A communication expert, Professor Chris Ogbondah has urged cell phone manufacturers to ensure proper labelling to sensitise users on side effects of their products.
He stated this on Friday at the 24th International Conference/Annual General Meeting of the African Council for Communication Education (ACCE), Nigeria chapter held at the Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna.
The theme of the conference is: “Communication, freedom, governance and regulations in digital era; issues, challenges and options”.
Ogbondah, a professor of Journalism, University of Northern Iowa, United States, said the measure was imperative to educate users on associated health risks of cell phones.
“Just like Tobacco, GSM makers and vendors should be complelled to put out warning messages on packages that the use of GSM can be harmful.
“Regulators must mount public enlightenment campaigns on safer ways to use GSM,” he said.
The manufacturers, he said, should focus onpsychological and health effects in spite its numerous benefits of digital media to the society,
The don identified some of the side effects to include the diversion of interest from books to internet and smartphones thereby undermining physical interpersonal interactions.
“GSM-based stations in neighborhoods causes radiation exposure which results to health challenges such as fatigue, dizziness, cancer, among others”.
Earlier, the ACCE president, Prof. Abdullahi Sani-Bashir said theme of the conference foresighted the advent of numerous digital media that changed the communication landscape.
“You see breaking news by an individuals on social media challenging conventional journalism,” he said, adding that peddlers of fake news and misinformation were utilising digital platforms to share information.
He said the conference would enable the participants to discuss and analyse on ways to approach issues of regulation in the society.
“It will also advise stakeholders on how to regulate digital media in a way that would not contradict social values and developmental need”.
The conference has in attendance lecturers, researchers, practitioners and students drawn from various institutions.