Saturday 30 September 2023

Concerned about potential health implications from a telecommunications tower?

Currently, Costa Rica has around 4,000 towers

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30 September 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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Q COSTA RICA – The Ministry of Science, Innovation, Technology and Telecommunications (Micitt) is collaborating with other government entities and industry-related business chambers to launch a campaign this month which aims to ensure citizens that the installation of telecommunications towers/antennas for mobile telephony, television or radio will not have a negative impact on their health.

This initiative is based on research from the World Health Organization (WHO) that demonstrates that Non-Ionizing Radiation, which are wireless telecommunications transmissions, do not cause any harm to human health. This radiation spreads in the environment similarly to the way sunlight does.

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The purpose of this information campaign is to dispel any misconceptions surrounding telecommunications antennas and their effect on people’s health.

Orlando Vega, the vice minister of Micitt, explained that waves emitted by this equipment will not cause harm as long as exposure to them stays within the limits regulated in Costa Rica.

“The initiative will make it clear that the waves propagated by this equipment do not cause damage when exposure to them remains below certain limits regulated in Costa Rica”, said Vega.

The public can access a ‘landing page‘ of the Micitt website called ‘Antenas y la salud’ (Antennas and Health), which contains compiled data from studies provided by institutions such as the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, the Organization of American States, and the Superintendence of Telecommunications.

Regarding the installation of equipment needed for the introduction of 5G in the country, standards from the International Telecommunication Union on this kind of mobile technology and exposure to electromagnetic fields are taken into consideration, as well as an analysis by the European Parliament on the environmental effect of these networks implemented in other regions.

There are currently about 4,000 towers with link equipment for mobile phone coverage in Costa Rica, which is roughly 821 infrastructures per million inhabitants, which is not necessarily a guarantee of greater cellular signal coverage, according to a study by international telecommunications researcher Raúl Katz.

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To make more efficient use of existing towers and to save on investment, the sharing of telecom towers by multiple operators, including with a view to 5G, is being considered.

This could lead to companies investing more in installation in remote areas and greater penetration of mobile networks. This could help close the digital divide in rural areas, aiding in the technological democratization of the country, as suggested by the expert.

Points to clarify

The Government and tech companies are attempting to clarify public uncertainty regarding the health effects of being exposed to telecommunications infrastructure:

  • The closer an antenna is to your device, the lower the exposure level and the better the reception.
  • The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) states that there is no proof that exposure to electromagnetic fields is detrimental to health.
  • With that said, it is still recommended as a precaution to use hands-free if one is talking for extended periods of time or messaging.


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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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