Health Desk—April 12, 2017: Aiming to prevent health risks of radiation, the High Court (HC) on Tuesday asked the chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to prepare guidelines for the use of towers by mobile phone companies.
According to the sources, an HC bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Salim asked the BTRC chairman to submit the draft guidelines before the court within eight weeks.
Earlier, on March 28, the HC ordered the Health Ministry to prepare a detailed report with the help of experts of three international organisations -World Health Organization (WHO), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)-over the health risks of radiation that emits from mobile phone towers across the country.
The court asked the ministry to submit a progress report on the steps and asked the BTRC to submit a progress report on the draft guidelines being prepared by it on radiation by April 10.
Advocate Manzill Murshid who stood for writ petitioner said the Health Ministry informed the court that it has taken an initiative to take opinions from three organisation and they need three months for the job.
On the other hand, the BTRC failed to formulate the guidelines within the stipulated time and sought time.
On March 22, the Health Ministry submitted a report on the radiation levels of cell-phone towers to the HC with a directive to the BTRC to take necessary measures to lower the degree of radiation.
According to the Health Ministry report, the mobile phone towers are emitting high levels of radiation which is injurious to health.
In 2012, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh filed a petition before the HC over the radiation levels of mobile phone towers. It also sought a directive to determine the health risks through the WHO.
The HC later asked the authorities concerned to look into the radiation level, health risks and environmental impacts caused by the radiation.