The National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) has picked holes in the reading on going of the Telecommunications Electromagnetic Frequency Emission Protection Bill at the House of Representatives.
The Bill is seeking (among other issues) to declare that EMF Emission from Telecommunications Base Stations are harmful to Humans.
According to NATCOMS, the Electromagnetic Frequency Emission is an international issue which the global community is yet to make a definite statement as concerning its harmful potential to man.
President of NATCOMS, Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo told Nigerian Compass over the weekend in Lagos that “Nigeria as a Nation cannot operate in isolation but within the Committee of Nations that have embraced the modern worldwide technology of Global System for Mobile Communications”.
He explained that there are International Bodies known and recognized by the United Nations that moderate on the issue of Electromagnetic Frequency Emissions (a non-ionizing radiation emission) from Telecommunication Base Stations stressing that they are yet to make pronouncement on its harmful nature to man.
Ogunbanjo while listing the bodies, which include The World Health Organization, (WHO), International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection,(ICNIRP),and Health Protection Agency’s Independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionizing Radiation,(AGNIR),expressed doubt on the level consultation made by the lawmakers on the issue.
“As Stakeholders in the Telecommunications Industry, we want to know whether the sponsors of the Bill made wide consulted, since the Technology is a global phenomenon”.
NATCOMS, according to him wants to know from the lawmakers if the Bill is predicated on the finding of a Scientific Research, the Source, the Report, the Institution and the People behind the research finding, and whether the Federal Ministry of Health (FMH) is aware of such research finding and what is FMH position on the research finding.
The proposed Telecommunications Electromagnetic Frequency Emission Protection Bill has passed the 2nd Reading and will go to the House Committee on Communications for further deliberations and considerations. Thereafter the Committee stage, the bill will now undergo public hearing.
Ogunbanjo therefore called on all industry stakeholders to lay before the lawmakers the facts of issues relating to Electromagnetic Frequency Emission now that the bill is about going to the House Committee.
While acknowledging the fact that the lawmakers are performing their function as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he wondered why they have not mentioned that of electricity masts carrying high-tension cables that runs across dwelling homes, roads, and city centres, which are harmful than ionizing radiation.
Recently, a report that considers the scientific evidence on exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields, which are produced by mobile phone technologies and other wireless devices, such as Wi-Fi, as well as television and radio transmitters confirm there was no harm in RF.
The report, which was conducted by the Health Protection Agency’s Independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) and released on April 26 said that although a substantial amount of research has been conducted, there is no convincing evidence that RF field exposure below internationally agreed guideline levels (which are applied in the UK) causes health effects in adults or children.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA), an independent UK organisation that was set up by the government in 2003 to protect the public from threats to their health from infectious diseases and environmental hazards.
According to the evidence suggested that RF field exposure below guideline levels does not cause symptoms in humans and that the presence of RF fields cannot be detected by people, including those who report being sensitive to RF fields.
It further explained that “a large number of studies have now been published on cancer risks in relation to mobile phone use. Overall, the results of studies have not demonstrated that the use of mobile phones causes brain tumours or any other type of cancer”.
The reported noted that as mobile phone technology has only been in widespread public use relatively recently, there is little information on risks beyond 15 years from first exposure stressing that “It is therefore important to continue to monitor the evidence, including that from national brain tumour trends. These have so far given no indication of any risk”.
It added that studies of other RF field exposures, such as those at work and from RF transmitters, have been more limited but have not given evidence that cancer is caused by these exposures.