Cancer fear 'not behind' radar move

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 October, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 October, 1999, 12:00am

Installing a new radar system has nothing to do with fears that the present one poses a cancer hazard, a police commander said yesterday.

Marine Police Regional Commander Foo Tsun-kong told legislators the new $16.5 million system would be able to receive data from the Marine Department's new digital vessel traffic services system. The services system will be commissioned in 2003, when the radar will also come into operation.

Operation of the surveillance system will be hampered if the present system, which used an analogue format, was not replaced.

A marine officer earlier submitted a report to superiors claiming that the incidence of cancer among marine police and their families is higher than that among the general population.

They are concerned about whether radiation from the radar causes the higher rate.

Mr Foo reiterated that past research had shown no correlation, but promised to take a fresh look.

Senior Project Engineer Tang Chi-kuen of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department said the department would follow international guidelines to monitor radar radiation levels.