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EMF and health comes under spotlight

As concerns mount about mobile technologies and their possible health risks, Nigeria’s NCC staged West Africa’s first conference on the issue recently.

The conference with the theme 'Harmonising EMF Policy, Exposure Limits, addressed issues related to concerns over the possibility of the combined radiofrequency waves produced by a wide range of ICT equipment posing health hazard to the consumers.

Dr Raphael Koffi of the Ecowas Commission told delegates that the World Health Organization (WHO) had found no adverse health effects caused by mobile phone use, and no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said given the number of phone users across the sub-region, and concerns over telephone infrastructure like base stations and other equipment, there was need to investigate, evaluate, monitor and report if there are potential public health issues or not so that the citizens will be well informed. He said that some people had a misconception that electromagnetic emissions from telecommunications facilities were the same as nuclear and radioactive radiation.

The Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, noted that mobile phones are low-powered radiofrequency transmitters, while Health Minister Chris Onyebuchi said EMF remained unavoidable part of the environment we live in,. He said  research findings on the effects of EMF radiation had been mixed. 

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