Thursday, February 10, 2011

India has worst radiation norms: report

Mumbai: An Inter Ministerial Report submitted to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has recommended the cutting down of mobile phone tower radiation by one-tenth of the present level.

The 5.4 lakh mobile phone towers in the country pose a huge threat to the health of the citizens. Experts say that the amount of radiation emitted from these towers in a day, is equivalent to putting one's body in an oven for 19 minutes!

India has the worst cell phone tower radiation norms in the world. The upper limit is so high that within 2 years the health of 1 crore Indians could be affected.

But if the recommendations of the Inter Ministerial Report on cell phone tower radiation submitted to the Department of Telecommunications are accepted, then soon there will be stricter restrictions on towers being installed near high density residential areas and schools.

At present we follow the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNRIP) guidelines for radiation, which allow a radiation rate of 9.2 watt per sq meter to be emitted. The report recommends this level should come down by one-tenth. At the same time the report clearly states that the safe limit for our health is 1000 times less than even the recommended limit.

Experts, like Prof Girish Kumar, Head of Department for Electrical Engineering, IIT Bombay who have been studying the harmful effects of radiation for three decades, aren't very optimistic.

“The number of people having health problems is more in the areas where radiation levels are high. We have adopted the worst radiation norm in the entire world,” said Prof Kumar.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has flagged off a large scale research project to examine the health impact of mobile tower radiation

“It is the largest study in country we will enroll 4500 people. This is a prospective study. Generally only one aspect is covered in such studies but we are covering all aspects and all disorders be it neurological, cancer, cardiac, ENT-related, reproductive, behavioral in this study,” informed Dr RS Sharma, Deputy DG, ICMR.

Meanwhile, The DoT has not set any time frame for responding to this report.

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