THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

NBTC asks WHO for clarity on telecom base health risks

BANGKOK: The telecom regulator is urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to clarify whether radio-frequency electromagnetic fields emitted by telecom base stations have any effect on public health.

healthtechnology
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 13 November 2018, 12:49PM


Takorn Tantasith (inset) secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) wants to know from the World Health Organisation if telecom towers and base stations like these in Bangkok’s Sai Mai district post a health threat. The WHO can’t tell him. Photo: Bangkok Post / File / Pattanapong Hirunard

Takorn Tantasith (inset) secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) wants to know from the World Health Organisation if telecom towers and base stations like these in Bangkok’s Sai Mai district post a health threat. The WHO can’t tell him. Photo: Bangkok Post / File / Pattanapong Hirunard

The move aims to address concerns and complaints made against base stations and lodged against mobile operators, the regulator and local governments for the past decade.

Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), submitted an official letter to WHO last month urging it to address the concern and confusion about whether radio-frequency electromagnetic fields affect public health because of all the digital infrastructure development in the country.

Mr Takorn is participating in the annual meeting of Global Coordination of Research and Health Policy on RF Electromagnetic Fields in Paris from Nov 12-14.

This is the first time the NBTC's secretary-general has given a speech on radio-frequency electromagnetic fields and public health in Thailand.

Mr Takorn is about to re-discover the old adage that you can't prove a negative.

In a report in 2011, the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radio-frequency electromagnetic fields as ‘possibly carcinogenic to human’.

Neither the reporting agency nor WHO headquarters have expanded on that report or clarified what ‘possibly’ means.

The IARC report said that "possibly carcinogenic to humans" means there is "limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals".

To reach its unsatisfactory and inconclusive report, the IARC convened a panel of 31 experts to look at the available evidence.

In short, their conclusion is what Mr Takorn doesn't want to hear: that there is some evidence linking mobile phones to cancer, but the evidence is too weak to make any strong conclusions.

The chairman of the group, US pulmonary physician and epidemiologist Dr Jonathan Samet, said at the time of the 2011 report that, "The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk."

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

However, that "close watch" - if it has occurred at all - has been opaque, as WHO never has updated the seven-year-old statement.

Finally from WHO, a promised study by the cooperating International Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Project, due in 2016, appears to have been cancelled, or perhaps is still in production.

Mobile cellular services are growing fast in Thailand to meet the needs of the commercial, industrial and public sectors, accelerating the pace of infrastructure development.

The NBTC has auctioned off three frequency bands - 2100-megahertz, 1800MHz and 900MHz -- in 2012, 2015 and 2018, respectively, for 3G and 4G services. Since then mobile operators have rushed to expand site installations to achieve nationwide coverage.

With the rapid growth of new site installations, the general public has expressed concerns about possible health risks caused by exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields emitted by base station antennas.

In some areas, locals protest the installation of base stations located in their communities despite needing to use 3G or 4G devices.

Some cases were brought before the Administrative Court to seek revocation of a radio communication installation licence at particular sites.

"Complaints were made against base stations and lodged through mobile operators, the regulator as well as local governments. Some of those complaints were made through media and were headline news on television channels. Internet and social media are often used as a mean to propel complaints, sometimes sharing one-sided and misleading information," he said.

Mr Takorn said the NBTC has received numerous complaints concerning possible health effects due to radio frequency from base station antennas.

Symptoms caused by radio-frequency exposure, as specified in the complaints, include fatigue, tiredness, headache, tinnitus, insomnia, stressed, vomiting and anxiety due to a fear of cancer in some cases, mobile phone base stations were blamed as a possible cause of cancer.

Read original story here.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Tour boats blamed for widespread reef damage

Timo hit the nail on the head, and all the warnings of environmental degradation continuously fall o...(Read More)


Chinese Consul General meets Phuket Governor to discuss tourist safety

"“I am very happy to hear that the Thai government has made the safety of Chinese tourists a ...(Read More)


Governor pushes water-shortage solutions

"“We will not charge residents any costs for emergency water provdied,” the governor assure...(Read More)


Welcoming HMAS Canberra: Australian Navy head to Phuket for training and community activities

"Pascale one wonders why the cereal(sic) is allowed. Emails to the Editor get no reply. I think...(Read More)


Welcoming HMAS Canberra: Australian Navy head to Phuket for training and community activities

"talking is so much easier.Always the same," hope to see you there, getting your hands dir...(Read More)


Army starts rolling in emergency water supply to Phuket

"Col Santi explained, “Lt Gen Pornsak learned that local residents in Phuket were now in trou...(Read More)


Hunted seastead couple ‘traced to Tarutao’

Fake news by thai authorities. The US-Thai couple didn't build, tugged, and anchored the floati...(Read More)


Army starts rolling in emergency water supply to Phuket

I thought the Gov said there was NO drought so why is the Army turning up with water tankers. Don...(Read More)


Army starts rolling in emergency water supply to Phuket

Finally army has taken over from a governor who still denies there is a water crisis on Phuket. Besi...(Read More)


Mains water supply outage announced

Interesting mental output at 5.16. Fascinating with all those dots and half finished sentences,but w...(Read More)