Times of India - 26 Dec 2011, Page 4
MUMBAI: The high level of radiation emitted by three unauthorized mobile towers atop Victor Shelter building poses a health hazard for neighbouring Nilesh society residents at Kandarpada in Dahisar (W), says IIT-Bombay professor Dr Girish Kumar. The radiation level in the New Nilesh society flat was measured by Wilcom Technologies Pvt Ltd, an IIT-B incubated firm.
The combined radiation measured in the living room, kitchen, master-bedroom and another bedroom, especially near windows, was very high, the researcher said.
Residents complained of low immunity, constant headaches, fever and hair-loss. A recent Right to Information (RTI) query filed by Harish Pandey of the New Link Road Residents' Forum revealed that the civic body had no records of permission granted to the mobile operator to install cell towers atop Victor Shelter building
"Last year, an RTI query revealed that three mobile towers erected near Ganpat Patil Nagar slum on the ground barely at a height of 25 feet which were illegal, since they did not have any permission from the civic body," said Pandey.
"These were dismantled later. In this regard, all residents staying around the three towers and the people travelling on Link Road were exposed to radiation. This only highlights loopholes in our system and the indifference of the telecom companies towards the health of citizens," he added. "In the last two years, people from different housing societies in the vicinity have told me that the residents are suffering from several health problems like insomnia, headache, lack of concentration, memory loss, joint pains who did not have any history in their families. At all these places, cell towers have been installed in nearby buildings and the radiation level measured was found to be too high,"said Dr Girish Kumar.
Kumar's daughter, Neha, has been studying the biological effects of radiation and is director, Nesa radiation solutions.
"Residents should ask the mobile operator to reduce the power transmission and ensure antennas are not facing their homes," said Neha, director of Nesa Radiation Solutions. Kumar recommend that the maximum permissible radiation exposure limit for 24 hours (cumulative of all frequency bands) should be less than 100W/m2 (24 hours). Serious Health hazard happen at 1 milliwatt/sq.m. 0.0001watt/m2 and India has adopted 9.2watt/sq.m.
On Tuesday, an inter ministerial committee government announced to bring down electromagnetic radiation from mobile towers must be brought down to one-tenth of existing levels to 0.92 watt/sqm. But, Kumar says that India has still adopted a higher radiation guidelines or power density.
Elaborating on the precautions that residents can take who reside near mobile towers, Kumar said,"Where the radiation level is high they can install a protective window shield. We have developed a shield to absorb unwanted emission. It's reasonably priced. We can shield individual people. But how does one protect environment, trees which give low fruit output and birds?," added Kumar.