DNA - Dec 7 2010
Absorption of electromagnetic radiation from a cell phone (frequency being GSM 900 MHz) penetrates the skull of an adult by 25%, that of a 10-year-old by 50% and a five-year-old by 75%, says a report on cell tower radiation which has been submitted by an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, professor to the department of telecommunications (DOT).
“The younger the child, the deeper is the penetration due to the fact that their skulls are thinner and still developing. Hence, it’s critical that children under 16 use cell phones only for short essential calls as they have much bigger danger of getting a brain tumor,” said the 30-page report written by Girish Kumar, electrical engineering department, IIT, Bombay.
Stating that currently there are over 50 crore cell phone users and nearly 4.4 lakh cell phone towers to meet the communication demand in India, the report recommends tightening the radiation norms, which must be simultaneously cost-effective without causing inconvenience to the users.
“A person should not use a cell phone for more than 18 to 24 minutes daily. This information is not commonly known to the people in India, so millions use cell phones for over an hour per day without realising its associated health hazards,” states the report.
“In India, we have adopted very relaxed radiation norms of 4.7 W/m2 (watt per metre square) for GSM 900, whereas serious health effects have been noted at as low as 0.0001 W/m2. It’s not just human beings, cell tower radiation can also adversely effect birds, animals and the environment. Though cell operators continue to claim that there are no health issues, it’s time we realised the seriousness of the health hazards due to radiation from cell phones and cell towers,” said Kumar.