In view of the WHO’s recent warning that there might be a link between cellphone use and brain cancer, a civic group and legislator yesterday called on government to publicize the warning and to ban children younger than 15 from using cellphones on school grounds.
The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) on Monday said that exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as using cellphones, might increase the risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer.
Taiwan Electromagnetic Radiation Hazard Protection and Control Association chairperson Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said the Department of Health must inform the public that radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation has been classified as a “Group 2B” substance (probably carcinogenic to humans, but with limited evidence) and provide practical, precautionary measures.
The specific absorption rate (SAR), a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body while using a cellphone, as well as a warning message should be put on cellphone packing, Chen said, adding that children under the age of 15 should be banned from using cellphones at school to reduce the possibility of harm to their memories and brains.
However, a Department of Health specialist, Su Shin-yuh (蘇新育), said the IARC reported there was only evidence showing that exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation by “heavy users” might cause harmful or carcinogenic effects on human, with heavy use defined as 30 minutes a day over a 10-year period.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) said many people now would be considered heavy users and the government should set up stricter regulations to protect the public.
The National Communications Commission said all cellphones sold in Taiwan since July last year have been required to be labeled with their SAR number.
Liao Shuang-ching (廖雙慶), a secretary at the Ministry of Education’s Division of Environmental Protection Education, said it would hold a meeting to discuss the idea of banning cellphone use by students at school.
The meeting would be attended by experts, parents, school representatives and doctors, Liao said.
Additional reporting by CNA
‘SUSPENDED’: The restrictions are likely to have a greater effect on seafood producers, as exports of food and drinks to China had already decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic China’s customs administration late on Monday announced bans on more than 100 Taiwanese food brands ahead of a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. Beijing said that the blacklisted exporters — which include tea, honey and seafood producers — failed to renew their export registration and could therefore only sell their products until the end of this month. The exporters may submit additional documents this month, Food and Drug Administration Director Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) said, adding that the agency would help them complete their registrations. The bans might be politically motivated, as Taiwanese manufacturers were treated differently than
MISSILE PATHS: Certain information on the Chinese missile fire was not disclosed to maintain secrecy over military intelligence-gathering capabilities, the MND said Military experts yesterday speculated on the implication of the government’s tight-lipped response and the lack of air-raid sirens during the first day of China’s military drills the previous day. On Thursday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched 11 Dongfeng-series ballistic missiles into waters north, east and south of Taiwan, a day after US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s departure from the country, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. The Japanese Ministry of Defense said that China fired nine missiles toward Taiwan, including four that flew over Taiwan proper. However, China’s exhibition of force failed to terrorize the local populace, because
DIVIDE AND CONQUER: Instead of using positive propaganda about China to attract Taiwanese, the CCP is now focusing on negative hype about Taiwan, a researcher said China has changed tactics in its cognitive warfare campaign against Taiwan, now favoring divisive negative stories about Taiwanese society, rather than positive stories about China, an Academia Sinica researcher wrote in a recently published paper. “In the past, when its economy was strong, China liked to use positive propaganda, including proposing a number of incentives and measures to attract Taiwanese,” Hung Tzu-wei (洪子偉), an associate research fellow at the academy’s Institute of European and American Studies, said on Friday. However, with its economy disrupted by the US-China trade war, the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, China has gradually turned toward “mobilizing
Legislators across party lines yesterday welcomed US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, marking the first time in 25 years that an incumbent US House speaker has visited the nation. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) cited the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) support for Pelosi’s visit — including from senior party members KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) and former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — as evidence that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) foreign diplomacy is on the right course. Pelosi’s visit has special meaning for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region as a whole, DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said. The