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Kids, expectant mothers, the elderly endangered
Tanzania Created: 27 Aug 2007
Radiologists have cautioned that the mushrooming telephone masts - also known as towers, masts, and boosters - are posing grave health risks to the people, children, pregnant women and the elderly being most at risk.

One of them is consultant radiologist and oncologist Richard Lyimo, also doubling as chief of clinical services at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar es Salaam.

He says children are at the greatest risk, due to their thinner skulls, and rapid rate of growth.

Also at greater risk are the elderly, the frail and pregnant women when exposed to radiology emissions even though minimal,`` says Stiff competition is forcing service providers to erect masts or boosters in densely populated and residential areas in a bid to boost coverage, to the detriment of the dwellers who know little of their safety.

Lyimo who told The Guardian on Sunday that children are at greater risks when exposed to radiation emitted by the masts, says: ``The safety of cell phone towers or telephone masts is the subject of extensive scientific debate.

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that the electromagnetic radiation they emit, even at low levels, is dangerous to human health.

``Victor Nkya, Zonal Operations Deputy Director-cum-Public Relations Manager of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), counters the sentiments, saying the masts pose no health risks.

``There`s no evidence of health risks on humans related to the telephone towers so far recorded though comprehensive studies have been conducted.

The people who should have the worst of effects, if at all there were any health risks, are those who live in the developed countries as they have the masts installed in their homes,`` he states.

He conceded, however, that the issue was still burning. ``This is a real issue of concern and we are encouraging the service providers to share telephone masts in respective areas to cut concentration.``
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Source: PP Media - Guardian - Dar es Salaam, 26 Aug 2007

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