By Luminous Jannamike
World Health Organization, WHO, has said evidence from scientific research into the effects of exposing one’s self to mobile phone radiation does not confirm that doing so causes cancer or poses other health risks.
Dr. Edwin Edeh, WHO’s Public Health and Environment Specialist, stated this in his presentation at the First Digital African Week conference in Abuja yesterday.
He said though 29 percent of Nigeria’s disease burden is linked to environmental factors which include radiation from handsets; radio frequencies from mobile phones are non-ionising and harmless in spite of their capacity to generate heat.
According to him, after an in-depth review of relevant scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields.
He said, “There are instances where the public have attributed a diffused collection of symptoms such as headache, anxiety, suicide, depression, nausea, fatigue, and loss of sexual urge to low-level exposure to electromagnetic fields.
“To date, scientific evidence does not support a link between these symptoms and exposure to radio frequencies from mobile phones and other telecommunication equipment.”
Focusing on the relationship between radio frequencies and cancer, WHO said: “Despite many studies, the critical effect of high frequency exposure to human health is simply heating of the exposed body tissue. No large increases in risk have been found for any cancer in a child or adult.”
The apex global health body maintained, however, that there is need for further research; adding that all necessary precautionary and compliance measures should be taken and adhered to, in line with industry standards and regulations for mobile phones and base stations.
On the possible effects of the yet-to-be implemented 5G devices and networks on human health, Dr. Edeh said the acute and long-term effects of high-frequency exposure below the thermal threshold have been studied extensively without showing any conclusive evidence of adverse health effects.
“We at WHO do not perform research into the technology but will review the scientific evidence of 5G when the technology is deployed and relevant published health data are available,” he added.