A comparative study was conducted between residents exposed and not exposed to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from TELCO towers in Penang Island with the objective of determining the possible health effects using 14 non-specific health symptoms (NSHS). Interviews on 201 respondents were conducted using structured questionnaire for demographic details, health related problems and the public concern. Comparison of symptoms frequencies and its significance (Chi-square test) between the exposed and not exposed residents from the TELCO tower showed statistical significance (p < 0.05) for headache, giddiness, insomnia, loss of memory, diarrhea, mental slowness, reduced reaction time and mood swing. The odds ratio for the development of the NSHS scored > 1 for all that gave a conclusion that respondents who were exposed were more likely to suffer symptoms as compared to the respondents who were not exposed to EMR. This outcome showed that the existence of TELCO tower in these communities has detrimental health effects towards the residents who were exposed to the electromagnetic fields radiation that was emitted. Measures to be taken to minimize adverse health effects on residents should include imposing more stringent guidelines in terms of safety distance and radiation intensity, practicing of WHO precautionary approach, encouraging electromagnetic fields radiation related conference, researches and public awareness, sharing of transceivers by TELCO companies and using protective barriers. These steps will ultimately promote a healthier, harmonious and sustainable living environment.
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