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Govt, companies say mobile phones pose no health risks

Govt, companies say mobile phones pose no health risks

BOOM IN MOBILES

A bout 4 million of Cambodia's 14 million population are mobile users, but SIM penetration rates remain low. Although SIM card penetration rates stand at about 30 percent, this ignores the many Cambodians who own multiple SIM cards on different networks.

AS the Kingdom's nine mobile operators cover the country with antennas and transmission towers, technical experts and government officials say the technology has no discernible impact on public health.

So Khun, minister of posts and telecommunications, moved to dispel popular concerns that mobile technologies can severely damage health, including reproductive health.

"Mobile phone technology has a very low level of impact on people - it is acceptable," he said at a seminar discussing the potential health effects of mobile phones, organised by the ministry Wednesday.

So Khun added that despite popular fears that mobile antennas attract lightning, the government also had no documented cases of lightning striking the towers.

Phones ‘safe': company

Sze Peng Tan, head of solutions at Ericsson Cambodia, said that radio waves from mobile base stations and antennas have a minimal impact on health and that it was "safe to use mobiles, or work and live near mobile towers".

Until now, experts have observed no adverse health effects from low-level, long-term exposure to radio frequencies, said Andrew Hu, an engineer at Huawei Technologies.

Hu added, however, that  scientists were continuing research in the area, which is considered particularly important due to the widespread popularity of the devices.

Lar Narath, a secretary of state at the ministry, said that since mobile phones had become an integral part of many people's day-to-day life, it was important to hold a seminar to discuss the potential health impacts of mobile technology.

He said he did not know the exact number of mobile towers installed in Cambodia, but said each of the country's nine mobile operators would, in theory, need to install around 3,000 antennas to have comprehensive national coverage.

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