Friday, June 24, 2011

MOBILE PHONE & TOWER RADIATION HAZARDS - Council For Fair Business Practices (CFBP)

Council For Fair Business Practices (CFBP) organized seminar on "MOBILE PHONE & TOWER RADIATION" on Friday 24th June, 2011 at 06.00 p.m at the Hall of Indian Merchants Chamber, Churchgate, Mumbai 400 020.

Below is presentation by Prof. Girish Kumar, IIT Bombay:


Media Coverage : The Free Press Journal June 28, 2011 - The Free Press: Mobile tower radiation can cause serious harm, says IIT don

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Juhi Chawla: Radiation from Sahyadri Guesthouse is cancer risk to Malabar Hill residents

A few months ago, worried about the cell towers bristling over the Sahyadri Government Guest House opposite her Malabar Hill residence, actor-producer Juhi Chawla had an independent audit conducted to assess the levels of Electro Magnetic Radiation around her house. “The report was startling,” said the bubbly actor, speaking at a prominent business chamber in the city some months ago. “The radiation levels were higher than the extreme high end of 2000 megawatt per square metre all around my house! This is a cause for concern, not only for my family, but also for all the people living in Malabar Hill. Of course there are similar neighbourhoods throughout the city! I have sent a letter to our Member of Parliament Milind Deora about this problem, and I ask you all to do something to address this serious problem,” she said. She added that safe limits recognized for such radiation was less than 600 MW/sq m.

The auditor, CTIL Techno Solutions Ltd, reported that radio frequency (RF) readings indicated “strong anomaly” i.e. 1000 to 1999 MW/sq m and “extreme anomaly” i.e. Over 2000 MW/sq m around her apartment, and recommended the use of anti-radiation wallpapers and films to minimize exposure. Standards of the International Commission for Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) were applied for making these measurements and recommendations.

Juhi Chawla mentioned how seeing a huge cluster of cellphone towers near Haji Ali Juice Center – a popular South-Bombay hangout -- had made her extremely uncomfortable about how we were living our lives, unmindful of the risks.

At the meeting, however, there were business leaders present, who played down the urgency of the issue, and advocated a slow-slowly approach. It was clear that the loss of business opportunities was a bigger concern to them than cancer risks faced by the common man, and the extinction of keystone species disrupting the ecological balance of the entire region.

From an RTI activist’s point of view, I am putting things into public domain, so that they are known and discussed. We all are aware of the numbers of cell towers multiplying on building terraces and also traffic flyovers. I happen to know that a majority of these towers are not duly licensed by the municipal corporation. A lot of work is required to be done in this area.
In December 2010, Prof. Girish Kumar of IIT Powai, submitted a DETAILED REPORT ON CELLTOWER RADIATION TO DEPTT. OF TELECOM:

“We had developed radiation shield to absorb undesired radiation but instead of promoting our product, we tried to convince Govt of India to adopt better radiation norms as in India. We had adopted worst radiation norm in the world. Finally, Inter-ministerial report has come and they admitted that there are several health problems due to cell tower radiation,” he says.


“If we adopt better Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) norms, then you do not have to get the radiation measurement done and also no shielding will be required (will save lots of money for all of you and protect the entire country, human beings, birds, animals, plants, trees, environment, etc).” he adds. His report has a lot of details about how sparrows, bees and other sensitive species are rapidly going extinct due to concentration of cell towers.

