This is, in a gist, is what I can conclude:
- the evidence so far does not show any links between handphone radiation and cancer
- but the epistemological studies will take maybe another 10 years to show any conclusive evidence (either way)
- handphone radiation is what is called non-ionizing; in plain language it won't cook your brains, or other parts of your body (i.e. it won't modify your DNA);
- but the radiation may actually make your flesh feel hot (it's not just the battery but also the radiation) especially if you keep you handphone in you trouser pocket
- the ionizing radiation are x-ray and gamma-rays (I heard from someone that radiographers working in cancer hospitals are sterile because of their work; a myth probably?)
- we should, however, walk on the side of caution; reduce our exposure to handphone radiations (don't talk for hours on the handphone; just say "hello ... Ok, yes, ... bye")
- you can reduce radiation to your body by using a cordless earpiece or earphone with cord; keeping the antenna further away from your body reduces radiation; but carrying your handphone in a porch around your waist when talking on the handphone does not help
- you should not only be concerned about the handset but also the transmitting or base station; in fact, if you are using a handphone behind an obstacle such as abuilding, the station may try to send out a stronger signal; that means the people who are near the transmitting station (residents, office workers) will be the ones getting more radiation
- and our transmitting towers are at Chancellory and the Computer Science School full of people underneath; also at the water tower near the tadika
We had a meeting of "powerful enough people" (which includes me, I guess) just about half an hour ago and this was our consensus:
- we agreed that shutting down the towers, without any feasible alternative, is not a good solution (tak sejahtera lah)
- we need to engage the Multimedia Commission; talk to their experts to get their points of view
- we need to walk on the side of caution; we need to create greater awareness amongst handphone users of the potential hazards (don't talk on the handphone for more than 5 minutes at a time for instance); we need to call in some experts for seminars and workshops (not just for the campus community but for everybody)
- we need to engage the telcos (all of the them) and discuss a better solution for the campus; one proposal is to shift all the transmitting stations across to the unpopulated hillside of the campus; make sure the hostels are not in the "direct line of fire"; all the telcos to share the cost of one common tower.
- we should also engage the telcos on responsible marketing; they try to encourage you to talk more on the handphones (the more you talk the cheaper the rate! yah right)
When we got all the facts together, we will put up a plan and alternative proposal to the University Authorities for a decision.
So, what you think? Any other ideas?