Installation of Telecom masts has no health implications – Mr Iddrisu
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communication, on Wednesday said the level of radiation frequency emission from telecommunication masts fields and mobile phone sites have not proven to have any health hazards on human beings.
In a keynote address at a public education forum, in Bolgatanga, on Electromagnetic fields (EMF) from telecommunication Communications masts, organised by the Ghana Investment Fund for electronic communications (GIFEC) in collaboration with the Upper East Regional Co-ordinating Council, he said mobile phones have become a potent tool in the fight against poverty.
He said with the enormous expansion of the facility in the country, operators were deploying all types of equipment for installation of base stations to provide the necessary network services calling for a lot of concern from the public.
Mr Iddrisu said although there has been concerns about the health implications of the facility, no positive relationship has been established, however, government was taking precautionary approaches to protect any effect the telecommunication field masts might have on life and property.
He said cabinet had given approval for new guidelines in the establishment of EMF and called on telecommunication operators to be ready to share their infrastructure as “co location is mandatory in Ghana” to reduce the increasing numbers and rivalry over who has the highest masts.
He said Ghana would soon move from analogue to digital television to improve television picture quality and services.
Mr Iddrisu called on the National Communications Authority to direct telecommunication providers to order in the provision of quality service, saying a tour of the Upper East Region indicated network call congestion.
Mr Philip Deatanyah, Radiation Protection Institution (RPI), Ghana, said safety factors are incorporated to arrive at the recommended exposure levels for protection of the public while radiation frequency at levels 2w/kg power density – 10w/m2 was considered safe.
He said studies made throughout the country indicated that frequency fields’ levels in some parts of the country at electricity substations were low.
Mr Deatanyah cautioned the public to be cautious with home used second hand domestic microwaves that could cause radiation due to leakages.
He however attributed increased risks in road accidents to the use of mobile phones by drivers and called for strict adherence to approved guidelines to ensure compliance.
Mrs Lucy Awuni, Deputy Regional Minister expressed the hope that the forum would be used to uncover all doubts and allay fears of the public of the presumed harmful effect of EMF on health.
The purpose of the workshop was to create awareness on issues of EMF exposure and health related exposure limits, provide accurate knowledge about mobile telecommunications issues and developments related to EMF exposure and health and provide an over view of best practices and initiatives related to harmonised policy and law making, standardisation and risk communication among others issues.