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Officials deny radar station causing harm

Officials deny radar station causing harm

Government authorities yesterday denied allegations by two families that the electromagnetic waves emitted by the radar at a meteorological station in their village had caused mental disabilities among their children. According to the authorities, the Chiku, Keelung radar station's electromagnetic waves were well within safety levels and there has been no concrete scientific evidence to prove that electromagnetic waves are hazardous to human health.
Chang's two youngest sons, one aged 11 and the other 10, have been diagnosed as having mild mental disabilities and her 6-year-old granddaughter as suffering severe metal disabilities. Also, the eight-year-old grandson of another woman, surnamed Lee, has been diagnosed as having developmental disabilities. All of the children live within 150 meters of the radar station, with Chang's family living only 50 meters away.
The two women and four children attended a press conference yesterday held under the auspices of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union.
Chen Shu-hua, who heads the union's team for electromagnetic wave victims, said the four children have been assessed by the Chi Mei Medical Center as suffering from mental and developmental disabilities with "no genetic defects found."
She pointed out that Chang's two youngest sons and her granddaughter are the only ones in her family who were raised close to the radar station, which represents the only major change in the family's living environment.
The electromagnetic waves recorded in the area when the radar is turned off registered at 3 uW/sq.m, as compared to 4,027 uW/sq.m when the radar is in operation, an increase of 1,000 times in intensity, Chen said.
More than 10 international studies have found that electromagnetic waves are harmful to human health, Chen said, adding that some researchers have found that soldiers who had worked with radar equipment for a long time have developed cancers, leukemia, brain tumors, arrhythmia and decreases in memory and neurological responses. She urged the Central Weather Bureau (中央氣象局) to face up to the fact of the radar station's threat to public health and to relocate it as soon as possible.
However, the CWB said it has conducted several tests on the radar station since an environmental protection group questioned the level of its electromagnetic waves. The CWB said the latest test conducted on October 17 showed that on average the electromagnetic waves emanating from the station were well within safety levels.
Su Shin-yuh, an official from the Bureau of Health Promotion under the Cabinet-level Department of Health, said the question of whether or not electromagnetic waves are harmful to human health is an old topic on which research had peak in the 50s and 60s.
Authoritative health organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, have yet to confirm that electromagnetic waves are hazardous to human health, Su said, adding that there has not been enough evidence to prove the case.


Updated : 2021-10-18 04:12 GMT+08:00