AELB must clarify statement on radioactive pendants

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s (AELB) Executive Secretary’s denial about issuing any official statement on the radioactive pendant issue is bemusing to the Consumers Association of Penang.

We refer to the press statement issued by the Executive Secretary of the AELB on 19 September 2012, referring to CAP’s press statement wherein CAP had highlighted that the AELB had confirmed its tests on the Quantum Pendant (Fusionexcel) and SE Pendant (Cosway) which had shown that these pendants contained radioactivity concentrations of Thorium-232 and Uranium-238 at levels higher than that permitted by AELB.

This finding was contained in a letter dated 29 February 2012 to the Director General of Health and signed by Raja Dato’ Abdul Aziz Bin Raja Adnan as Executive Secretary of the AELB and stated that the decision to ban the use of these pendants [“untuk mengharamkan penggunaan pendant Quantum Pendant (Fusionexcel) dan SE Pendant (Cosway)”] was made at the 71st meeting of the AELB (Board) on 30 January 2012.

The letter also stated that the Board had agreed a press statement be made on the ban on the use of these pendants [“Lembaga juga bersetuju agar satu kenyataan akhbar dikeluarkan berhubung pengharaman pengunaan pendant tersebut”].

In an earlier letter dated 16 January 2012 Raja Dato’ Abdul Aziz Bin Raja Adnan signing as the Director General of the AELB had written to the Ministry of Health that the AELB felt the sale and use of these pendants was unnecessary and should be stopped immediately [“Jabatan AELB juga berpandangan bahawa penjualan dan penggunaan pendant adalah tidak wajar dan harus diberhentikan dengan serta merta”].

The Ministry of Health representative at the Board’s 71st meeting had informed the Board that there was no scientific evidence that the use of these pendants brought any benefit to the health of the wearers as claimed by the distributors of the pendants.  The letter containing this information had been forwarded to CAP by the Engineering Services Division of the Ministry of Health in July 2012.

We call on the Chief Secretary to the Government to look into this debacle. Were the AELB’s letters to the Ministry of Health that was forwarded to CAP authentic? Why is AELB now issuing a contradictory statement? In view of the inconsistency, we urge the Board to make public minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2012. The responsible authorities should be held accountable and carry out their duties for the sake of safeguarding public health.

Letter to the Editor, 27 September 2012