Sat, Dec 22, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Group urges NCC to reconsider ‘small cells’

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Electromagnetic Radiation Hazard Protection and Control Association chairperson Chen Jiau-hua, second right, speaks at a press conference at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, urging the National Communications Commission to maintain existing restrictions on indoor mobile phone cells.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Saying that some people are physically more sensitive to electromagnetic waves, a civic group yesterday called on the National Communications Commission (NCC) to reconsider its recent approval of looser the guidelines governing installations of small, low-power cellular base stations (small cells) in homes.

The commission earlier this month okayed telecoms operators installing small cells into homes as a possible solution to help ease 3G network congestion for smartphones or other mobile devices, and said consumers need not worry about potential harmful effects from the low electromagnetic waves.

At the Legislative Yuan yesterday, Taiwan Electromagnetic Radiation Hazard Protection and Control Association founder and chairperson Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said the electromagnetic waves generated by the small cells can penetrate walls and affect children, elderly people, patients and people who are more sensitive to the waves, so the commission should not loosen the guidelines and affect people’s health so readily.

Chen said people who are sensitive to the electromagnetic waves may suffer from headaches or pain in the eyes, limbs, abdomen or internal organs, and sometimes the pain could hamper their job performance.

“Sometimes my head would ache to the point that it hurts whenever I move my head … Where can we hide when we cannot even stand the electromagnetic waves from outside, and now they are going to install them indoors,” a woman surnamed Peng (彭) said.

Accompanying the group, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) urged the commission to at least clarify whether the electromagnetic waves generated by small cells can damage health, “because even if these more sensitive people do not install them in homes, they can still be affected by their neighbors’ cells.”

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