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Friday June 10, 2011
PENANG and the Federal Government should take heed of the
recent World Health Organisation (WHO) warning that
radio-frequency electromagnetic fields generated from mobile
phone devices are possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Penang EMF Protection Alliance secretary Ong Bee Lay said
the assessment was made by a working group of 31 scientists
from 14 countries after they completed a review of the
scientific evidence on mobile phone radiation.
“The group, during an International Agency for Research on
Cancer (IARC) meeting on May 31, classified mobile phones in
the carcinogenic category 2B, along with chemicals like the
pesticide DDT and gas engine exhaust.“In slightly clearer
terms, that means mobile phone radiation is possibly
carcinogenic to human beings,” she told a press conference.
Ong suggested that the Government and other relevant
authorities such as the Penang Municipal Council and
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission take a
She said they could work to reduce the number of
telecommunication towers and impose a ban on mobile phones
in public areas such as schools and hospitals.
“Children deserve a safe environment to learn, play, develop
and thrive,” she said, adding that schools had the
responsibility to provide a safe environment for all
children under their care.
Ong added that the construction of telecommunication
structures should also be put on hold until long-term
studies on the health effects had been carried out.
“We need to educate decision makers that the ‘business as
usual’ mentality is unacceptable.
“The importance of this public health issue cannot be
“There are some five billion mobile phones registered in the
world with people spending an increasing amount of time
using them,” she said.
However, the IARC cautioned that more research was needed,
as the current scientific evidence is too weak to draw
strong conclusions that mobile phones definitely cause
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