Monday, December 30, 2013

Are mobile phone towers a health hazard? - YES

Currently, there are more than 90 crore cell ...

Currently, there are more than 90 crore cell phone subscribers and over five lakh cell phone towers. Cell operators are allowed to transmit 20W of power per carrier from a single cell tower antenna. One operator may have four-six carrier frequencies and there may be two-four operators on the same roof top or tower. Thus, total transmitted power may be 100 to 400W. On May 31, 2011, WHO (World Health Organisation) reported, “The electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Class 2B)”. The Interphone study released in May 2010 reported 5,117 brain tumour cases and stated that people who use cell phones for 30 minutes per day over a duration of eight-ten, have doubled to quadrupled chances of getting brain tumour, and that's why it was classified as Class 2B. Use of cell phones is a personal choice, but what about people who live in the vicinity of cell towers? They are exposed to the radiation 24x7. Cell operators claim that tower radiation is less intense than the sun’s rays, but tower radiation is continuous and different in the way it impacts the body.

The Bio-Initiative Reports of 2007 and 2012 have proposed a safe radiation density of 1 milliWatt/m{+2} for outdoor, cumulative radiofrequency (RF) exposure and 0.1 milliWatt/m{+2} for indoor, cumulative RF exposure.

Adverse health effects occur within a few years of continuous exposure at 1 milliWatt/m{+2}. The most common complaints are: sleep disorder, headache, irritability, memory loss, depression, hearing loss, joint problems. More severe reactions include seizures, cardiovascular problems, miscarriage, irreversible infertility, and cancer.

An expert group formed by Environment Ministry, India, submitted its report in October 2011 on “Impacts of communication towers on Wildlife including Birds and Bees”. They cited 919 scientific/technical references and mentioned that 593 papers reported adverse effect, 130 papers reported no effect, and 196 papers reported inconclusive or neutral effect.

The people must convince policy makers to adopt stricter radiation norms of less than 1 milliWatt/m{+2}. This will compel the operators to reduce power transmitted to 1-2W. This will reduce the coverage range. The solution is to have more cell towers with lesser transmitted power. Each tower may cost Rs 15 lakh; so, if the number of towers is increased by 5 lakh, the additional cost will be Rs 75,000 crore. To save this cost, cell operators keep saying that there is no concrete evidence of health hazards. However, this cost can be recovered in three years by increasing per minute usage charges by just 5 paise, as mentioned in my report to the Telecom Secretary in December 2010.

(The author is Professor, Electrical Engineering, IIT Bombay.)
Also read: Are mobile phone towers a health hazard? - NO


Thursday, December 26, 2013

RASRANG-Dainik Bhaskar - Cell Tower Radiation and Environment- Dec 2013

Aha Zindagi -August 2013

Tower distance violations irk activists

MUMBAI: A day after the BMC released a list of 3,618 "illegal" cell towers in the city, anti-radiation activists on Wednesday came out with their own list of irregularities. Major violations of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) directions concerning distance between tower antennae and neighbouring buildings figured prominently on the list.
On a south Mumbai rooftop, activists found six antennae at just "seven metres" from a neighbouring building.
"The DoT norms stipulate that the distance of an antenna from a neighbouring building should be a minimum of 20 metres," activist Prakash Munshi said. "In case of two antennae, this should be 35 metres, and in case of six, it should be 55 metres."

