Radiation from cellphone towers harmless
Hyderabad: Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma said the government was approaching the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for improving cell phone services in remote areas of the state, especially extremists’ affected areas. Delivering the inaugural address at an awareness programme on emission of Electromagnetic Field (EMF) from cell towers organised by DoT, the CS said that cell towers were absolutely safe.
DoT deputy director general (CS) Dr. R.M. Chaturvedi said that after holding about 25,000 studies in 30 years, the WHO had arrived at the conclusion that scientific knowledge in this area was now more extensive than for most chemicals. “The WHO involved more than 50 national authorities and eight international organisations in the EMF project since 1996. They have been reviewing scientific information to provide scientifically sound answers to public concerns about the hazards of low-level EMF,” he said.
Mr Chaturvedi said that as per international norms an EMF of 10 watts per square meter was allowed from cell towers. “But, in India, we are using only 1 watt per square meter. We shall hold the testing at cell towers from Thursday to create awareness among the public,” he said. Explaining about the hazards of EMF, he said, “There is no harm from the frequencies released by cell towers. If the atmosphere temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius, it will have a little impact and if it increases to 50 degrees Celsius, public feel uncomfortable,” he said.
DoT DDG-TERM Shivendra Bhatnagar said a penalty of Rs 10 lakh per incidence was imposed in case of any cell tower violating EMF norms. “If violation persists, sites and towers can also be closed down,” he said. DoT DDG-TERM G. Gowri Shankar, DoT director M. Chandramoli, KREST foundation chairman Dr. Kakarla Subba Rao, IT expert Dr. T. Hanuman Chowdary, doctors and experts also took part in the programme.
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If random theories were to be believed, we would all have been dead by now or worse may have damaged the Blood cells, skin disorders, weak eyesight, hearing loss, balded, sexually and mentally incapacitated, given the mobile towers which are placed in close proximity of human in-habitation. Loss of Sparrows and Bees has already been blamed on the tower and site installations only not taking into account other factors including pollution, growing population and associated human infestation into animal habitat.
If latest reports by WHO, The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and National Green Tribunal (NGT) and Researchers from IIT Madras, IIT Bombay, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Delhi and IISc Bangalore are to be believed then there is no harmful impact of tower radiation on health.
In India, the concern in certain quarters about radiation from mobile towers arises from the highly flawed extrapolation of the fear of ionising radiation to the ultra-weak radio-frequency radiation from mobile towers and phones. This is the basic origin of the great Indian myth concerning mobile tower “radiation”.
While there is no denying that both cell towers and mobile phones emit radiation, but the emission levels are within regulations set by the regulator and the DoT in conjunction with Public health and medical research bodies. Stringent norms for telecom companies in India have been devised with the government stipulating a fine of Rs 10 lakh for violation and a penalty of more than Rs 10 crore for exceeding the prescribed limit for radiation from telecom towers. The mobile handsets too In India, are not allowed to emit radiation more than 1.6 watt/kilo, which is called SAR or specific absorption rate. This safety limit followed by India is far more stringent than norms followed by other developed countries. More so, these statistics when pitted against the standards followed by International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection suggest that India’s safety factor is 10 times stiffer than in 90 per cent countries.
There were concerns raised by WHO in 2014-15, suggesting that The government’s order to reduce the power of mobile towers’ radio frequency, to minimise harmful radiation, could be detrimental to humans. The experts believed that reduction in the power of a base station, the mobile handset transmits more frequency to stay connected to the network. As the handset is closer to the body, it could cause some health hazard. The estimated EMF radiation a mobile handset transmits is 1,000 times higher than that of a base station and the radiation exposure from a base station was about five times lower than from a television or a transistor.
The government which was under a lot of pressure from activists, citizen charters and residents’ organizations and the matter relates to the concern of citizens due to the lack of empirical research and data has come out in open to dismiss the myths attached to the current EMF standards and impact on human health. Last month Ravi Shankar Prasad, Telecom Minister cited WHO findings, mentioning no harmful impact of tower radiation on health.