Besides being Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department of IIT Mumbai, Prof. Girish runs Wilcom Technologies Pvt. Ltd. which is an IIT- incubated company. His Contact details:
IIT: (022) 2576 7436, Fax - (022) 2572 3707 email-
Wilcom Technologies: (022) 2784 1340, Fax - (022) 2784 1325
email - Website:

Besides Prof. Girish, there are two other points at which a journalist or rti activist can get details of EMR RADIATION READINGS & CELLPHONE CONCENTRATIONS IN VARIOUS PARTS OF MUMBAI, DELHI etc:

• CTIL Techno-Solutions, a Delhi based company, which undertakes research into radiation levels for private individuals. (See this press release: )

• Its associated company Cogent EMR Solutions Limited (Okhla) 01140506400 (Azadpur) 01127217402

Other Recommended reading material:

1. Exposure Guidelines in various countries:

2. Greenpeace India report on Celltowers’ dependence on subsidized Diesel in rural areas:

Report by:
Krishnaraj Rao
98215 88114


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Presentation on Cell tower Radiation Hazard - By Prof Girish Kumar, Electrical Engineering Department I.I.T.

Presentation on Cell tower Radiation Hazard at DJ sanghvi college, an
Engineering College in Mumbai. Edited version of the video in 2 parts
By Prof Girish Kumar, Electrical Engineering Department I.I.T. Bombay, Powai, Mumbai - 400076, INDIA

Inform public about health hazard of mobile towers: Punjab and Haryana High Court to Govt and mobile companies

Inform public about health hazard of mobile towers: HC to Govt

Indian Express - Jun 08 2011
Raghav Ohri

Expressing concern over the effects of radiation from mobile towers installed in residential areas, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that it is the duty of the government and mobile companies to inform residents about the harmful effects. A division bench ruled the government will be duty bound to inform the public living where a mobile tower is to be erected, about the “amount of radiation it will emit” and its harmful effects thereof on the health of people. The information will have to be supplied in the shape of a public notice, the court ruled, before the mobile tower is erected. The HC also directed the companies in the business of installing mobile towers to do the same.

The directions were passed on an appeal by M/s Wireless TT Info Services Limited and another which had moved the HC against Haryana, challenging the validity of Haryana Municipal (erection of communication towers) by-laws, 2009. HC has upheld by-laws. The petitioner had challenged the levy of tax, terming it unreasonable.

Making it clear that "there is no absolute right to carry on any business, the Bench ruled that it (business) is always subject to reasonable restriction and regulation", and highlighted the damage being caused due to the radiation originating from mobile towers. "It will be the duty of the local authorities to issue a public notice for information of all concerned where the permission for erection of a tower is being considered or granted to apprise the public as to what amount of radiation it will emit and the effect thereof on the health of the people living in the area," read the judgment.

The HC held that "the mobile emit signals in the form of radio waves. It is also feared that the radio waves can cause changes to the cells in our brain. If the DNA in the brain cells gets damaged, they may become cancerous and cause brain tumours. It is also feared that the radio waves can alter chemical and electrical reactions in our brain, changing, in effect, the way the brain cells communicate. Studies conducted have revealed that sparrows have declined in the most contaminated electromagnetic fields".

Link -

Monday, June 13, 2011

Doctors warn of mobile radiation

The Hindu - NEW DELHI, June 13, 2011

Welcome proposal of declaration of radiation levels on handsets

Close on the heels of an inter-ministerial group recently proposing mandatory declaration of radiation levels on each mobile handset, doctors in the city have welcomed the move.

“It is essential that people realise that there is the danger of exposure to radiation and create awareness about it,” said Dr. Anita Khokhar, professor at the Department of Community Medicine at Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjang Hospital

The inter-ministerial group was set up to evaluate the evidence of the negative health-related effects of radiation emitted by mobile phones and towers. The group has submitted its report to the Government in which it has proposed, among other things, mandatory declaration of radiation levels on each mobile handset. It has also proposed a revision of the limit of 2 watts per kilogramme averaged over 10 gram tissue to 1.6 watts per kilogramme.

The report has been placed on the Internet for public comments and suggestions.

“People rarely realise the importance of being aware about the problem of exposure to radiation but the fact that the Government is now acknowledging that there might be a problem and that there is a need to look into it is a positive step forward,” added Dr. Khokhar.

In the case of mobile towers, the group has recommended radiation norms which are ten times as strict as the existing ones -- from f/200 watts per square metre to f/2000 watts per square metre.

