Yerevan residents on Baghramyan Avenue are concerned
that satellite dishes being placed on their building
by Armentel may be harmful to their health.
The telephone company recently put up three high-powered
units as a means of improving its cellular phone
But some 200 occupants of the 16-story Building
No. 25 are more concerned with potential health
hazards than with advanced communication.
The building supervisor Gayane Mkrtchyan says
apartment No. 63 at the top of the building was
bought in November and renovation soon began.
Residents of the privatized building got their
first look at the renovated apartment one week
ago. They say they found a windowless and door-less
unit with several layers of stone. They say they
fear that the strange bunker-like unit is so heavy
it could damage nearby units.
But it is mostly the fear of the unseen that
has residents worried.
One resident, an older woman named Mary says
she worries about radioactive particles emanating
from the antennas.
"It is invisible, colorless death that has
no smell and which shows itself years later,"
Deputy director of the Yerevan Radiophysics Research
Institute, PhD, and Academician of the International
Academy of the Ecology and Vital Functions Security
Suren Martirosyan shares inhabitants' concerns.
Antennas connected to special generators and
capable of high-capacity shortwave signals should
not be placed in a residential building Martirosyan
Residents are also charging that the Armentel
equipment has validation dates that expired more
than a year ago, and which violate Armenian law,
as their certification is not written in Armenian.
are countries with which we have contracts on
mutual acceptance of the certificates, but anyway,
those certificates have to be approved in Armenia,"
says Head of the Inspection and Certification
Department of the Ministry of Communications and
Transportation Haikandukht Baroyan. "In case
the validity date of the certificate has expired,
one shouldn't even think of the legitimacy."
For its part, Armentel spokesperson Hasmik Chutilyan
dismisses the residents' fears saying "people
panic without any ground".
Residents of Building No. 25 have appealed to
the Ministry of Healthcare for a ruling on whether
their health might be jeopardized by the dishes.
A committee is to meet and make a decision tomorrow
But even if specialists of the Ministry decide
that antennas are not dangerous residents of the
building say they will not allow Armentel to keep
"Even in case those antennas are not dangerous
and are made of chocolate, we have a right to
restrict their placement," Mary says.