Mobile, Masts & Health
The health and safety of our customers, employees, contractors and the public is of paramount importance to Epic Communications Limited (‘Epic’). Our vision is to lead the industry in responding to public concerns about mobile devices, masts and health by demonstrating leading edge practices and encouraging others to follow.
How mobiles work
Mobile devices use radio waves also called electromagnetic fields (EMF), to send and receive calls, text, emails, pictures, web, TV and downloads. The radio fields carry a signal to the nearest base station, which sends the signal to a Mobile Core Network to a digital telephone exchange and on to the main telephone network. This connects the signal to the receiving mobile, again via a base station (if it is another mobile device). Without base stations mobiles will not work and we would not be able to connect our customers’ calls, nor would our customers be able to browse the internet on their mobile phones.
Base Stations and Health
The International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has issued guidelines for limiting exposure to RF fields, including for base stations. These ICNIRP guidelines have a safety margin built into them, and all our base stations comply. In fact, many times, public exposure to RF fields from our base stations is typically below the guideline limit. Based on thousands of scientific studies, the World Health Organization (WHO) concludes in its factsheet Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones, published in June 2011, that ‘no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use’.
Epic, as a key player in the local telecommunications market regularly provide the Malta Communications Authority with the updated precise location and technical details of each and every radio base station site we operate as part of our Nationwide Mobile Network. The Authority in turn conducts audits of the Electromagnetic Field (EMF) to ensure that emissions do not exceed the maximum guidelines for public exposure as set by the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) and by Local Maltese legislation. The results of these audits are available for the general public at the Malta Communications Authority’s Web Page under the EMF Results page. It is quite normal for readings not to be in excess of 5% of the limits required by law and by the ICNIRP standard.
Exposure from mobiles
Exposure to radio frequency (RF) fields from mobile devices is measured using the specific absorption rate (SAR) – the amount of energy from an RF field absorbed by the human body, expressed as watts per kilogram (W/kg). More information about this can be accessed by clicking here. The International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has issued guideline limits for the level of exposure to RF fields, including from mobile devices. These are based on published scientific findings and include a safety margin. We require mobile manufacturers to test all the devices we sell, to meet the guidelines.
International guidelines ensure that all mobile devices and their base stations operate within strict radio frequency (RF) exposure limits set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).