The Minister of Communication, Dr. Edward-OmaneBoamah has assured the public that government had developed guidelines for regulating the construction of telecommunication masts.

He said the regulatory authorities that include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are enforcing the guidelines.

Dr. Omane-Boamah said this in a speech read on his behalf at Tarkwa when the Ministry of Communication with support from the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) organized a day?s workshop on electromagnetic fields exposure and health for stakeholders in the municipality.

He said though there was no evidence that weak electric and magnetic fields could affect their health, the Ministry had a duty to be sure of this so that the public as well as regulators could make informed decisions about the use of mobile phones and the erection of communication masts.

Dr Omane-Boamah said the EPA in 2009 gathered data on public complaints with regard to the construction of telecommunication masts and that the perceived health effects of radio frequency radiation raised by the public could have arisen out of the lack of public understanding of the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

He said in line with this, they had designed a comprehensive public awareness campaign and GIFEC had been holding workshops and public education with relevant stakeholders to ensure that they are well informed on the matter.

A senior research scientist at the radiation protection institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. Joseph Amoako, said emission from mobile phone handsets are hundreds of times higher than typical base station antennae.

He appealed to the public to use text messages and hand-free kit when making phone calls and added that mobile phone companies, FM stations and television stations should ensure that they comply with guidelines.

Dr. Amoako said the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission should continue regular and routine monitoring of radio frequency base stations to ascertain the level of compliance with limits and results disseminate to allay public fears on the erection of masts.  

GNA

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