It is widely believed, especially by many people in the Philippines, that cell sites cause cancer. But a top official with the Department of Health (DOH) discredits this believe. She says, cell sites do not cause cancer.
Cell Sites Do Not Cause Cancer
Many people who live in the vicinity where a cell site is erected believe that they are going to get sick because of the radiation. This unfounded belief is slowing down the expansion of telecoms companies in the Philippines. They cannot implement wider coverage especially in far-flung islands because of this perspective.
However, a top official of the Department of Health became the latest health expert to debunk rumors. She said that cell sites do not cause cancer. Additionally, she answered other misconceptions.
Dr. Gladys R. Cabrera, DOH Health Physicist IV, insists the government is very strict when it comes to the building of cell towers or cell sites. They want to primarily to ensure the safety of people living near or around a cell site.
Stringent Government Regulations
Aside from various permits and clearances from homeowner groups, barangay, and other local government unit (LGU) requisites, a company must also secure the permission of the Department of Health.
“Prior to the installation of the cell sites, all telecommunication companies are required to secure a Department of Health safety evaluation report.”Dr. Gladys R. Cabrera, DOH Health Physicist IV
Cabrera says the DOH safety evaluation report is a very important requirement. It assures that cell sites will not jeopardize the well-being of residents. Additionally, it is to counter misconceptions and wrong impressions that cell towers cause cancer and other fatal illnesses.
“It contains information about the safety distances. Ma-e-ensure po natin na protected ang individual from harmful effects of non-ionization radiation emitted from cell sites.”Dr. Gladys R. Cabrera, DOH Health Physicist IV
Connectivity in the Philippines
To date, around 67 million active internet users in the Philippines are sharing 17,850 cell sites. Thus, the country is forced to serve an average of 3,753 people per cell site. This is a stark difference to some of its neighboring countries like China, where only 381 active internet users are sharing one cell site.
It is no wonder that we have slower and sometimes unreliable internet connection. The reason is largely in part to people’s misconceptions and the slow progress of the expansion of telecoms companies.
Globe Telecom’s Commitment to Safety
Globe’s aggressive bid to build more cell sites is in line with its commitment to expand network coverage and capacities for better internet experience of its customers.
Aside from the long process of getting a permit to build more cell sites, ignorance and misconceptions are two of the major reasons why telecommunication companies cannot build more cell sites or cell towers.
Globe Telecom has long taken up the sore issue of challenges in building cell sites, as it noted that many homeowner associations (HOAs) continue to oppose cell site proposals made by the company. This is largely due to alleged health hazards that cell towers pose to residents.
Since 2001, the Health Department has maintained that no study so far has proven that cell sites cause cancer. “Cell sites do not cause adverse side effects. It is harmless,” Cabrera adds.
If people will stop thinking this way, Globe Telecom an build more cell sites around the Philippines. We will all have faster and more efficient internet connection
Confirmation from a Radiation Authority
Recently, a local radiation authority reaffirmed that proximity to cell sites does not cause any known health risks. This is contrary to what many homeowners associations believe.
Philippine Radiology Oncology Society Vice-President Dr. Johanna Cañal addressed almost 400 medical professionals during a radiation safety symposium last August 3.
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