A complaint was sent to the DoT. Munshi said most cell towers had antennae clusters, leading to high power output and increased radiation risks.
Activist A V Shenoy said bunching of antennae was a serious issue in a city with a high population density, citing the Haji Ali area as an example. "Every mobile company will claim that it has installed a single antenna on the rooftop, but if you look at it collectively, you will find that five different companies have installed their antennae on the same building and this increases the radiation levels for the neighbourhood," he said.
Corporator Vinod Shelar, who is spearheading a campaign against illegal towers, threatened a massive dharna outside the municipal commissioner's office if his demand for a cell tower policy was ignored.
He said he wanted the municipal commissioner to bring up the draft cell tower policy for discussion before the civic improvements committee in a week. "It should be discussed in the BMC House and a resolution should be passed to weed out illegal towers in Mumbai," he said.
Activist Nikhil Desai said a significant number of illegal towers were not covered under litigation. "Why isn't the BMC razing these?" he said. "It only shows that officials have some vested interests."
He said that those claiming that cell towers pose no health risk should be asked to stay in buildings close to the towers.
Cellular operators said most towers had DoT nods besides 10 to 12 other certifications. "The BMC should clarify what is illegal according to it and then take action," a Cellular Operators Association of India representative said.
* Only one tower should be allowed on every building
* Written consent of 70% of occupants as well as every person on topmost floor of the building mandatory
* Ban on cellphone towers at schools, colleges, hospitals, orphanages, child rehabilitation centres and old age homes
Cell towers: 4,776
Legal towers: 1,158
Illegal Towers: 3,618
(Source: BMC)


Monday, December 23, 2013

Neha Kumar, founder, NESA, take up cudgels against radiation hazards

Neha Kumar from Mumbai developed solutions which can reduce radiation levels by 90-99% in the form of window film, curtains and wallpaper. Young and raing to go, Neha is determined to create awareness on the harmful effects of radiations

The adverse effects from electromagnetic radiation emitted from cell phone towers are no longer hidden. From headache, sleep disturbance to memory loss, hearing problems, the degree of health hazards rising from cell phone tower radiation can even move upto cancer, heart problems, neurodegenerative disorder, infertility, miscarriage, and many more.

Indian Government has not taken active measures to counter the effects of such radiation. It was only in the year 2008 that the government adopted radiation norms specified by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines of 1998. However, ICNIRP guideline is outdated as it is only intended to protect the public against short term gross heating effects and not against ‘biological' effects.

Braving against such a critical issue is Neha Kumar. Based out of Mumbai, she transformed her research experience into an entrepreneurial venture to safeguard the society against such hazards. She founded Nesa Radiation Solutions (NESA stands for Non- Ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation Shielding Alternatives), which carries out radiation measurement and has cell tower radiation measurement products as well as several radiation shielding products.

How it all started?

It started on a personal note. Neha's father Prof Girish Kumar from IIT Bombay had been working in the field of Antennas and Microwaves for past 30 years and faced health problems in 2001, the cause of which was continuous exposure to electromagnetic radiation and he started working on it around that time.

After Neha finished her B Tech in Biotechnology from Anna University in 2009, she started studying the biological effects of cell phone/ tower radiation during which she also interacted with researchers, doctors, patients in India and abroad. "People living in nearby areas to towers started contacting us for measuring the radiation levels and we found a strong correlation between high radiation levels and health problems ranging from mild to even grave health problems-cases of miscarriage, infertility and cancer at levels much below the government guidelines," said Neha Kumar.

"People started asking us to develop a solution to the problem and we started working on that front. We also developed a simple, effective and low-cost radiation monitor which we named DETEX 189 to enable people to check levels from health point of view. With more awareness we could motivate the Government of India to bring down the radiation level to 450 from 4500 milliWatt (mW) per square meter. However, this is still way above the safe level of 0.1," added Neha.

NESA's technology and products

Neha developed three solutions which can reduce radiation levels by 90-99% in the form of window film, curtains and wallpaper. For detection, NESA came up with a low cost, simple and easy to use Cell Tower Radiation Detector, DETEX 189 based on the health recommendation for continuous exposure.

The technology works with an antenna behind each product that receives cellphone tower signals and converts it to heat energy, through an AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current) adapter. The heat generated is mild to the tune of 0.0001 degree centigrade which then dissipates into the environment. The curtains and wall papers can effectively block 95-99% of radiation and it is necessary for those living close to a mobile phone tower.

Customer Reception
In the last one year, NESA has clocked in revenues of `1 crore. "We are going to continue marketing our product through word of mouth and are looking at setting up a physical distribution chain," added Neha.

