A South African researcher in the field of electromagnetic pollution, has warned Botswana against the health hazards posed by the mushrooming cellphone towers.
Karl Muller, a former physics lecturer at Wits University and now on the managing committee of the Electromagnetic Action Group South Africa (EmagSA), has criticised a recent Botswana government statement that there have been no scientific studies to date linking cellphone towers to any chronic diseases.
In particular Dr Jeff Ramsay, was replying as the acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology. Ramsay says, among other things, that in January 2004, the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA), whose responsibility includes the monitoring of radio frequency matters, reported that “research in this area has been extensive and there is no replicated laboratory or epidemiological evidence that RF radiation at the power levels associated with mobile phone base stations are associated with cancer.”
On the contrary though Muller says they have done much research into the scientific literature, and many investigations on health around cellphone masts (the towers) in Johannesburg.
Muller said that contrary to the Botswana government’s position, every single study into general health around a mast carried out anywhere in the world (about eight studies so far have been done) has found a consistent pattern of health problems. “They include: severe headaches; chronic fatigue; sleep disorders; gastric upsets and nausea; circulation problems (high blood pressure); heart rhythm problems and palpitations; rashes and prickling skin or sensations of heating; mood swings and depression; memory and attention problems; lowered immunity and lingering infections; joint pains and aching gums; tinnitus (ringing in the ear); visual problems; dizziness and disorientation; and other complaints, including neurological disorders (e.g. epilepsy).
“We have found every single one of these symptoms and more around masts in Johannesburg, and the people tell us that when they move away from the mast, these symptoms often disappear immediately, especially fatigue, headaches and sleep disorders,” the expert told Mmegi.
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