News for Philippines

Are you suffering from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome?
Philippines Created: 30 Aug 2011
Do you suffer from chest pains/heart problems? Do you have a headache? Are you feeling weak, nauseous, dizzy? Do you have panic attacks? Do you suffer from insomnia? Are you suffering from poor concentration or memory loss? Do you have skin itch/rash or feel a burning, tingling sensation? Then you probably have Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS).

Add EHS to your list of modern-day, technology-related maladies that includes EI (environmental illness), CTS (carpal tunnel syndrome), bursitis (inflammation of the bursa or the small fluid-filled sacs located between two adjoining structures like muscles and bones), and maybe “pursitis,” a condition where you end up with a hole in your pocket because keeping up with technology can be a very expensive exercise.

What on earth is Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome?

EHS is a condition that occurs in people who are highly sensitive to electromagnetic fields. People were warned about it over three years ago on the ABC News. Because its symptoms vary from person to person, experts find the condition hard to study and they’re divided on the validity on the issue.

Over 30 studies have been done to find out the condition’s link to exposure to electromagnetic fields from sources such as radar dishes, mobile phone signals, and Wi-Fi hotspots.

In 2004, a World Health Organization (WHO) workshop in Prague reviewed the more than 30 studies on the shocking issue. Here’s what the workshoppers found: “There are also some indications that these symptoms may be due to pre-existing psychiatric conditions as well as stress reactions as a result of worrying about believed EMF health effects, rather than the EMF exposure itself. Whatever its cause, EHS is a real and sometimes disabling problem for the affected persons.”

So, is it real or is it all in the mind?

Sweden (Nokia country) is addressing the mind-boggling issue head-on. The Swedish Association for the ElectroHyperSensitives disseminates information to raise awareness on this phenomenon around the world. Some 400 EMF Hypersensitives from Sweden flew to Prague for the international WHO seminar to share their alarming experiences, which have been compiled into a book designed for researchers and health authorities in countries where EHS is a questionable issue of concern.

In Great Britain, there’s the Mast Action UK, a voluntary organization launched in the House of Commons back in the year 2000. It works with the local communities, mobile operators, and other environmental groups to try to find sensible locations for mobile phone masts.

Then there’s the Electromagnetic Radiation Alliance of Australia, founded in 1996, which provides life-saving information on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation because every power-driven appliance, machine, computer and cell phone we use emit EMR. Studies have linked exposure to EMR to a higher rate of leukemia, brain cancer, breast and other cancers, depression of the immune system, neurological problems, learning and performance disabilities, among a whole gamut of disorders.

Oui, this issue has sent shock waves around the world that four libraries in Paris have turned off their WiFI connections, installed in late 2007, after their staff complained of some health problems. Since WiFi radio waves are designed to transit huge amounts of data, they also emit greater amounts of electromagnetic radiation.

And here’s another hot topic for debate: Is the radiation from laptops more dangerous to our health than that from desktops?

Experts say that laptops emit extremely low-frequency radiation, perhaps just like radiation from your hair dryer, your TV, and other appliances you use every day. But long-term exposure to laptop radiation is quite another story.

And comes this other shocking problem: our mounting e-wastes. Eco groups call on consumers to be mindful of the electronics they buy — and the subsequent electronic waste or e-waste they produce.

   E-waste contains a cocktail of toxic chemicals that are added to various parts of electronic products. For instance, phthalates, brominated flame retardants (BFR), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are often added to gadgets’ plastic housing and electrical wiring. Phthalates are suspected to cause infertility in males, aside from possibly damaging the liver, lungs, and kidney. Both BFR and PVC are cancer-causing substances. What’s more, some television and computer screens harbor toxic metals like mercury and lead, both of which can damage the nervous system and cause developmental disorders.

Richard Gutierrez (not the actor), executive director of Ban Toxics, notes that discarded electronics from countries like Japan and South Korea are exported as secondhand goods to the Philippines. He says that toxins from e-wastes may be released through improper use and recycling. Thus, the responsibility lies in our hands to make sure we don’t add to the growing mountain of e-wastes in the country by buying gadgets which will not potentially harm our health and the environment, and not burning or dumping e-wastes.

The green groups have put together these down-to-earth tips:  

• Research. Know which companies produce safe and environmentally sustainable electronic gadgets. Visit websites such as those set up by Greenpeace, particularly its Guide to Greener Electronics that ranks the top electronics manufacturers according to their policies on toxics, recycling, and climate change. The guide is available at http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/toxics/electronics/how-the-companies-line-up/.

