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[August 11, 2014]
FG Refutes Caution Attributing Cancer Cause to Mobile Phone Use [press release]
(AllAfrica Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson has refuted the content of the publication alleging that the use of mobile phones can cause cancer, indicating that there are no proven health hazards resulting from the use of mobile phones or proximity to telecommunications installations for now that could pose a risk to human health.
According to the statement released by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, Efem Nkanga, the notion emanated through the personal view of Ngozi Ogunjiofor, who is a Deputy Director in the Department of Posts and Telecoms in the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology. The statement further described the view as a misinformation that is not backed by proven scientific analysis.
The SA Media to the Minister explained that Ngozi Ogunjiofor, who represented the Minister at the launch of the Etisalat Flagship Store in Abuja on Thursday August 7, 2014 was quoted from the personal opinion she expressed at the event as saying that the use of mobile phones can cause cancer. "The most dangerous and important element in the communications sector are mobile phones, because of the health and other related risks they bring. Some radioactive elements in the mobile phone might affect the body and cause cancer and other health challenges," she said.
"Radiation from phones can cause problems and this is why we are advising the public not to bring phones close to their body or use in the rain. Radio waves produced by mobile phones could interfere with important electrical equipment such as telecom masts, monitors, hospital equipments and electrical systems on airplanes. That is why the Ministry has made it mandatory for operators to install their masts five kilometres away from residential areas." Ngozi Ogunjiofor during the presentation on behalf of the Minister hinted on the need for operators to enlighten the public on the risks, to enable members of the society enjoy their lives. She disclosed that mothers are not to allow their children play with mobile phones, especially when they are not matured enough to use mobile phones and are not properly skilled on its uses.
While describing the statement as a personal opinion that does not represent the position of the Ministry of Communication Technology, Efem Nkanga enjoined Nigerians to disregard the caution on the use of mobile phones, saying the different researches conducted by international organisations on the safety of mobile phone use are still inconclusive till date. He stressed that until results of a definitive and conclusive research is obtained with zero doubts on the safety of cell phone use, Nigerians can safely use their mobile phones.
She recalled that the World Health Organisation in September 2013 stated that based on the mixed epidemiological evidence on humans regarding association between exposure to RF radiation from wireless phones and head cancers (glioma and acoustic neuroma), RF fields have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B). She further averred that the studies up to now have no indication that environmental exposure to RF fields such as base stations increases the risk of cancer and other diseases.
"The WHO assertion that there is an increased risk of brain tumours from the use of mobile phones is not established," she said. Adding, the increasing use of mobile phones and the lack of data for mobile phone use for longer than 15 years warrant further research on mobile phone use and brain cancer risk, particularly with the recent popularity of mobile phone use among younger people. Therefore, a potentially longer lifetime of exposure has promoted further research on this group and is currently assessing the health impact of RF fields on all studied end points.
Copyright Government of Nigeria. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
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