“There has been the confusion about radiation and its harmful effects. Doctors have been advising people against very young children being allowed to use cell phones for long hours and even adults being exposed to its radiation due to over-use. Though there are no decisive studies about its ill effects, it is essential to warn people. And while an authoritative study about the extent of negative health effects would still take time it would be better to avoid overexposure,” said a senior official at Indian Council of Medical Research. - The Hindu : NATIONAL / NEW DELHI : Doctors warn of mobile radiation

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Towering Problem

Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 16 November, 2010

The DoT will start a random check of the radiation levels of telecom towers all over the country,
though the extent of the damage is still being debated.

Cellphone tower making you ill? Write to the govt

Cellphone tower making you ill? Write to the govt
6th June 2010, Mumbai mirror

JJ Hospital, Mumbai says no to Mobile Towers

Mumbai Mirror , 24-2-2009

15 cancer cases near mobile towers

Mobile tower radiation fear grips Andheri colony
Hindustan Times, 3.2.2011, Page 6

In the past five years, more than 15 housewives living in Sher-e-Punjab colony in Andheri (East) have suffered from various forms of cancer. Although there is no proof of a direct link, residents are drawing parallels between the appearance of the first cancer case and the installation of the first mobile phone tower in the society nearly seven years ago.

In cell phone manufacturers own words!

Especially for all Blackberry and iPhone users - The manual says it all!

Blackberry Bold 9700 Safety and Product information guide.
Page 18. It says "keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 in. (25 mm) from your body when the BlackBerry device is transmitting."

Complete manual can be viewed at -

iPhone 4 Product Guide - "keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body.." Page 6.

Manual available at -

We hope since the handset manufactures are well aware of this problem themselves , in future they pay more attention in this aspect, invest in better technology and come up with a better product.

Monday, June 6, 2011

State to nix cell towers on schools, hospitals

Times of India - 7 June 2011, Page 1

Mumbai: Taking a cue from the widespread concern about mobile towers installed on school and hospital buildings, the Maharashtra government is all set to amend the Development Control (DC) Rules in this regard. Of the 1,600 mobile towers in Mumbai, nearly 500 (or 30%) are atop schools and hospitals. The remaining are on private or commercial buildings. “Since fears have been expressed about the radiation from mobile towers, we are readying to remove them from school and hospital buildings,” a senior official told TOI on Monday. “Once the DC rules are amended, it will be mandatory for the operators to remove the towers within six months.”

As per the proposed amendment, the operator will have to submit a certificate stating that the emission is within the permissible level and an undertaking that the existing tower will be removed within six months. “New Delhi has already imposed stringent restrictions on mobile towers. We have proposed that they should be at least six metres away from a school or hospital and that the radar should not face the school or hospital,” the official said. The proposed measures will be implemented by the concerned civic corporation.

Prof. Girish Kumar to help Kolkata city to tackle radiation

IIT expert to help city tackle tower radiation - The Bengal Post, Sunday May 15 2011, Page 5

Subhankar Chowdhury

With fears being raised on the effects of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone towers on the health of humans, an expert from IIT has approached the West Bengalpollution control board and offered his help in tackling the problem. According to a recent report of the PCB, the intensity of electromagnetic radiation in the city has been increasing and could pose a health hazard to residents.

In a bid to deal with the problem effetively, Girish Kumar, a professor of IIT Bombay, who is also a researcher in the field, wrote to the board on Friday, offering to share his expertise with the board in tackling the menance.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

No mobile towers near high density residential areas, schools, playgrounds & hospitals + stricter norms + mandatory SAR on handset

Telcos scurry to conform to norms - Times of India - June 5, 2011

NEW DELHI: Indian telecom companies are scurrying to conform to the government's stipulated health norms in light of growing evidence on the cancerous nature of cellphone radiation.

There has been an amendment in the Access Service Licenses — mandating self-certification radiation levels of cellphone towers — to ensure compliance with WHO-endorsed guidelines of International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The stricture led 5, 88,645 out of 6, 05,859 base stations to get self-certification till March 31, 2011.