On the hindsight, experts believe that the stringent norms set by the DoT could be detrimental to the country’s movement towards the next level of technology, such as 5G and have an adverse impact on quality of service and investments especially when The government is banking on mobile devices for the delivery of many citizen centric schemes such as financial inclusion and direct-benefit transfer. Radiation issues, which are not medically founded, could jeopardize these ambitious initiatives.
The original article was written and published by here.from Telecom Talk. Read the original article
In a report presented by a 13-member committee constituted by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), it’s concluded that the mobile tower radiation is harmless. India has has adopted ten times more stringent measures than the International Commission on Non Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which account for thermal and non-thermal effects, said the report.
“Radio frequency fields are among the most highly researched potential hazards. There are thousands of papers in literature and health agencies have reviewed all of them many times. Virtually all agree — that there are no demonstrated hazards from exposure to RF energy at levels below international (and Indian) limits. More research is needed, but the studies will have to be very well done, very large, and very focused — which will be very expensive. India should give more support to international efforts in this area, particularly the EMF project of the World Health Organisation,” says Dr. Kenneth R Foster at a press conference organised at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
The conference jointly organized by IIT-D and Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), New Delhi, in association with Health Environment Foundation, New Delhi was inaugurated by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Union Minister, Ministry of Communications and IT, Government of India, who released a background paper on EMF emissions from mobile towers.
“So far, no conclusive evidence has been found on adverse health effects of EMF radiation from the mobile handset by the World Health Organisation (WHO)…(and) so long as EMF radiation power levels in the vicinity of base stations of cellphone towers are below the prescribed limits, there should not be any cause of concern for adverse thermal health affects on human beings living close them,” the committee said in its report.
“Although there are plenty of studies conducted across the world on the topic, currently there is no conclusive scientific evidence which establishes that EMF has harmful non-thermal effects,” remarked the committee. “Some countries are taking a precautionary approach by reducing EMF levels below those specified by ICNIRP and India is one of them that has reduced prescribed EMF radiation levels by a factor of 10,” said the report.
The committee presented the report based on an Allahabad High Court order dated January 10, 2012. In the committee report, the panel has proposed few recommendations as well. The proposed recommendations ask the DoT to continue the extensive audit of the self-attested certificates being submitted by telecom service providers to ensure with prescribed stricter norms of EMF radiation from BTS towers. It has given the responsibility to further conduct the research on this topic to The Department of Science and Technology and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
In order to make the process transparent, the committee suggested creating a national EMF web portal where public can access the status of compliance to prescribed EMF norms. Finally, the committee calls for efforts to spread awareness on EMF and precautions to remove apprehensions regarding the possible health effects of radiation, which it claims to be created by certain sections of the people.
Meanwhile, telecom service providers have backed the report, saying their safety norms are strict and the mobile towers are harmless. “India’s mobile emission safety norms are strict and radiation from telecom towers is not a cause for concern,” Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in a statement.
“As fears of EMF (electro-magnetic fields) emission from towers in the people are misplaced, we have to collectively allay them (fears),” Association Director-General Rajan S Mathews said in a letter to MLA Ram Lal Sharma, who expressed concerns about the tower radiation. According to Mathews, any unwarranted concern over installing telecom towers would impact the government’s Digital India dream of the Prime Minister.
“Though India’s EMF guidelines are based on the WHO-commissioned ICNIRP’s (International Commission for NonIonising Radiation Protection) norms, which are followed by many countries worldwide, we have reduced its (ICNIRP) limits to one-tenth in 2011, becoming one of the safest countries,” the letter further pointed out.
The original article was written and published by Ria from The Telecom Times. Read the original article here.
With smartphones becoming more and more popular every day, and more people jumping to the bandwagon of owning phones, we have seen an aggressive expansion by telecom players in the world in order to serve usable connectivity options to these phones. This generally has resulted in more telecom players and partnerships in order to set up mobile towers to fight: a) a growing population b) a proportionately patterned growth in the number of phones and smart peripherals that require cellular connectivity.
With more mobile towers coming up, the fear of radiation from these towers have lead to plenty of NOCs being rejected which are required before the towers can be set up. The fear that the radiation emitted by these cell phone towers is potentially harmful has lead to several debates on numerous occasions and at numerous sites. Several times courts have been moved, there have been numerous reports published around the topic and the outcome or conclusion has always been the same, that radiation from these telecom towers is too diminutive to cause any sort of a significant medical damage.