• Purchase electronics that have the “RoHS” logo. This means that the equipment complies with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive, which means these do not contain mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated biphenyl ethers — common toxins found in electronic gadgets.

• Buy energy-efficient electronic products. Look for the Energy Star or the energy efficiency ratio (EER).

• Look for brands with good warranty and take-back policies. Go for quality, not quantity. Avoid buying very cheap items in bulk. Most of these items will wear out after a few months. Buying a product of good quality is a much better investment and better for the environment, too.

• Look for electronics with rechargeable rather than disposable batteries.

No ifs and batts about it!
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Source: The Phillipine Star, Ching M. Alano, 30 Aug 2011

More health tips on cell phone radiation
Philippines Created: 9 May 2011
MANILA, Philippines – This is the fourteenth (14th) article that I have written in this column on health tips on the use of cell phones… as a public service to remind cell phone users of the harmful effects of the excessive use of cell phone because of the radiation exposure. And that we should practice prudent precaution on the use of cell phones at all times.

Here are additional health tips on the use of cell phones that I got from the internet. Should you wish to confirm the information I am sharing with the readers of this column; or should you need further information to convince you of the health risks of cell phone radiation, please check the internet:

• Do you know that a recent issue of the Journal of American Medical Association reports that psychiatrist Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse led a team of researchers found that just 50 minutes of cell phone radiation significantly affected brain function and metabolism of glucose – the brain’s main fuel – in those parts of the brain that received the most cell phone radiation;

• Do you know that as recently as June, 2010, a US based research reported that by spending half an hour on your mobile phone each day could increase the possibility of getting brain cancer by 40%;

• Do you know that since the younger children’s skulls are thinner, the penetration of electromagnetic radiation in children is deeper than in adults;

• Do you know that as per studies in US and India, there is the possibility that the heavy use of mobile phone by men could caused reduced sperm counts;

• Do you know that there is a need to lessen the direct exposure to the brain from cell phone radiation due to the possible increase of brain tumors;

• Do you know that a certain Dr. Lonn early this year found an increase risk of acoustic neuroma, a type of brain tumor – after 10 years or more years of cell phone use? However, Dr. Lonn also published research results that cell phones did not increase the risk of other types of brain tumor (gliomas or meningiomas).

Further, do you know that there are over 120 different types of brain tumor?

• Do you know that it is better to make cell phone calls when you are stationary because when you are moving rapidly, say in a car or train, there is more exposure to cell phone radiation;

• Do you know that it is not advisable to put your cell phone in your breast or pants pockets because putting the cell phone right up against your body exposes you to more radiation? Better to carry your cell phone in a purse or briefcase or get a non-metallic belt clip that distance the cell phone away from the body;

• Do you know that texting, instead of talking is better for the health of cell phone users;

• Do you know that it is better to make calls outside buildings and elevators – less exposure to radiation, that is;

• Do you know that it is better to tile the cell phone away from your ear when you are talking with somebody and bring it closer to your ear when you are listening;

• Do you know that a cell phone radiation shield (a small device that is attached to the earpiece of a cell phone) can reduce the radiation that causes cancer by directing the radiation waves away from the ear? Hopefully, a cell phone radiation shield would soon be fitted to every cell phone sold, to reduce, if not totally eliminate cell phone radiation;

• Do you know that it is already reported in the internet that an Inter-Ministerial Committee formed by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of India that radiation from mobile towers pose grave health risks including memory loss, lack of concentration and digestive disturbances. The report further says that the radiation is also bad for birds and insects. The Committee attributed the radiation effects to the disappearance of butterflies, bees, insects, and sparrows;

• Do you know that one research study reports that people who have used mobile phones for 10 years or more were 40% more likely to get a brain tumor on the same side of their head where they held the handset.

Finally… no doubt about it - the cell phone is a fabulous invention. In today’s lifestyle, we can no longer do without cell phones. But knowing that excessive use of the cell phones is dangerous and in fact could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos because of radiation, we should limit our use of them wherever possible.

We should take prudent and simple precautionary measures in the use of cell phones in a way that is most compatible with our health.

Have a joyful day!
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Source: Manila Bulletin Publishing Company, NELLY FAVIS-VILLAFUERTE, 07 May 2011

Do cell towers really pose health problems?
Philippines Created: 20 Aug 2008
New People’s Army targets include cell phone towers. The telecommunications company owners (and their insurance companies) hate it. So do the wireless system clients and the people of the local community.