Speaking to TOI, Union minister of state for communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot said non-compliance to the stipulated radiation limits carries a penalty of Rs five lakh for every mobile tower.

Talking on the cellphone could cause a malignant form of brain cancer, said International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently. It classified radiation emanating from cellphones alongside gasoline engine exhaust, lead and DDT as "possibly carcinogenic to humans".

IARC said, "The WHO/IARC has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use."

Pilot said, "We are not going to compromise with radiation limits since it has health-related concerns. The department of telecommunications set up an Inter Ministerial Group in August, 2010, to evaluate the evidence, revisit radiation guidelines for mobile towers and adopt guidelines for radiation emission by cell phones. This group has recommended radiation limits more stringent than that of the United Nations."

He added, "We had called for self certification of all mobile towers. Almost 90% of the towers have completed doing so. We have extended their time frame for six more months. However, the radiation limits they are complying to are the old ones. Once new compliance levels kick in, finalized by the Department of Telecom (DoT), they will have to conform to them too."

The Inter Ministerial Group in its report made some salient recommendations about mobile handsets. The group proposed revising the limit of 2 watts per kilogram averaged over 10 grams tissue to 1.6 watts per kilogram averaged over 1 gram tissue. It also called for mandatory declaration of radiation level on each mobile handset. As far as mobile towers are concerned they recommended radiation norms which are ten times as strict as the existing ones- from f/200 watts per square meter to f/2000 watts per square meter.

The group said mobile towers should not be installed near high density residential areas, schools, playgrounds and hospitals.

"The localized specific absorption rate (SAR) value as per the Indian guidelines is 2 watt per kg, averaged over a six minute period and using a 10 gram average mass. With higher SAR — a measure of the amount of radiofrequency energy absorbed by the body while using a phone of mobile handsets — the public could potentially receive much higher radiofrequency exposure. We have recommended that SAR levels to be lowered to 1.6 watt/kg, as prescribed by the Federal Communication Commission of US," said experts.

Girish Kumar, professor in department of electrical engineering at IIT Bombay, whose research on hazards of cellphone use was taken as a reference for the committee decision, said, "There is a 40% increase in the risk of brain cancer among teenagers using cell phones for long periods. The younger the child, the deeper is the penetration of electromagnetic radiation as children's skulls are thinner."

Another Jawaharlal Nehru University study found that the exposure to radiation from mobile towers and cellphones could have an adverse impact on male fertility and pose health hazards by depleting the defence mechanism of cells. The report also suggested that children, adolescents and pregnant women should avoid excessive use of cellphones. People should use hands-free technologies to minimize the contact of the head with cellphone. "People having active medical implants should keep their cellphone at least 30 cm away from the implant," it added.

Related links:
(1) Stricter radiation emission guidelines soon: Sachin Pilot -

(2) Telcos scurry to conform to norms -

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cell phone use 'possibly carcinogenic'

Cell phones potentially linked to cancer [CBS News Online]

Neurosurgeon: 'Your Cell Phone Is Not Necessarily a Safe Device'

Behind the Science: Response to IARC Classification of Cell Phones as Possible Carcinogenic

Dr. Otis Brawley is the chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.

Mobile phone use may cause cancer: WHO

Jun 1, 2011 - Times of India

PARIS: Mobile phone users may be at increased risk from brain cancer and should use texting and free-hands devices to reduce exposure, the World Health Organisation's cancer experts said.

Radio-frequency electromagnetic fields generated by such devices are "possibly carcinogenic to humans," the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced at the end of an eight-day meeting in Lyon, France.

Experts "reached this classification based on review of the human evidence coming from epidemiological studies" pointing to an increased incidence of glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, said Jonathan Samet, president of the work group.

Two studies in particular, the largest conducted over the last decade, showed a higher risk "in those that had the most intensive use of such phones," he said in a telephone news conference.

