Friday, March 24

PURA Launches Electronic Magnetic Field Radiation Monitoring Equipment

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Kebba Ansu Manneh

Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) on officially launched Electronic Magnetic Field (EMF) Radiation Monitoring equipment courtesy of the World Bank.

Mr. Mamud M. Jobe, Director General of PURA disclosed that the authority has noted the rising public concern about the possible negative health effects of the use of mobile phones and radio base stations.

He added that the authority is mandated to ensure and provide information on electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones and their radio base stations to address the issues which may raise unnecessary alarm and panic to the general public.

“Mobile phones and their radio base stations transmit and receive signals using electromagnetic waves. The assessment of possible health risks from exposure to electromagnetic fields is based on the evidence of scientific studies and research,” DG Jobe disclosed.

“Electromagnetic fields are not a new phenomenon as each of us is exposed to a complex array of low-level electric and magnetic fields, noting that both at home and in the workplace, from sources ranging from microwave ovens we use to heat food, X-Ray machines, the generation and transmission of electricity to power household appliances and industrial equipment and telecommunications and broadcasting,” he added.

DG Jobe further noted that all uses of spectrum generate electromagnetic fields (EMF) are regulated by international guidelines to help ensure services operate safely, noting that the guidelines are published by the International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and include limits for the safe level of EMFICNIRP is a non-profit independent scientific organisation set up specifically to investigate possible adverse health effects from non-ionising radiation.

According to him, induced electric fields are emissions from wireless mobile and fixed services/applications such as Bluetooth, WIFI, base station, and mobile phones that are not harmful to human health, noting there have been over 50 years of scientific research about the potential health risk associated with radiations from radio frequency signals and telecommunication installations.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that no evidence has been found to conclude that exposure to RF radiations is harmful to human health despite extensive research to date. RF radiations from FM radio and TV broadcasting signals have not caused any health hazards despite the many years of human exposure to them,”  he highlighted.

He added: “Comparing the characteristics of the RF radiations from 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G base stations and handsets to that of FM radio and TV, the Authority-PURA does not expect any harm to human health. Public concern is focused on the possible long-term effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields below the threshold for acute biological reactions.”

He pointed out that there have been occasional reports of a link between alleged exposure to an electromagnetic field and certain health problems such as Leukemia, Cancer, Ocular irritation, and cataracts, adding that the scientific community has affirmed that these cases are not necessarily due to exposure to electromagnetic fields despite the extensive research on humans and animal experiments there is no evidence to show any reproducible effect to support the hypothesis that electromagnetic fields cause or act as a promoter of certain deceases.

DG also noted that as part of the Authority’s consumer protection mandate it has developed Guidelines for Electromagnetic radiation from Electricity and Telecommunications/ ICT services providers, adding that the Authority has procured the EMF network with funding from the World Bank which will monitor frequencies for 100 Hz to 60GHz, implying that virtually all frequencies used by the telecommunication/ICT service providers will be monitored.

“The Authority conducted audits of some base station masts/towers in the Greater Banjul Area for structural integrity and assessed the level of radiations from all the sites. The audit reports confirmed that radiation levels are significantly lower than the ICNIRP reference levels and therefore, the general public is assured that all mobile technologies are safe,” DG Jobe concluded.

Alieu M. Ngum, PURA Board Chairman, observed that the equipment will enhance the Authority’s stance on robust protection measures against the effects of ionizing radiation, adding that the decision to procure the EMF Radiation Monitoring equipment is a result of growing public concerns on some of the likely effects of radiation emanating from the installed ICT antennas.