submitted 3700 applications for recognition of a sickness caused by previous work on radar equipment. The work of the Commission consisted in clarifying the previous working conditions, the submission of an expertise on the exposure, and determining the current scientific position of health risks due to ionising radiation and radar radiation.

The main achievement of the work of this commission that was supported by the Deutscher BundeswehrVerband (DBwV - German Armed Forces Federation) is that the legal procedure for recognition of a sickness caused by previous work on radar equipment was facilitated and eased, so as to claim compensation e.g. in form of pension rights.

There are to date 700 recognized cases in Germany.

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