The effect of electromagnetic fields on health is under the scrutiny. Turkish and foreign scientists focused on the effect of electromagnetic fields on health at a conference held in Ankara. At the conference, it was stated that the studies were not 'sufficient' yet and that more comprehensive studies were needed.
A conference titled 'Electromagnetic Fields and Their Effects on Human Health' was held at Hacettepe University by the Cancer Department of the Ministry of Health. Ministry of Health officials, academics and scientists from related institutions from abroad attended the conference.
Turan Buzgan, Head of Public Health Department of the Ministry of Health, in his speech at the conference, stated that the country's resources focus on preventive services in the field of health. Buzgan said that in this context, all kinds of scientific developments in the field are followed and programs are developed accordingly.
Head of Cancer Department of the Ministry of Health, Assoc. Dr. In his speech, Murat Gültekin stated that Turkey was among the first countries to start the cancer control program. Expressing that the possible health effects of electromagnetic fields are also monitored by scientific advisory boards, Gültekin stated that they will continue to convey the most accurate information to the public with the highest level scientists. Gültekin explained that the discussed possible cancer effects of electromagnetic fields are 'meningioma, glioma, acoustic neuroma':
“We also recorded these tumors. Looking at the statistics of the last 5 years, while there is no significant increase in these 3 cancer types, Turkey's main control strategy should focus on lung, breast and other types.” Gültekin said that complaints or questions about electromagnetic fields were answered by the Scientific Committee in the light of the most up-to-date information.
INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE BETWEEN ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS AND BRAIN TUMORS
IARC President Christopher Wild, in his presentation at the conference, stated that sources such as base station antennas, aerial electrical cables, wireless internet, and televisions emit extremely low levels of radiation in research on electromagnetic fields. Stating that the studies have shown that wireless phones cause less electromagnetic field exposure with the development of new technologies, Wild pointed out that according to the studies carried out so far, "sufficient evidence has not been reached" in establishing a potential relationship between mobile phone use and other tumors such as brain tumors.
Wild said that sources such as base station antennas, electrical cables, Wi-Fi and televisions emit much lower radiation compared to mobile phones, and underlined that the quality of connection with the base station is important under the influence of mobile phones. Wild said, “Research has shown that it has less impact on the brain, depending on the quality of the mobile connection. We also found that the use of wired headphones reduced the radiation received by the brain by 90 percent.” said.
“EXPOSURE INCREASES THE FARTHER YOU GET”
Joachim Schüz, Head of IARC Environment and Radiation Department, gave information about the work of the Working Group.
Stating that there was no significant increase in the risk of developing cancer with the use of mobile phones in the recent studies on low-frequency electromagnetic fields with broad participation, Schüz talked about the studies of the IARC Working Group on mobile phone use. According to the results of the study, Schüz stated that the electromagnetic field exposure increased when mobile phones were far from the base stations, and decreased when they were close.
“THE SOCIETY SHOULD INFORM THE SOCIETY ABOUT BASE STATIONS”
Istanbul University (IU) Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty Biophysics Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Tunaya Kalkan also talked about the studies on the effect of electromagnetic waves on human health in Turkey. Expressing that a phobia has been created in the society, especially regarding base stations and mobile phones, Kalkan said, “People cannot give up on these devices. While telling this, it is necessary to inform instead of creating fear. The standards in Turkey are one quarter below the world standards for base stations. The measurement results are much less valuable,” he said.