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Samena urges action on RF exposure

Dubai, November 6, 2013

The South Asia, Middle East, North Africa (Samena) Telecommunications Council, a non-profit telecom association that represents over 40 operators in 25 markets, has called for action to address the hazards of human radio frequency (RF) exposure .

It recommended a three-step comprehensive approach of evaluation of safe limits, standardisation of those limits in line with forthcoming World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations and global compliance in a world where mobile telecommunication networks are expanding at a frenetic pace.      

In a study that outlined the framework for supporting global initiatives on RF exposure and setting the limits for such exposure, the council assessed the current situation and existing exposure limits in other global markets and guidelines by the WHO on what constitutes safe exposure.

It pointed out that the current concern about the matter has been driven by anecdotal exchange of information, linking telecommunications exposure to health issues.

Such concerns, it added, might also be attributed to differences in science-based standards that govern RF exposure as well as health concepts and traditions, which may differ from region to region.

As the world’s increasing dependence on mobile telecommunications increases the need for greater network coverage, higher capacity, and better quality of service, so does the density of coverage and the exposure of people to more RF energy, said the study.

Bocar A Ba, CEO, said: "While there are recommendations from WHO on existing exposure limit guidelines, discrepancies in RF exposure standards and adopted RF exposure policies continue to exist. To address this issue, we recommend a comprehensive research based three-step process for addressing the RF issue through a deeper and more conclusive monitoring of the effects of RF exposure to set uniform exposure level norms across the region.

“To initiate this, we urge all stakeholders to collaboratively initiate an investigation via further cooperation with the GSMA and the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) as global trade associations with particular experience of addressing the RF issue for the greater benefit of the telecom industry, the consumers, and the environment of this region.”

The steps are to investigate human RF exposure through extensive research and by evaluating existing expert reviews by independent public health agencies; advocate for the adoption of science-based and harmonised policies, standards, and regulations based on WHO recommendations; and ensure compliance of RF networks and devices with exposure requirements.

Sherif Issa, head of health and environment department in Mobinil and GSMA’s Health Policy Group deputy chair, said: “By addressing key RF issues and providing the essential numbers in a nutshell, this Samena document stands as an excellent guide for anyone working in the mobile industry, focus groups and the general public”   

The council said that while standardised RF exposure levels and regulations are yet to be adopted with the South Asia–Middle East–North Africa region, regulatory bodies have taken the initiative to draw attention to the state of RF exposure limits and compliance.

All regional players, regardless of their size, bear the responsibility of investigating all issues that concern consumer or environmental well-being, s well as ensuring compliance with international recommendations, said the council. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Council | action | Samena | exposure | hazard |

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