POST TIME: 9 February, 2018 08:28:29 AM
Measuring of radiation from mobile phone towers likely to begin in Sept
Independent Online Desk

Measuring of radiation from mobile phone towers likely to begin in Sept

If everything goes alright, it will be possible by September to start measuring the risks to public health caused by radiation emitted by mobile phone towers, said BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood. 

The commission is working in line with the directive of the court to protect the interest of people, Shahjahan told The Independent.

 “We are expecting that the commission will take proper steps after completion of the measurement process by September,” he added.   

Earlier on December last year Bangladesh Telecommu-nication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) called an international tender to purchase radiation measurement equipment to assess public health risks posed by electromagnetic fields of mobile operators' base transceiver stations, widely known as towers.

The move to purchase two such tools along with two vehicles to transport those came after the High Court directed BTRC to take preventive measures if the towers are found to be emitting harmful radiation.

Earlier, the telecom regulator at its 204th meeting in 2017 took the decision to procure radiation measurement tools, including vehicles, to measure the risks to public health caused by radiation emitted by mobile phone towers.

According to the minutes of the 204th meeting of the commission, tools used in the telecommunications sector, especially in mobile phone towers, and instruments used in high- frequency work, can generate electromagnetic fields. It is imperative to investigate whether these frequencies adversely affect humans and the environment.

Currently, there are about 35,000 towers used by mobile operators.

The Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh filed a petition before the High Court in 2012 over the radiation level of towers. The court gave the order on it on March 28, 2017.

The High Court later asked the authorities concerned to look into the radiation level, health risks and environmental impacts caused by the radiation.

Following the court order, an expert committee formed by the health ministry prepared a report after examining radiation levels from some towers in Dhaka city. The report found the radiation harmful to public health.

In 2012, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh had filed a writ petition before the HC with respect to the radiation levels of mobile phone towers. Five years after the petition was filed, the HC bench issued the directive during a hearing on the writ petition.

On March 28, 2017, the HC directed the government to obtain expert opinion from three international organisations—the World Health Organisation (WHO), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)—regarding the public health risk caused by radiation from mobile phone towers.