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Cell sites are safe and not a health hazard, FDA clarifies

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It’s no secret that there are people who are worried about the possible health hazards of radiofrequency radiations emitted from cell sites.

The speculations about cell sites being harmful to one’s health have sparked due to the fast deployment of 5G connectivity across the world — especially here in the Philippines.

To appease those people who are in doubt, the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released an official advisory regarding the issue.

Cell sites, more specifically called mobile phone base stations, are safe and don’t pose a health hazard.

As per the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP), the Radiofrequency Radiation (RFR), at high levels, can actually increase the temperature of body tissues. Although, it’s very unlikely that a person can be exposed to RFR levels that exceed the limits of the Department of Health Administrative Order No. 175 of 2004.

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It explains that the antennas are installed high above the cell towers to ensure minimal exposure to those in the ground level.

Previous advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) backs this fact. WHO said that there are no adverse effects from the typical RFR exposure that comes from cell sites.

The ICNIRP reiterates that any adverse effects of RFR are only possible if you’re in close distance to the said antennas — areas that are normally inaccessible to the public.

The said distances and values are being calculated by the FDA before they issue Certificates of Safety Evaluation (CSE) before a company can put up a cell tower.

This advisory was signed by Rolando Enrique D. Domingo, FDA Director General, in reference to the Joint Memorandum Circular No.1 s. 2020 that streamlines the permit acquisition for building common towers.

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