But should they? They don’t realize it but maybe Ka Roger’s people are promoting their good health.

In the United States, more and more communities are campaigning against cell phone towers being built in their midst.

The city of Newport News, in Virginia, is a recent example.

Telcoms usually disguise the towers to look like large trees or tall flagpoles. In America’s “cowboy states” they are made to look like “monstrous cactuses,” writer Sabine Hirschauer says in a report of July 16, 2008 about how the city’s Planning Commission are facing up to the matter of cell towers.

Here are excerpts from her report:

Cell tower complaints are loud and clear
By Sabine Hirschauer

NEWPORT NEWS: They can look like tall flagpoles. Or oversized trees. Or monstrous cactuses out West.

But no matter how they’re disguised, they’re still cell towers.

And as they increasingly dot the landscape, the towers face growing opposition from critics who say they’re ugly and unaesthetic misfits that drive down property values and may be harmful to one’s health.

While there are dozens of towers on and around the Peninsula, the Newport News City Council recently denied a request from nTelos to wedge a 131-foot tall cell tower between a pool and playground at Magruder Elementary School in southeast Newport News.

“Schools are inappropriate places for cell towers until they are proven to be safe,” Johnson said.

There is no conclusive evidence that low radio frequency transmissions from cell towers harm people at the levels that are allowed by the Federal Communications Commission, which also has to approve the towers.

But Johnson finds himself among a growing number of people and groups nationwide who are worried about what effect the towers might have on people. In 2000, the Los Angeles Unified School District banned cell towers on school properties because “there continues to be considerable debate and uncertainty within the scientific community as to the potential health effects to individuals, especially children, from exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic and radio frequency radiation,” according to the board’s resolution.

Since 2004, the International Association of Fire Fighters has prohibited cell towers on fire department facilities for the same reason.

And the American Cancer Society states “we do not have full information on health effects . . . in particular, not enough time has elapsed to permit epidemiological studies.”

While Johnson may have won a battle, it’s too soon to say whether he and others will win the war against cell towers too close to home. Today, the Newport News Planning Commission will discuss an application from T-Mobile to put a 135-foot tower on the Nelson Elementary School property in northern Newport News.

Another T-Mobile application for another tower—a brown “slick-stick,” which means all antennas will be located inside—awaits more information. It would be located on the grounds of Sanford Elementary School in central Newport News.

Peninsula residents usually don’t rally against cell towers unless they end up in their backyards, planners in Hampton, York and James City counties said.

In April, the York County Board of Supervisors denied T-Mobile’s request for permission to construct a 180-foot tower near the intersection of Dare Road and Railway Road after residents packed county meetings, worried the tower would push property values into the ground in the Lakes of Dare subdivision.

But with more and more people dropping their land lines and switching to cell phones to save money, officials in Poquoson said providing sufficient cell phone coverage, not health and aesthetics, drove their recent cell tower discussions.

“We wanted to make sure people can call 911 [with cell phones] and get the help they need,” said Poquoson Mayor Gordon C. Helsel Jr. Poquoson recently approved its second cell tower.

Newport News’ policy has been not to recommend towers on elementary school sites because they are usually in residential neighborhoods, said City Manager Randy Hildebrandt. Elementary school sites are also usually two to three times smaller than high schools.

In May the City’s Planning Commission voted against the Magruder application because of the concerns of area residents and the proposed tower’s proximity to the elementary school’s pool and a playground, said Planning Commissioner Victor Albea.

Representatives of nTelos did not return calls to comment.

So far, the city has three towers at schools with two of those sitting on high school property and one between the former Briarfield Elementary School and Heritage High School.

Installed from 2002 through May 2006, the towers are being used by several cell phone companies and fetched upfront lease payments to the schools of $9,000 to $120,000. As part of the agreements, the payments grow annually from $10,350 in the first five years to as much as $47,223.24 in coming decades.

“It’s not worth the money if it hurts our kids,” said new City Councilwoman Pat Woodbury, a former School Board member.

During her tenure on the Newport News School Board, Woodbury emerged as the sole dissenting vote against cell towers on school property.

“I voted against them every time,” she said. “And I will vote against them on City Council.”

Woodbury said she had researched in particular the health effects of cell towers and worried how radiation from the cell towers affect children.

If the city gives the go-ahead for the Nelson Elementary School cell tower, T-Mobile would pay Newport News Public School System $24,000 up front to lease the land, followed by $27,600 for every year of the first five years.

The School Board has already approved towers at Sanford and Nelson elementary schools.

