Cell phone radiation dangerous? PCHRD speaks up

Posted at 07/27/14 2:10 AM

MANILA - There is no conclusive evidence that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cellular phones poses risks to humans.

Jaime Montoya, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) executive director, said this finding is based on scientific studies that have been published.

PCHRD is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Montoya gave the assurance during a presentation at the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST)’s 36th Annual Scientific Meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center last July 10.

Montoya is chairman of the Health Sciences Division of NAST, an advisory body of DOST.

Montoya said everyone is exposed to EMR, whether voluntary or involuntary.

“You know there is that risk, but you still take that risk because you have to use the cell phone,” he said.

The average person’s exposure to cellphones and their electromagnetic field falls under voluntary exposure.

In involuntary exposure, people do not know that they have been exposed to EMR.

Montoya said involuntary exposure affects people living near high-voltage areas like transmitters of cell sites.

Based on current literature, this kind of exposure is still within the threshold, he added.

Montoya said 50 years must pass to determine whether an adverse event directly related to the use of cell phones would crop up in any individual.

But whether such will translate to negative health effects in the long run, the medical community is still not sure, he added.

Montoya said the direct biological effect of using cell phones close to the ear is that it gives warmth and generates heat.

“This is because the rapid movement of molecules actually transforms to heat energy and that is the biological effect,” he said.

“But biological effect is not synonymous to the disease effect.”

Montoya said these are high-intensity, short-period exposures to EMR.

“What is not available at present is information relating to long-term, low-intensity exposures,” he said.

Another E-health forum will be held today during the DOST’s National Science and Technology Week celebrations.