Funding Challenge

NESA was self funded with `5 lakh and have raised investment of `1 crore from its raw material vendor, Chirag Vadilal Savla, in exchange for 50% stake in the startup.

Days Ahead

Neha is constantly working on developing better products both efficiency wise as well as concerning aesthetics since these products are used in residences and offices. She is also working on mobile phone shielding and aprons for pregnant woman, quilts and shielding clothing for young and elderly.


A Detector that Informs About Radiation Levels Around You - DETEX 189

A Detector that Informs About Radiation Levels Around You - DETEX 189 - NESA Radiation Solutions Pvt Ltd. - Electronics for You Magazine - December 2013 Issue

Detex 189 Cell Phone Tower Radiation Detector aims to empower people to measure the cumulative radiation levels in their immediate environment in order to take precautions to minimise their exposure to it. Due to the lack of public awareness about the harmful effects of cell-phone tower radiation, Indians are unwillingly exposing themselves to serious health hazards.

Abhishek Mutha from EFY got in touch with Prof. Girish Kumar to learn more about his innovative product

BBC World News - Solution to shield yourself from Cell Tower Radiation

NESA Radiation Solutions coverage in BBC World News, Start Up Stories - Solution to shield yourself from Cell Tower Radiation

Appeared on 1 December 2013

In this section of start up stories, Neha Kumar, Director, NESA Radiation Solutions Pvt. Ltd. talks about her companies Radiation Meaurement service and Shielding Products along with her entrepreneurial experience.

She mentions that there is an immediate need for the government to reduce the radiation guidelines immediately to safeguard health of humans and environment.

YouTube link:

Protect Yourself From Cell Tower Radiation -

November 11, 2013

Cell phones have certainly changed our lives and made lot of our tasks easier and convenient. To meet the demands of growing cell phone subscribers in India, cellular operators are putting a large number of cell towers which puts us at risk of continuous exposure to radiation; the adverse effects of which are health problems such as headache, memory loss, genetic mutation, miscarriage, and cancer.

Unfortunately, the Central government does not restrict installation of towers on residential buildings, schools and hospitals. To avoid continuous exposure, you can either remove the cell tower or use shielding solutions.

In this  entrepreneur interview, Neha Kumar, Director at NESA Radiation Solutions Pvt. Ltd. explains how her unique household products and solutions help to shield individuals from cell tower radiation. While she is the sole entrepreneur working in this segment (in India), her startup is unique because it is social in nature and promising in terms of revenue generation

Q: How did you get started in shielding individuals from harmful radiation?

My father is a professor at IIT-Bombay, working in the radiation research field for the last 30 years. A few years ago, he developed health issues because of his continuous exposure to radiation as part of his job. That’s when both of us got thinking and eventually I set up NESA Radiation Solutions in 2011 on campus at IIT-Bombay.

Q: What is your background and how does it relate to your current assignment?
I’m a biotech graduate from Anna University in Chennai. Though I wanted to make a career in biotech but certain turn of events have made me pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.

Q: What does NESA stand for?

NESA stands for Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Shielding Alternatives.

Q: What type of products do you offer at present?

We have two products at the moment – Cell tower radiation detector – DETEX 189 and Shielding solutions.

DETEX 189 is a radiation detector that measures radiation levels at a given spot in your premises (home or office) quickly and easily.

Our shielding solutions are designed to shield your house/office from harmful radiations! For this we offer fabric curtain, wallpaper, window film glass, personal shield as well as pregnancy apron. All these shielding solutions protect you from undesired cell phone and cell tower radiation.

Q: How do your products and shielding solutions operate?

DETEX 189 is a radiation detector and uses an antenna to receive cellphone tower signals and converts it to heat energy, through an AC to DC adapter. The heat generated during this process dissipates into the environment.

The shielding solutions are necessary for those living very close to a cell phone tower. Our curtains and wallpaper are able to block 95-99 percent of radiation.

Q: Who are your clients – individuals or corporations?