Radiation from any given body is measured in terms of eV or electronvolts. An eV is the energy gained or lost by an electron moving across a potential difference of 1 volt. In fact, if you convert it to joules, one eV comes to be about 1.602176565(35)×10−19 of 1 Joule. Every single body that exists transmits some radiation. Some radiations have a higher frequency, which generally means they have a higher penetrating power and therefore may potentially be harmful. Such radiation is called ionising radiation and is commonly seen in UV Rays, gamma Rays, microwaves, x-rays etc. X-Rays for example, have their frequencies of around 100-1000eV while UV rays are in the region of about 40-50eV. RF waves that originate from these mobile towers, for instance, are about one millionth of 1eV, which is the visible light in itself. This implies that you are more likely to damage cells in your body by exposing yourself to light that staying close to a mobile tower. Numerous researches have been carried out in order to establish the harmful effects if any to mobile tower radiation, but it turns out your smartphones, where radiation is measured in SAR value, is potentially more damaging.
As for the international standards, the FCC has listed 580-1,000 microwatts per square cm as a safe limit. As a convention, India has permitted only one tenth of the maximum safe radiation limit for the cellular towers and a strict penalty is levied if they go beyond. So far, the only case where a defaulter was punished was at Siliguri’s Prakesh Nagar, where increasing the height of the tower solved the problem.
So, if you are worried about radiations from cellular towers, you should definitely read up more on the subject, because the only way to quench thirst is to drink more and more water. But, what eventually you will find out by reading a lot of judgement orders and studies is that there are plenty of other things that are more harmful, including the sunshine itself. So, if you have time, please go ahead but if you are someone for a quick summation, then no, there is nothing to worry here.
The original article was written and published by Riya from OnlyGizmos. Read the original article here.
There is absolutely no truth or scientific reasons that radiations from mobile towers and handsets have an adverse impact on humans or other living creatures, said the government in the Lok Sabha, on Wednesday.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wondered why such a debates arise only in India.
“Yeh vishay kyon Hindustan mein hee uthaye jaate haen (Why are such issues raised in India only?),” Prasad said during Question Hour, adding that globally all countries from the US to Korea use mobile towers abundantly.
“There is no substantial evidence. Even World Health Organisation (WHO) after 20 years of long studies has revealed there are no such threats,” Prasad said answering supplementary questions from BJP member Rama Devi and also from Ranjeet Ranjan (Congress).
Rama Devi wanted to know whether any empirical scientific research has been conducted the world over and in India on the impact of radiation from mobile towers.
“Especially it has been found that birds do not move around the mobile towers or do not undertake hatching,” she said.
Prasad said a scientific study by a team of experts assigned by the Allahabad High Court has found that there is no adverse impact on human health due to mobile towers.
“I also take this opportunity to say that most often we all complain about call drops. If you want that not to happen, please allow mobile towers to come up in your areas,” the minister said, adding, “Let us also be pragmatic. In today’s world, can we do without a mobile phone?”
Earlier, answering another question he told CPI-M member Sankar Prasad Datta that in the last two years the government has installed 24,000 mobile towers across the country and will soon set up over 20,000 more to improve connectivity.
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Originally published in The Times of India
Seeking to link the call drop problem with the campaign by some NGOs against mobile towers, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said the so-called radiation from such towers has never been an issue for these organisations in the US, Europe or even China.
Prasad said misplaced concerns of mobile tower radiation could seriously jeopardise India’s path to greatness as seamless mobility could be affected by such unfounded fears.
“This question troubles me a lot. Why this is not an issue in the US, Europe, China, why some of the biggest NGOs have taken this issue in India, why should you presume,” he said at a conference on ‘Electromagnetic Emissions in Mobile Telephony and its Health Impact’ at IIT-Delhi.
The conference was jointly organised by IIT-D and Maulana Azad Medical College, in association with Health Environment Foundation, New Delhi.
Citing WHO reports, he said, there is no concrete evidence of any harmful effect from such radiations as of now.
