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Dangers of using GSM comes under focus in Kano: How safe are Nigerians?

The campaign, which aims at sensitizing the public on safety measures, has been scheduled to commence before the end of the year, according to the…

The campaign, which aims at sensitizing the public on safety measures, has been scheduled to commence before the end of the year, according to the secretary general of the association, Alhassan Haruna Dambatta.

Dambatta told Pyramid Trust that the campaign was in line with outcomes of researches carried out in different parts of the world and based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) on safety use of mobile phones.

“In view of the World Health Organization’s report on the dangers of unsafe use of GSM, this association plans to embark on a safety campaign aimed at promoting the simple principle guidelines and recommendations of the WHO on the use of mobile phones,” said Dambatta.

Explaining further, Dambatta told Pyramid Trust that the campaign had been tagged, “Mobile Phone Handling and Safety Campaign,” aimed at sensitizing the public to the adverse health effects caused by unsafe use of mobile phones.

Dambatta further noted that, though the association was not the pioneer of such campaign, it was determined to spread the message across the country.

According to him, “our association is not pioneering this campaign but it is determined to spread the message of the campaign to all the nooks and crannies of this country. It was pioneered by international organizations, such as phone manufacturers’ forum, which, last year, sponsored a research to find out the effects of mobile phone on its users”.

Results of the research showed that, due to the electromagnetic radiations emitted by mobile phones, users are bound to be at risk of diseases like brain cancers and brain tumors said Dambatta.

He further explained, “the national campaign is intended to be flagged off in six states where handbills containing vital information on safety use of mobile phones according to recommendations of the World Health Organisation meant to be voluntarily adopted by all phone users”.

The pioneer states for the campaign are Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Benue and Bauchi states, after which it will spread gradually to all other states of the federation. The campaign further aims at reducing the number of people falling victims of other adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones.

The representative of the association noted that, “Swedish researchers, in 1994, associated the use of mobile phones to the development of acoustic lycomy, which is a type of brain cancer.  Another research carried out in Australia revealed an increasing evidence with brain cancer, and recently, the British Association of Dermatologists specifically noted that the use of mobile phones by women had adverse health effects because of the nucleus found in the phones which causes phone dermatitis, a skin disease”.

Dambatta further explained that the report revealed that the effects of phone use among women are more rampant because of the jewelries they wear. This causes more effects, especially where metallic phones are used. More than 30% of phone users in the United Kingdom has been affected with this allergy.

He further explained that the association had established that most GSM phone users in Nigeria were not aware of the hazards involved and, therefore, were at high risk of falling victims of any of the many health adverse affects caused by use of mobile phones.

He outlined recommendations of the WHO to include:-

-Mobile phone users should at all times use the speakers on their phones as against placing them close to the ears.

-Mobile phone users should avoid using phones in cars that do not have external antenna. This is because when phones are used in a car that has no external antenna especially when it is raining, there is likely going to be an electrical connection between the phone user and the thunder or lighting resulting from the rainfall.

-Phone users are advised to always keep phones away from their body

-All phones should be kept out of the reach of children so as to avoid the effect on children.

MOPTAN, however, has decided to add more of these recommendations with particular reference to phone technicians. Dambatta outlined these recommendations thus:

-Technicians should ensure the use of safety gears (hand gloves) at all times when at the workshop – Always wash hands thoroughly after work.