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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

ALTON reassures Nigerians on MRF signals

The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has refuted recent reports that alleged Carcinogenic effects emanate from Mobile Radio Frequency (MRF) signal on human health.

According to the Chairman, ALTON and publicity secretary, Messrs Gbenga Adebayo and Damian Udeh, the report said to have emanated from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), ALTON’s attention has been drawn to the news items circulating in the print and electronic media to the effect that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that the emissions from the Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) spectrum is “possibly carcinogenic”, i.e. that it „may cause cancer’.

ALTON in a press statement endorsed by the duo, entitled ‘Regarding the Alleged Carcinogenic Effects of Mobile Radio Frequency Signals’ noted that EMF is emitted by mobile phones, wireless devices, radar, and radio and television broadcasts, which has generated public comments.

“As a body of responsible operators who place the health and safety of our customers above all other considerations, ALTON wishes to set the record straight and reassure all concerned of the safety of EMF signals,” they said.

ALTON also noted that the reports emanated from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), as a result of recently concluded review of several international research papers on the subject.

They stated that the review simply identified some suggestive evidence in human studies, which seemed to show that a hazard is possible but not likely.

They pointed out that IARC is yet to publish a full report of the review exercise, but classified electromagnetic emissions within “Group 2B”, which includes Coffee, Pickled Vegetables, Styrene used for the making of rubber, plastic, insulation, fiberglass, food containers, and carpet backing, among others.

Group 2B is the category for agents “for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals”.

ALTON argued that essentially, there is no basis for the conclusion that mobile emissions could cause cancer in humans, although as with all other emissions and indeed as with all things, there is need to continue to study the implications of long term, sustained exposure.

But having reviewed the IARC statement and scientific evidence available, the group said it is safe to conclude that EMF signals are neither a definite nor a probable human carcinogen.

“Rather, the IARC has only concluded that it may be possible that EMF is carcinogenic and has identified further areas for further research.

ALTON emphasised the unequivocal fact that EMF emissions are a non-iodizing range of emissions, which are safe for humans.

Credible international research, ALTON said, has repeatedly demonstrated that EMF emissions are even safer than those emitted by domestic microwave ovens, advising readers who wish to carry out further research may visit the website of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) at http://www.icnirp.de/PubEMF.htm.

ALTON also stated that all mobile infrastructure and equipment including handsets and other terminal devices) used by our members in Nigeria are certified safe worldwide, having first been thoroughly tested and type-approved by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Emphasising that while there is still further long-term epidemiology research to be done to clarify this possibility, ALTON urged Nigerians to ensure that they purchase their handsets and terminal devices from reputable vendors who have type approved these with the NCC.

“We encourage Nigerians to visit the NCC website www.ncc.gov.ng for a list of typed approved handsets and terminal devices. Our members are committed to the highest standards of safety of our operations and equipment and will at all times remain so committed,” they said, reassuring that there is absolutely no cause for alarm, since the IARC study merely calls for more investigations to provide further reassurance.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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