“When I became the minister…I saw all the WHO reports and then I found that as of now there is no evidence to suggest that radiation effects are there…I see 30,000 samples of WHO clearly saying there is no harmful effect, repeatedly over the years,” Prasad said.
In India, the government has fixed the EMF radiation limit which is 10 per cent stricter than the international guidelines and whenever there is any violation, a fine of Rs 10 crore is imposed.
“Till now we have imposed about Rs 10 crore as fine on those whose towers were found to be emitting radiations beyond the permissible limits,” he said.
He also noted that complain against call drops and campaign against towers cannot go hand-in-hand.
“If there is a technology that (suggests) without towers or BTS, mobile signals can go, tell me,” he said.
Kenneth R Foster of the University of Pennsylvania, USA said: “Radio frequency fields are among the most highly researched potential hazards. There are thousands of papers in literature and health agencies have reviewed all of them many times. Virtually all agree that there are no demonstrated hazards from exposure to RF energy at levels below international (and Indian) limits.”
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Mumbai: Telecom experts and doctors of international repute in a joint conference on ‘Electromagnetic Emissions in Mobile Telephony and its Health Impact’ at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi on Thursday said that electromagnetic emissions from mobile towers are not linked to health hazards as has been found by years of scientific research. The conference jointly organized by IIT-D and Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), New Delhi, in association with Health Environment Foundation, New Delhi was inaugurated by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Union Minister, Ministry of Communications and IT, Government of India, who released a background paper on EMF emissions from mobile towers.
The conference, which drew experts from around the world, had among its speakers Dr. M. C. Mishra, Director AIIMS, Dr. Kenneth R. Foster, University of Pennsylvania, USA, Dr. C. K. Chou, ICES (International Committee on EMF Emissions) IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer) and Mr. S. S. Sirohi, former Member, Telecom Commission, Government of India.
Addressing the participants at the conference, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “As responsible citizens, it is our duty to understand the importance of this conference. Misplaced concerns of mobile tower radiation could seriously jeopardise India’s path to greatness as seamless mobility could be affected by such unfounded fears. Thousands of research has been done on the subject and so far there is no conclusive evidence to link mobile tower emissions to human health hazards.”
The minister, who has been vocal about the myths and misnomers relating to EMF-related fears, released a background paper on the subject. The paper focuses on some of the most relevant issues of mobile telephony, including the Digital India dream and the talked about possible link between EMF emissions and its health effects. In addition to this, the paper also covers the opinions of select expert organizations on radiations emanating from cell towers and their possible impacts on human health.
Dr. Kenneth R. Foster of the University of Pennsylvania, USA, said, “Radio frequency fields are among the most highly researched potential hazards. There are thousands of papers in literature and health agencies have reviewed all of them many times. Virtually all agree — that there are no demonstrated hazards from exposure to RF energy at levels below international (and Indian) limits.
I have been involved in the field for over 45 years and nothing has changed — activists make lists of reported effects they consider to show there might be health problem at low-exposure levels, and health agencies extensively review these lists and do not see clear evidence of a problem. More research is needed, but the studies will have to be very well done, very large, and very focused — which will be very expensive. India should give more support to international efforts in this area, particularly the EMF project of the World Health Organisation.”
Echoing his views, Dr. C. K. Chou, well-known expert in the field of electromagnetic emissions, said, “There has understandably been concerns about the effects from the so-called radiation. However, it is equally important to note that there has been nothing so far to indicate that health issues and EMF are related. In fact, numerous studies on the subject — even those seeking to draw a link have been unable to do so.”
“Research on non-ionizing radiation and its effects on human health have found no conclusive evidence to link the two. As the head of a committee to look into the subject, I found that various international organisations of international repute, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded that there is no evidence to link mobile tower emissions with any health hazards,” said Mr. S. S. Sirohi, former Member Technology, DoT. Mr. Sirohi served as Chairman of the all-important Committee of Multidisciplinary Experts set up under the direction of the Allahabad High Court for examining issues related to EMF emissions or radiation from mobile towers and handsets. As per the Court’s orders, there were Institute-nominated representatives from the five IITS of Mumbai, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Delhi, Roorkee and other eminent experts from institutions like the Indian Council of Medical Research, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research-Lucknow, AIIMS, TEC, DST, etc. The Committee submitted its findings and recommendations to the Hon’ble High Court.
