Wednesday, January 19, 2022

ITU chews impact of mobile phone industry on human health

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T) experts have suggested that available scientific evidence dispels the concerns that exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) propagated by mobile phones and their transmission base stations may have negative effects on human health.

This was said during weeklong interactions of the Technical Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T) held in Gaborone.

Globally, there has been growing fears that Radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted by antennas mounted on communication towers, mobile phone base stations, and radio stations and erected in residential areas, have negative effects on human health.

From the interactions, the experts noted that radiation exists but the non ionising radiation that is propagated by the mobile phones and their transmission base stations is not harmful to the human body as compared to ionised radiation.

The interactions came as a follow up of the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) held in Quadalajara, Mexico, in October 2010. The conference resolved that there was a need for new activities to gather and disseminate information concerning exposure to electromagnetic fields, in cooperation with other specialist organisations.

Marnus van Wyk, EMSS Consulting Managing Director, said “although there remains some uncertainty, the trend in the accumulating evidence is increasingly against the hypothesis that the radiofrequency (RF) fields emitted by the mobile phones might be harmful”.

He said scientific evidence to date show that the strength of the EMF of mobile phones is insignificant to cause any health harm to the people.

In an interview with Aaron Nyelesi, the Senior Manager Public Relations, Botswana Training Authority (BTA), said Batswana should not fear Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) propagated by mobile phones and their transmission base stations as available scientific evidence shows that exposure to non ionising radiation is not harmful.

There were concerns last year, which formed part of the public discourse in this country on the radiation effects of cell phone technology.

Nyelesi said BTA is following the guidelines provided by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIR) and evidence shows that degree of harm is negligible. Botswana mobile density is relatively high at 156 percent or just over 2.8 million subscribers against a population that is over 1.8 Million.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper