By Tongai Mwenje
Local scientists have produced some worrying facts on how network boosters operate. According to investigations carried out these tall structures emit a type of radiation called non-ionising which can be harmful to both humans and the environment if emitted in large quantities.
Although mobile network base stations represent a rare kind of sophistication, a technology that has made communication very easier around the world, research has unearthed serious side effects of the long standing technology.
Situated across almost everywhere in mountains, forests and residential areas the tall structures have made communication much easier and has become the cornerstone of modern day life.
Of course all types of radiation can be harmful if emitted in large quantities but what makes this type of radiation a threat is the fact that very few people are aware of its existence making it a cause for concern.
Current laws only recognise and regulate ionising radiation which is mainly produced by X-rays and nuclear reactors so this non-ionising radiation is yet to be properly regulated.
Our local mobile network service providers haven’t shed light on that issue, maybe because they are not sure about the amount of radiation produced by their boosters or are just playing it safe to protect their business interests.
A close source from the Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe said the mobile operators have not been cooperating with them which mean they cannot tell whether their boosters are still safe or not since they have not established the amount of radiation emitted by their boosters with the authority board.
Radiation is a threat to the society as it can cause pandemic diseases such as cancer, asthma and also mental disorders. Zimbabwe of late has been facing a rise in the number of people affected by these diseases.
This has led to some experts to call for a probe to determine the levels of non-ionising radiation in the country. According to some recognised individuals and organisations there have been major health problems as a result of micro-shocks caused by the release of extremely low frequency field in human and animal tissues.
The study shows that the non-ionising radiation produced by these base stations has some adverse health problems if not controlled.
Researches have shown that due to technological advancement in recent years, more than half a population of Zimbabwe rely on GSM Telecommunications. Nevertheless, due to exposure to electro-magnetic fields from antennas and base stations, people and animals are exposed to the risks of various health diseases.
Radiation accidents can have some serious effects as evidenced by the nuclear plant disaster which happened in Japan last year. It was reported that all the American soldiers who took part in the rescuing efforts later developed cancer.
Many countries have developed laws to regulate radiation in the communication sector and other related areas in order to curb the dangers of non-ionising radiation.