“Do you put a monetary value on the health of our kids,” Johnson said. “I don’t think so. It’s an outrage.”

Why are cell towers controversial?
• Often considered eyesores
• Residents fear they’ll cause drops in property values
• Health effects such as brain tumors are feared, but studies remain inconclusive about cell tower radiation
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Source: Maila Times, 17 Aug 2008

Cellphones and brain cancer
Philippines Created: 20 Jul 2008
IS there a link between heavy cellphone use and tumors in the neck and brain?.

A 10-year study by Interphone of 7,400 cancer patients would have partly answered the question. But the final report that should have been published in 2006 was delayed because of disagreements among the researchers.

Michael Milligan, the secretary-general of the Mobile Ma­nufacturers Forum, said that the industry was disappointed. (Doreen Carvajal, The New York Times, June 30).

Interphone brought together scientists from more than a dozen countries to investigate the health risks of cellphones. It was taxpayer-supported as well as by mobile phone makers, including Nokia, through their organization, The GSM Association. The total cost of the study was US$24 million.

Interphone’s director, Elisabeth Cardis, was vague on when the report might be released. She did admit that the delay was “caused” by additional research on how cancer patients, compared to those in a control group, remembered details of past phone use—frequency, length of use, position of the phone when in use and so on. This was necessary because both cancer patients and those in the control group “tended to underestimate the number of their calls while overestimating the duration of calls” (Carvajal, NYT, June 30).

At the annual meeting in June of the Bioelectromagnetics Society in San Diego, California, Louis Slesin, the editor of a trade journal called Microwave News, reported that the panel discussion on brain tumors showed clearly a split among the Interphone researchers. For example, the Israelis and the Australians were for urging people to moderate cellphone use while the English and the Germans were reluctant neither to draw conclusions nor to suggest specific actions because of “recall bias.”

Joachim Schüz, the cancer specialist who headed the German team of Interphone, was dismissive of the disagreements. The evidence, he told the New York Times, was convincing that there was no risk from short-term cellphone use although there were “uncertainties” about long-term use.

Long-term was defined as more than 10 years on the same side of the head. Some countries, despite small national samples, have begun recommending moderate cellphone use that they might revise once the final report had been issued.

However, institutions like the World Health Organization, are not likely to draw any conclusion, even for moderate use, until publications of the Interphone report.

The European Commission coursed its financial contribution to Interphone through the International Union Against Cancer in order to isolate the scientists from any possible influence by mobile phone manufacturers.

The industry, however, scrupulously maintained its distance from the debates among the scientists although there are still skeptics who believe that they will not be all that detached.

At the San Diego meeting, two versions of the Interphone report were circulated. There were no details in the New York Times story on the differences between the two versions but it did quote Cindy Sage who was involved in a review of existing studies on the health risks of cellphone use. She said: “This enormous project may come to nothing but ambiguous results. It sounds pessimistic at this point. What I worry about is that the study will be publicized as an ‘all clear’ when in fact the study failed to do a good enough job to know.”

Perhaps a more balanced point of view is Elisabeth Cardis’s who has since left Interphone for a position at the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, Spain. She told Le Monde: “I would concur with the idea of limiting the use among young people, first of all because throughout their life they are going to be using a phone a lot more than all of us but I would certainly not ban phones because they are too useful.”

Filipinos are already among the heaviest users of cell­phones but more for sending text messages rather than for voice communication.

But as the cost of voice declines due to competition, government regulation, technology improvement and economies of scale, talk could equal or even exceed text in both frequency and duration of use. If there’s a proven link between cancer and electromagnetic radiation, then the government and the cell­phone companies have an obligation to give timely and accurate advice on cellphone use.
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Source: Sunday Times / Manila Times, Rony V. Diaz, 20 Jul 2008

Power lines safe from radiation: Transco (it's ICNIRP really)
Philippines Created: 7 Apr 2008
CAGAYAN DE ORO - The National Transmission Corporation (Transco) assures the public that all its electrical pylons and facilities are safe from radiation overexposure.

In a paper presented during a forum on electromagnetic fields on Sunday in Cagayan de Oro, Transco environmental management department head Julia W. Echavez said extremely low frequency electric field and magnetic field radiation emitting from its electric power lines are well below the international exposure limit.

In the absence of a Philippine or a United Nations (UN) law, the Department of Health (DOH) follows the exposure limit set by an international private group of scientists - the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

Physicist Agnette Peralta, who sits as one of ICNIRP's 15 commissioners, represents the Philippines in the organization.

According to the group, the ideal tolerable maximum exposure of magnetic field for people working near the facilities should only be 4200 milliGauss and 8.3 kilovolts per meter electric field.

For the public, on the other hand, the ideal tolerable maximum exposure of magnetic field near an electrical facility should only be 833 milliGauss and 4.2 kilovolts per meter electric field.

Echavez presented the magnetic field and electric field exposures of its transmission lines.

For its 69-kilovolt line, the magnetic field is said to be 60.78 milliGauss and the electric field is 0.961 kilovolt per meter, while for the 138-kilovolt line, the magnetic field is 30.63 milliGauss and the electric field is measured at 1.28 kilovolts per meter.

For the 230-kilovolt line of Transco, Echavez said its magnetic field was registered at 186.44 milliGauss and 3.58 kilovolts per meter electric field.

Along this line, Echavez explained that all Transco facilities are monitored regularly by a team composed of representatives from Transco, DOH, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), National Academy of Science and Technology, ICNIRP, World Health Organization (WHO) and its distribution utilities like the Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company (Cepalco).

Overexposure to extremely low frequency can cause stimulation of peripheral nerves and muscles.

According to the late British physiologist William Richard S. Doll in his 2001 research contracted by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety, "the possibility remains that intense and prolonged exposures to magnetic fields can increase the risk of leukemia in children" despite the absence of supporting laboratory evidence.

Supporting studies by the ICNIRP showed that the UN's International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Institute of Health in the United States did not also find any laboratory evidence linking extreme low frequency overexposure to any chronic disease.

But for the group and members and those from the Health department, it's better to be safe than sorry, resulting to the imposition of the radiation limit in the country. (Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro/Sunnex)
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Source: Sun Star, Mark D. Francisco, 07 Apr 2008

Transco (and ICNIRP) to hold electromagnetic field forum
Philippines Created: 6 Apr 2008
The National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) will conduct a Forum on Electromagnetic Field (EMF) from power lines on April 8, 2008. 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. here in this city.
The forum aims to provide government institutions/agencies, academe, distribution utilities, non-government organizations, and professional organizations relevant facts on EMF. The activity is part of the Transco's Information, education and communication program on EMF.
Transco Visayas Operations and Maintenance Department Manager Rey Jaleco in his invitation letter sent to various institutions disclosed that one of the resource speakers during the forum is Dr. Quintin L. Kintanar, Chairman of the Health Sciences Division of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).
Ms. Agnette P. Peralta, Director of the Bureau of Health Devices and Technology of the Department of Health was also invited to speak during the forum. She will discuss extremely-low frequency EMF from power lines and electric-equipment and guidelines on exposure from EMF.
(and she is on ICNIRP's main commission see here:)
http://www.icnirp.org/cv.htm#Peralta

Other resource speakers are Dr. Filemon Uriate Jr. and Dr. Apolinario D. Nazarea, academician-scientists from NAST who will answer queries related to EMF.
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Source: Philippine Information Agency, 04 Apr 2008

Pico residents oppose Sun Cell tower construction
Philippines Created: 17 Mar 2008
WHILE residents are wary on the possible hazards of living near communication towers, companies believe their business does not pose any harm to public health.

The absence of medical findings to prove that cell sites pose dangers to human health remains the justification of communication companies to continue putting up cell towers for their operations.

In La Trinidad, villagers have manifested their objection against the proposed operation of a base station of a mobile telephone company in Barangay Pico, citing the dangers this facility might cause on them and their children.

The signatories to the opposition raised the fear of possible dangers, which could be brought about by the facility on their health.

They asked the local government not to allow the establishment of the Sun Cellular facility in their village.

Management of Sun Cellular however said the operation of its radio base station will not adversely affect the health of residents living near the site where the facility will be put up.

In a letter to Pico barangay leader Juan Mendoza, the company said while cell sites produce hazardous emissions, these do not affect a person if the distance between the facility and an individual is within the recommended and safe distance. It was not however learned if how far could be the minimum safe distance.

Among the dangers, which could be brought about by radio frequency and microwave radiation include heating effects which could lead to cataract, skin burns, deep burns, and heat stroke.

The Municipal Council has passed a resolution granting clearance to the Sun Cellular company to install and operate the radio base facility in their area.
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Source: Sun.Star, Jane Cadalig, 16 Mar 2008

No sufficient data on effects of long exposure to electromagnetic field - expert
Philippines Created: 30 Nov 2007
Dr Kintanar Quintin, chairman, health sciences division of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) said that the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Protection (ICNIRP) do not have sufficient data on the potential long term effects of exposure to Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) which increased the risk of cancer,.

Kintanar was in Davao City on Thursday as one of the resource persons during the Forum on Extemely Low Frequency Electric Magnetic Field held at Grand Regal Hotel and attended by various stakeholders from Mindanao initiated by the National Transmission Corporation.

Kintanar quoting ICNIRP said the available data are insufficient to provide basis for setting exposure restrictions.

However, the epidemiological research has provided suggestive but unconvincing evidence of association between possible magnetic flux densities substantially lower than those recommended in the guidelines, he said.

He said that when controversies arise concerning possible health risks from exposure to electromagnetic fields from power lines, the experts recommends that such issues be resolved by taking appropriate measurements of such fields by a team composed of all the sectors concerned under the close supervision of a multidisciplinary team of experts and scientists.

Kintanar said numerous studies arrived at the same conclusions that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic field. But gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research.

However, he said that with regards to high voltage power lines, is a matter of balancing the overall benefits against the risks.

Dr. Filemon A. Uriater, Jr., member of engineering sciences and technology division of NAST said that distance is the best way of reducing EMF exposure.

He said the farther the person the EMF exposure is reduced.

Comparing electric fields (EF) against magnetic fields (MF) he said EF is produced by voltage while MF by current.

He cited as an example that a lamp plugged in but turned off, the voltage produces an electric field but lamp plugged in and turned on, the current produces a magnetic field.

He said the effective magnetic shielding material available is the mu-metal, an alloy of 77 percent nickel, 16 percent iron, five percent copper and two percent chromium, which is annealed in a hydrogen atmosphere to increase its permeability.

"But mu-metal is extremely expensive," he said.

Other materials that could be used is the Giron that cost $37.95 per linear foot, full roll of 81 feet would cost $2,459.00, the metals of an inch wide cost $2.50/lin ft and one pound spools cost $599.00, the finemet per line foot cost $17.99 and a full roll at $4,200.

He said active magnetic shielding systems consist of three basic elements, a sensor to monitor the power line field, control and power unit, and network of driven coils.

Burying transmission lines he said can reduce their magnetic fields but the reduction occurs because the underground lines use rubber, plastic or oil for insulation rather than air, thus allowing the conductors to be placed much closer together resulting in the greater phase cancellation.

But he said a buried line would be closer to the ground level than an overhead line, magnetic field exposure from a buried line could be about the same as from an overhead line.

The cost of underground transmission lines (TL) are generally five to 10 times more than overhead lines, maintenance of underground TL is difficult and time-consuming and repair of underground transmission lines is difficult and expensive.

The country has 20,238 kilometers of transmission lines. Of this figure Mindanao accounted to about 5,000 kilometers.
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Source: Philippine Information Agency, Prix D Banzon, 30 Nov 2007

Protesting woman chains self to relay tower
Philippines Created: 2 Jul 2007
A woman chained herself near the top of a cellular relay tower in Cabuyao, Laguna to protest the construction of the structure at the back of her resthouse.

Melly Drake refused to come down despite pleadings from rescuers. She said the tower is a health hazard to residents because of the radiation it emits.

Drake also said that she is having a hard time selling her resthouse because of the structure.

“Kung gusto nilang bumaba ako dito, bilhin nila ang bahay ko! (If they want me to come down, they should buy my house first!)” said Drake.

The tower is owned by Smart Communications, Inc., a mobile phone company.

After six hours of hanging near the top of the tower, Drake demanded to speak to Cabuyao Mayor Jun Hemedes.

She descended from the tower upon the arrival of the mayor.

“Pinangakuan ko siya ng aking full support dito. [We] will investigate this at hindi siya namin pababayaan (I promised her my full support. We will investigate this, we will not put her case aside),” said Hemedes.

Smart, meanwhile, said it secured the necessary permits first before constructing the tower.

“We obtained all necessary clearance for the cell site. The house is 150 meters away from the cell site across the creek. The cell site is in Barangay Banay-Banay, Cabuyao and the house is in Barangay Pulo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna," the company said.

Mon Isberto, company spokesman, also said that Smart obtained the consent of residents in the area. He said the residents' consent is required before the local government gives the company a clearance.

"Wala na sa radius na required 'yung bahay kaya hindi na namin siya hiningan ng consent (The house is no longer within the required radius so we did not seek the owner's consent)," he added.
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Source: ABS CBN News,

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