DNA - February 9, 2010
Mumbai: How to shield your building from the harmful affects of radiation? Ask Girish Kumar, the IIT Bombay professor, who has invented a shield that can be installed in concrete structures to block radiation.
A developer has asked Kumar to install his radiation shield in a 300-m building near the TV tower in Worli.
“Within a kilometre, the effect of radiation on human body is significant. This particular building (Palais Royale) in Worli is 800 metres south of the TV tower. Sree Ram Urban Infrastructure has approached me to shield the apartments in this building,” said Kumar. He said a TV tower emits 40 kw radiation.
The field test, done on January 14, showed that the shield reduced impact of radiation by 75% to 90%. Kumar is planning to place four shields on the building, a feet away from the windows, doors and balconies (up, down, left and right). “Shielding can be embedded in the walls during construction. This way it will not be visible. To my knowledge, it’s the first time a builder has thought of installing such shields,” he said.
Kumar said since the area is surrounded by FM radio towers, they are also planning to do an FM shielding. An FM tower emits 5 kw radiation.
“We plan to start talking to other builders to do shielding for all buildings in the area which are exposed to radiation from the TV or FM towers. Also, buildings are coming up within a 300-400 m area of the TV tower. So, it’s important to create awareness,” he said.
Kumar, a faculty at the institute’s electrical engineering department, had launched the radiation shield, a device that absorbs electro-magnetic radiation effectively, in 2008. While devices available in the market absorb only the radiation which falls on them, Kumar’s shield absorbs it from the whole surrounding.
Several concerns in the UK and the US have also shown interest in the product. “When I first launched this technology, there was a lot of resistance from industry. But now, people have started understanding the implications of exposure to radiation,” he said.
According to a paper published by Kumar, the short-term and long-term affects of radiation include memory loss, sleep disruption, headache, depression, irritability, ill-concentration, and appetite loss. “All are related to changes in electrical activity in the brain. The other effects include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, DNA damage, irreversible infertility and prostate cancer.
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