Communications Ministry seeks to allay mobile phone health fears

Ooredoo billboard seen hanging at a bus stop in downtown Yangon. Photo: Khaing Thanda Lwin
Ooredoo billboard seen hanging at a bus stop in downtown Yangon. Photo: Khaing Thanda Lwin

Yangon, 19 March —Mobile phone antennas in Myanmar pose no health risk to the community, while all of the country’s network providers are operating within international safety standards, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said Wednesday at a workshop to address public concerns.
“The Myanmar public and the environment are not being exposed to any harmful electromagnetic radiation,” Deputy Minister U Thaung Tin said.
Spot inspections of Myanmar mobile operators’ networks have confirmed that all equipment is in compliance with international technical and safety standards, he said.
The measurements in public areas in Yangon and Mandalay were conducted by the ministry in cooperation with experts from global GSM Association (GSMA) and Ericsson Research in late 2014. They found levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF) were below the limits regarded as harmful to health by the World Health Organization.
Dr Jack Rowley, the GSM Association’s Senior Director of Research and Sustainability, said there are “no established health risks from the low-level radio signals used by the mobile phone and antenna sites.”
“Therefore there is no need to be worried about living near antennas or using a mobile phone,” he said. Mobile operators in Myanmar are using the same technologies employed in Europe, North America and Asia, he added. Currently, there are three mobile providers—Myanma Posts & Telecommunications (MPT), Ooredoo and Telenor—operating in Myanmar.
Dr Rowley told the workshop, “Risk communication skills are needed where concern is high and the level of trust is low.”
To reduce public anxiety, the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Science and Technology have developed easy-to-read pamphlets about radio communication stations and public health to provide accurate information about antennas. GNLM

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