Chief Radiographer of Garki Hospital,Abuja, Dr Emmanuel Nwokorie has said that telecommunication masts do not emit radiations capable of causing harmful health challenges.
Nwokorie, who is also a Nuclear and Radiation Physicist, said this in an interview yesterday in Abuja.
He said that the non-ionising rays coming from the installations were not as dangerous as x-rays and gamma rays as being speculated.
Non-ionising radiation is the term given to radiation in the part of the electromagnetic spectrum where there is insufficient energy to cause ionisation.
“Masts generally emit non-ionising lasers radiation; lasers in our ways can be compared to microwave, but they are non-ionizing; they may not be harmful immediately.
“I do not agree that telecommunication masts can cause harm because the rays coming from the mast is not ionising, but just lasers; they cannot cause immediate health challenges.”
Nwokorie said that though non-ionising radiation lacked the capacity to knock off the cell from where they were, exposure should be minimised to avoid harm.
He said that the cluster of masts called for concern because the level of rays and energy emitting from three or more masts at a time were more than a single mast rays.
According to him, people who live close to a cluster of masts may risk some level of health challenges over time.
He, however, disagreed that telecommunication mast could also cause cancer.
“I do not agree with people that say telecommunication masts can cause cancer because the radiation coming from the masts is non-ionising; so, they cannot cause cancer.”
He added that research was still ongoing to quantify the level of emissions and the closeness of the houses that could lead to health challenges.
Nwokorie, however, warned that continuous exposure to the radiation from the telecommunication masts could make life support gadgets to malfunction or cause death.
“Although masts radiations are not as serious as x-ray and gamma rays, if the person is with cardiac cable and other life support gadgets, it could be disastrous; he may even die.
“When masts are mounted in residential areas, we may then look at the health implications, because as light passes through, people who are close to the masts might have health problems,” he said.
Nwokorie, therefore, advised people who live close to the masts to demand for safety reports from the owners of such facilities.