FDA: cellsites are safe

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Following the issuance of Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 s. 2020 or the Streamlined Guidelines for the Issuance of Permits, Licenses, and Certificates for the Construction of Shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure (PTTI) last July, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory on September 3 assuring the public that prior to installation of antennas, an evaluation is done to determine its safety.

FDA, quoting the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), said antennas installed in cell sites emit radiofrequency radiation (RFR). However, FDA, citing ICNIRP, stated that adverse health effect arising from exposure to RFR is only possible at high powered/intensity exposures exceeding limits and safe distances in front of the antennas that are normally inaccessible to the public. FDA added these values are calculated through the issuance of Certificate of Safety Evaluation (CSE) prior to installation of cell site antennas.

In addition, FDA said that it is unlikely that a person could be exposed to RFR levels greater than the limits specified by the Department of Health (DOH) Administrative Order. 175 s. 2004 or the Radiation Protection Standards for Radiofrequency Radiation in the Frequency Range 3 kHz to 300 GHz.

The JMC was signed last July 23 by concerned agencies including the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Department of Health (DOH), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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