Some individuals tracked in the studies had used their phones for an average of 30 minutes per day over a period of 10 years.

"We simply don't know what might happen as people use their phones over longer time periods, possibly over a lifetime," Samet said.

There are about five billion mobile phones registered in the world. The number of phones and the average time spent using them have both climbed steadily in recent years.

The CTIA-The Wireless Association dismissed the report saying the UN agency "conducts numerous reviews and in the past has given the same score to, for example, pickled vegetables and coffee."

This classification "does not mean cell phones cause cancer," the industry association said in a statement, noting that "limited evidence from statistical studies can be found even though bias and other data flaws may be the basis for the results."

The IARC cautioned that current scientific evidence showed only a possible link, not a proven one, between wireless devices and cancers.

"There is some evidence of increased risk of glioma" and another form of non-malignant tumour called acoustic neuroma, said Kurt Straif, the scientist in charge of editing the IARC reports on potentially carcinogenic agents.

"But it is not at the moment clearly established that the use of mobile phones does in fact cause cancer in humans," he said.

The IARC does not issue formal recommendations, but experts pointed to a number of ways consumers can reduce risk.

"What probably entails some of the highest exposure is using your mobile for voice calls," Straif said.

"If you use it for texting, or as a hands-free set for voice calls, this is clearly lowering the exposure by at least an order of magnitude," or by tenfold, he said.

A year ago the IARC concluded that there was no link between cell phones and brain cancer, but that earlier report was criticised as based on data that was out of date.

The new review, conducted by a panel of 31 scientists from 14 countries, was reached on the basis of a "full consensus," said Robert Baan, in charge of the written report, yet to be released.

"This is the first scientific evaluation of all the literature published on the topic with regard to increased risk of cancer," he said.

But the panel stressed the need for more research, pointing to incomplete data, evolving technology and changing consumer habits.

"There's an improvement in the technology in terms of lower emissions but at the same time we see increased use, so it is hard to know how the two balance out," Baan noted.

The IARC ranks potentially cancer-causing elements as carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, possibly carcinogenic or "probably not carcinogenic". It can also determine that a material is "not classifiable".

Cigarettes, sunbeds and asbestos, for example, fall in "Group 1", the top threat category. Cell phones now join glass wool and gasoline exhaust in Group 2B as "possibly carcinogenic".

Industry groups reacted cautiously, pointing to other common consumer items -- including coffee and vegetables pickled in chemicals -- that are included in the same category.

"In France, the health ministry already applies a precautionary approach to cellphones because it considers that no danger has been established, that doubts remain and, thus, that more research is needed," the French Federation of Telecoms said in a statement.

Some consumer advocacy groups said the new classification was overdue.

"As of today, no one can say the risk does not exist, and now everyone -- politicians, telecoms, employers, consumers and parents -- have to take this into account," said Janine Le Calvez, head of PRIARTEM, a consumer advocacy group concerned with cell phone safety.

Jun 2, 2011,Times of India

High mobile use can cause brain cancer: WHO -

IARC classifies Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields as possibly carcinogenic to Humans

WHO: Cell phone use can increase possible cancer risk - six page WHO report.

IARC classifies Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields as possibly carcinogenic to Humans

WHO Cancer Research Says: Heavy Cell Phone Use May Cause Type of Brain Cancer

June 1, 2011 - Social Times

The possible risk of cell phone radiation causing cancer has been an ongoing debate for years. CNN published this item based on a report from the World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO: Cell phone use can increase possible cancer risk

Is this just a sensationalistic headline? Not really based on their careful wording (“can increase possible cancer risk”) and the six page WHO report. Here are the key points I found in the report.

[available at]

1. A “heavy user” is defined as someone who speaks on a cell phone an average of 30 minutes a day (or more) over a 10-year period. This works out to 900 minutes per month (based on a 30 day month). So, if you have a 1000 minute per month plan and come close to the limit or go over it, you are a heavy user.

