A unique mission: Beijing man tests radiation in the communityMarch 8th, 2009 - 12:27 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, March 8 (Xinhua) Holding a black electronic gadget, Cheng Jing, a 38-year-old man who lives here carefully reads the figures on its screen and jots them down in a notebook. Cheng is a voluntary “radiation examiner” in the community.
Cheng began his free-of-charge initiative to measure radiation of home appliances and power transmission facilities some two months ago.
For the past two years, many residents in Baiziwan have been worrying about electromagnetic radiation released by high-voltage wires in the area.
A mobile-phone transmission tower, which was erected close to the residential block, further deepened their concerns about radiation.
In Beijing, as in many other Chinese cities, residents have set up their own online forums to discuss threats from radiation as well as to find a way out. The Baiziwan Forum was flooded with queries about threats from radiation.
Some people suggested that they should hire professional agencies to help test the electromagnetic radiation in their apartments. Such a test by a professional agency normally costs around 1,500 yuan ($219) per visit, and the results come out in three working days.
Cheng, who majored in electronic engineering in college and now works with a telecommunication company, has studied the impacts of radiation on humans for few years.
He found that a portable testing device was a good and low-cost way to measure radiation in private houses. One could easily buy a portable radiation-testing device from Taobao.com, a leading e-shopping website in the country.
“These devices are authentic and quality ones, with official certification,” he said.
So far, the man has tested electromagnetic radiation for nearly 30 families in Baiziwan and in the neighbouring areas. The results have all turned out to be safe.
Recently, Cheng posted the detailed results of some of his tests, on the high-voltage electric transmission towers and the mobile-phone relay stations.
He assured his neighbours that the electromagnetic radiation in their community is within the safe range.
“I just want to clear my neighbours’ doubts and worries,” Chen said.
What Cheng has done has indicated a rising demand for electromagnetic radiation testing among the Beijing residents.
Some people have doubted if his test results are reliable and accurate.
“People who want to get an accurate and authoritative result should better go to the professional institutions,” said Song Guangsheng, director of the National Indoor Environment Test Centre.
Results of radiation tested by individuals cannot be used as evidence in court. In most cases they are not accurate enough, Song said.
Although home appliance manufacturers and power-supply companies claimed that their products are safe, more and more Chinese have expressed their concerns worries about threats from radiation.
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