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xx - Bohol afraid of cell sites? - Cortes - Bohol
Bohol afraid of cell sites?
« on: August 27, 2007, 12:45:08 PM »
By Joe Espiritu
Bohol Sunday Post


The residents of Barangay La Paz in Cortes voted against the construction of a cellsite tower in their barangay. Residents claim that they have research information, which tells them that continued operations of the tower would expose them to the radiation, which will cause health hazards and illnesses. Opposers further allege that the Globe Telecom, operators of the communications tower allegedly asked them to sign a waiver.

The people of La Paz are not alone. There were other citizens in some other barangays of Bohol , who refused to have cellsite tower in their vicinity for the same reasons. This time the La Pazeños cite a finding by a group called Sodeman and Sodeman citing that non ionic radiations may cause tissue heating, which may in turn cause cancer. This is new. The Department of Health has yet to issue a statement regarding the result of continued exposure to emissions of a telecommunications tower.

Wireless telecommunication is not a new technology. It began with the invention of the telegraph and wireless telephone. However, wireless transmission was from telecommunications center to another, both of which are stationary or immobile. Since man is always on the move and he wants to be in touch with his base or another person who may be also on the move, a mobile communications system is needed. This caused the invention of a small, compact and mobile transceiver, the cellphone.

However, the transceiver must be within a certain distance of a communications tower, which relays the signal from one sending/receiving unit to another. A communications tower has a limited range; from 2.4 kilometers to 48 to 56 kilometers away from the unit. To increase the communication range, a cluster of towers were built in a honeycomb fashion so a faraway caller may receive or send messages relayed from tower to tower until it reaches its destination. Thus, the name cellphone was coined.

Signals are transmitted through radio waves or electromagnetic force, EMF, like radio and television. EMF is measured in frequencies; say a number of waves in a certain distance. If in a distance of one centimeter, there are ten waves, then the frequency is ten waves per centimeter. Low frequency waves travel far distances but give poor quality of sound or picture, while high frequency waves travel short distances but convey high picture resolutions and purer sounds. Radio waves frequencies are measured by Hertz, a microscopic distance. A megahertz, MHZ, means million hertz and communication waves may reach up to 1,900 MHZs or more.

Patho-physiological studies say that radio waves are not harmful. In 1996, the National Academy of Sciences reviewing 500 scientific papers found no ill effects in radio wave exposure. In the New England Journal of Medicine 1997 said that in the 8 year study of 1,200 children in 9 States costing $4.5 million, exposure to EMF radiation has no connection with leukemia.

Radio waves or EMF had been with us since birth. They come from cosmic radiation, radio and telephone communications, computers and other electronic devices. They travel in wires or are broadcasted into the atmosphere and when in the air it is not beamed in rays like the light waves or laser but are diffused. That is why they are amplified when received from the air. Anything concentrated could be harmful. If the EMF is beamed, it could perhaps be but since it is diffused in a broadcast, the energy is scattered. Besides, a cellsite tower may not have enough power since its range does not exceed 60 kilometers. They are welcome to establish in our barangay if they like.

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