2. There four classifications of cancer risk called “Groups”. Group 1 is used to classify something that has “sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity.” The other end of the scale is Group 4 which is used to classify something for which there is “evidence suggesting lack of carcinogenicity.” Group 2 has two sub-categories: 2A and 2B. 2A is defined as something that is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Cell phone radiation was classified as 2B: “Possibly cardinogenc.” My interpretation is that this means they are not certain but evidence indicates there is a good possibility that heavy use of cell phones in close proximity to the head may create an increased risk for a kind of malignant brain cancer (glioma).

3. The WHO report’s recommendation is to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation by simply moving it away from the head by using hands-free devices or sending text messages. They do not specify if Bluetooth headsets are classified as safe hands-free devices.

WHO Cancer Research Says: Heavy Cell Phone Use May Cause Type of Brain Cancer -

WHO: Cell phone use can increase possible cancer risk

May 31, 2011 CNN Health

Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.

Before its announcement Tuesday, WHO had assured consumers that no adverse health effects had been established.

A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, made the decision after reviewing peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety. The team found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."

What that means is they found some evidence of increase in glioma and acoustic neuroma brain cancer for mobile phone users, but have not been able to draw conclusions for other types of cancers

"The biggest problem we have is that we know most environmental factors take several decades of exposure before we really see the consequences," said Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The type of radiation coming out of a cell phone is called non-ionizing. It is not like an X-ray, but more like a very low-powered microwave oven.

"What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain," Black said. "So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones."

Wireless industry responded to Tuesday's announcement saying it "does not mean cell phones cause cancer." CTIA-The Wireless Association added that WHO researchers "did not conduct any new research, but rather reviewed published studies."

The European Environmental Agency has pushed for more studies, saying cell phones could be as big a public health risk as smoking, asbestos and leaded gasoline. The head of a prominent cancer-research institute at the University of Pittsburgh sent a memo to all employees urging them to limit cell phone use because of a possible risk of cancer.

"When you look at cancer development -- particularly brain cancer -- it takes a long time to develop. I think it is a good idea to give the public some sort of warning that long-term exposure to radiation from your cell phone could possibly cause cancer," said Dr. Henry Lai, research professor in bioengineering at University of Washington who has studied radiation for more than 30 years.

Results from the largest international study on cell phones and cancer was released in 2010. It showed participants in the study who used a cell phone for 10 years or more had doubled the rate of brain glioma, a type of tumor. To date, there have been no long-term studies on the effects of cell phone usage among children.

"Children's skulls and scalps are thinner. So the radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are at a dividing faster rate, so the impact of radiation can be much larger." said Black of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

In February, a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, revealed radiation emitted after just 50 minutes on a mobile phone increases the activity in brain cells. The effects of brain activity being artificially stimulated are still unknown.

Neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta says Tuesday's announcement, "dealt a blow to those who have long said, 'There is no possible mechanism for cell phones to cause cancer.' By classifying cell phones as a possible carcinogen, they also seem to be tacitly admitting a mechanism could exist."

Manufacturers of many popular cell phones already warn consumers to keep their device away from their body and medical experts say there other ways to minimize cell phone radiation.

The Apple iPhone 4 safety manual says users' radiation exposure should not exceed FCC guidelines: "When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 millimeters (5/8 inch) away from the body."

BlackBerry Bold advises users to "keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 inch (25 millimeters) from your body when the BlackBerry device is transmitting."

The logic behind such recommendations is that the further the phone is from the body, the less radiation is absorbed. Users can also use the speakerphone function or a wired earpiece to gain some distance.

Users can text instead of talk if they want to keep the phone away from their faces.

Finally, cell phones emit the most radiation when they are attempting to connect to cellular towers. A moving phone, or a phone in an area with a weak signal, has to work harder, giving of more radiation. So users can avoid using their cell phones in elevators, buildings and rural areas if they want to reduce their exposure, experts say.

Reference -