Dr. K. Thyagarajan, Director, IIT Delhi, said he was happy that so many scientists and experts had come together for the conference. Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Thyagarajan said, “I want to thank all telecom scientists and doctors for having come together to this first-of-its-kind conference on EMF in India and hope that we shall be able to have fruitful discussions on a subject, which has been the subject of debate.”
The conference saw many participants who had come to hear the experts and the Minister speak on a subject that has been shrouded in myths.
Fears about the ill effects of EMF from mobile towers are founded and baseless. There is no reason for caution concerning ill effects on human health by electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation from mobile network towers in light of the fact that the standard limit embraced in India represents every natural impact of radiation.
Truth be told, the standards set by India are much lower than the universally embraced suggestions of the International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which represent thermal and non-thermal impacts, said a report put together by a 13-member advisory board constituted by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) based on an Allahabad High Court request dated January 10, 2012.
Shripad Naik, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, addressed the media in April 2015 and clarified, “The Indian Council of Medical Research, the pinnacle body in India for the detailing, coordination and advancement of biomedical research, elucidated that there is no experimental confirmation demonstrating using cell phones will bring about mental or physical ailment.”
Citing from the WHO factsheet:
- A man retains five times more RF from FM radio or TV than from base tower station.
- Holding a cell phone against the ear raises the cerebrum’s temperature by under 0.1 degrees Celsius.
- RF exposure from base station is 0.002% to 2% of the worldwide standards set by ICNIRP.
- In spite of the fact that just a couple of epidemiological studies have been directed, there is no confirmation of tumours in youngsters.
From the existing body of work, it is clear from the existing council of research on mobile tower radiation that we can’t trust the cases raised by individuals who are not specialists in the field of EMF. Unless we have conclusive evidence let us put our faith in baseless and hearsay facts about radiation and its effects.
The article was published by Srikapardhi from telecomtalk.info. Read the original article here – http://telecomtalk.info/experts-opine-mobile-tower-radiations-are-not-harmful/151788/
We all have been afraid of mobile towers close to our homes some time or the other. It was (and probably still is) considered that the radiations originating from these mobile network towers adversely affects human health. And because of this some residential societies even force shut down the mobile network towers operating in their premises.
However, this is not true…
TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) claims that EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) radiations from mobile network towers doesn’t have adverse health effects either on adults or children.
Multiple judgment from various high courts across the country also reinforce the fact that mobile towers don’t have any bad effect on our health. There is no scientific evidence that proves how these radiations affect human health badly.
“A number of judgments delivered by the High Courts in Gujarat, Kerala, Allahabad, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh have ruled that there is no conclusive evidence to prove that EMF radiation emitted from mobile towers has adverse effects on health. Thus, they cannot potentially harm humans,” said Agneshwar Sen, TRAI Advisor (B&CS).
India Has Very Stringent Radiations Guidelines
India has one of the most stringent EMF radiation guidelines in the world. It is currently kept at 1/10th of the global emission norms recommended by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), recognized by WHO.
“TRAI and DoT have implemented stringent emission norms that ensure no adverse effects on human health from mobile tower emissions,” mentioned TRAI Principal Advisor Suresh Kumar Gupta.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) also charges a heft penalty to any operator violating these guidelines on even a single mobile tower.
“The EMF penalty norm that has been set by the Department of Telecom (DoT) as on November 2013 levies a penalty ofRs. 10 lakh per tower site per telecom service provider if they fail to comply with the set standards,” Gupta added.
To ensure that all telecom providers are adhering to the guidelines, the Telecom Enforcement Resource Monitoring (TERM) cell checks the EMF radiations emitted by 10% of the base stations and roof top towers of all telecom providers in the country. Only one EMF radiation violation was found in West Bengal and that was rectified by increasing the height of the mobile tower.
TRAI Advisor also said that the inadequate number of functional mobile network towers was one of the main reason for poor quality of service of many telcos. This can easily be overcome by increasing the number of base stations in the country.
The article was published by Anand Karwa from trak.in. Read the original article here – http://trak.in/tags/business/2016/01/22/mobile-towers-health-harm-trai/