BY EMEKA AGINAM
With growing fear on the possible health implications of mobile handset on end users, the Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson at the weekend has allayed fears, saying that the use of mobile phone does not cause cancer..
The Minister who was reacting to a media statement alleging that the use of mobile phones can cause cancer, explained that there have been no proven health hazards yet resulting from the use of mobile phones.
Engr Ngozi Ogunjiofor, a Deputy Director, Department of Posts and Telecoms, Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, who represented the Minister at the launch of the Etisalat Flagship store in Abuja on Thursday had expressed a personal opinion and was quoted as saying that the use of mobile phones can cause cancer.
The Special Assistant on Media to the Minister , Efem Nkanga described the media statement as a personal misinformed view of Engr Ogunjiofor, which was not backed by proven scientific analysis.
Ogunjiofor was quoted as saying that “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. 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, hospitals equipment’s and electrical systems on airplanes, and that is why the ministry made it mandatory for operators to install their masts five kilometres away from residential areas.
“Dangerous driving is caused by mobile phones and it is important for operators to also enlighten the public on the risks, because this will also help members of the society to enjoy their lives. Mothers should not allow their children to play with mobile phones, especially when they are not of the age of using a mobile phone and are not well educated on the use of it”Ogunjiofor was quoted as saying.
Describing the statement as a personal opinion that does not represent the position of the Minister or Ministry of Communication Technology, Nkanga enjoined Nigerians to disregard the caution on the use of mobile phones as various researches conducted by international organizations on the safety of mobile phones use till date remain inconclusive.
According to her, until results of a definitive and conclusive research is obtained with zero doubts on the safety of cell phone use, Nigerians can safely continue using their mobile phones.