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NATIONAL : Telecommunication masts have no health hazards - Experts
There are no current scientific proof of health hazards associated with the use of mobile phones or telecommunication masts, experts have said.
Mr Joseph Kwabena Amoako, Research Scientist of Radiation Protection Institute of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), explained that radiation emitted from antennas of erected masts as well as radios and televisions were too weak to cause any health problem to people.
He was speaking at a workshop organised by Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications to inform and conscientise the public on electromagnetic field of exposure in Ghana.
Mr Amoako said the perception that masts sited within communities caused cancer to people; was untenable because ionisation (energy) emitted from tall towers could not result in that.
He indicated that "unless one could climb that tall tower and touch the antennae before one could be exposed to the radiation that could be harmful".
However, Mr Amoako advised that authorities concerned should ensure early implementation of draft guidelines on siting of masts to allay fears and assured the people that operators were doing the right thing that could not compromise with their health.
Dr Jack Rowley, Director, Research and Sustainability, GSMA, an international trade association for mobile industry, said recent World Health Organisation (WHO) studies had proven that mobile phones had no cognitive effect on people neither did it have any long term cancer on animals.
He advised against the siting of antennas on high rise buildings to avoid the situation where masts had been scattered all around the city.
The Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa Mobile Manufacturers Forum, Mr Thomas Barmuller stressed the need to adopt and implement the guidelines of International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, which many countries including China, Russia, India, Tanzania
and Rwanda had adopted to streamline the activities of telecommunication operators.
The Minister of Communications, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu stressed that there was no available basis for fears being expressed by Ghanaians on health hazards of masts and that GIFEC owed Ghanaians that explanation on potential health hazards if any.
He announced that the ban on siting of masts in Ghana had been lifted and Cabinet would soon discuss new telecommunication guidelines to ensure smooth operations.
Hon. Haruna said operators would be urged to explore co-location of masts to streamline siting of masts.
He asked operators to concentrate only on indoor and outdoor advertising and stop over-exploiting
the poverty levels of the people by painting their houses with their corporate colours.
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