Our clientele includes large corporations, hotels, banks, schools & colleges as well as individuals and celebrities such as Juhi Chawla, Ekta Kapoor, and several others.

Q: What feedback have you received from the Indian Government and telecom companies?

In the early days, when I was creating awareness about how harmful cell tower radiation was, nobody took me seriously. The government finally gave us an ear after continuous follow-up, several studies linking health disorders to cell tower radiation and findings of a research report (BioInitiative 2012) by a team of 29 independent scientists and health experts.

I feel very happy to share with you that our efforts bore fruits and the Indian government brought down the permissible radiation limit from 4.5 watts per sq meter to 0.45 watts per sq meter.

Q: Are your products available throughout India?

We are a two year old startup and have offices only in Mumbai at the moment. However, we do undertake outstation orders. Anyone who wants to have their cell tower radiation measurement done for house/office/school/hospital premise, can contact us at +91 22 41241800 or +91 9619378318.

Q: Can you share your financial figures with us? And what are you doing to scale your startup?

Last fiscal, we clocked in revenues of Rs one crore. I’m not going to hurry while scaling my startup but we are working towards setting up a physical distribution chain as well as increasing our marketing efforts.

Q: Your solution is a life saver but does it have any limitations?

The solution is designed to shield your home and office but once you step outside, you are exposed to radiation. I won’t call it a limitation of my solution but I wish I could offer protection to individuals when they are outdoors and to birds and animals who absorb most EMF rays since they dwell outside.
About NESA Radiation Solutions: NESA is a startup whose core expertise is in the field of electromagnetic radiation measurement and making household products that act as shielding solutions from cell tower radiation. To learn more about them, visit

Shield Yourself From Cellphone Radiation - NESA Interview in - Oct 2013 issue

The adverse effects of mobile phone radiation on human health are no longer hidden. Cellphone radiation is known to cause cancer and genetic mutation over continued exposure.

Neha Kumar, Director, Nesa Radiation Solutions Pvt Ltd, in an interview with SMEntrepreneur elaborates on how she has undertaken a unique measure to shield individuals from cellphone tower radiation.

What are the kinds of health hazards that most urban dwellers are exposed to due to cellphone radiation?
There are two kinds of electromagnetic radiation emanating from mobile phones and towers. The thermal effects, which occur on holding the phone closely over a long period of time causes headache, sleep disturbance, memory loss, lack of concentration, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) along with increasing risk of brain cancer. Non-thermal effects relate to the damages that occur on the genes, cells and human DNA. Mobile towers present in the vicinity can cause such non-thermal effects including infertility, miscarriage, neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc), heart problems and cancer.

What made you start to an initiative to shield individuals from this hazardous radiation?
After graduating, I started researching on the health impact of cellphone tower radiations and met people living close to these towers. We interacted with government officials, educational institutions, medical professionals and residential societies about potential problems that could be triggered by continued exposure to high levels of cellphone tower radiation.

Initially, we focussed on pushing the government to bring down norms but when people started asking us for solutions, we decided to develop shielding solutions. We developed three solutions in the form of window film, curtains and wallpaper that can reduce radiation levels by 90-99 per cent.

For detection, NESA came up with a low cost, simple and easy to use Cell Tower Radiation Detector, DETEX 189 based on the health recommendation for continuous exposure.

Are your products available on a pan-Indian scale?
We have our offices in Bhandup, Mumbai and Vashi in Navi Mumbai as of now and have been handling outstation orders from here. Our team visits other cities based on the number of enquires on regular intervals.

What is the mode of operation for your products?
Our technology works with an antenna behind each product that receives cellphone tower signals and converts it to heat energy, through an AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current) adapter. The heat generated is mild to the tune of 0.0001 degree centigrade which then dissipates into the environment.

The curtains and wall paper can effectively block 95-99 percent of radiation and it is necessary for those living close to a mobile phone tower.

What is your target market?
We target people living in close proximity (within 300 meters or more) to mobile phone towers where radiation levels are high.

Are you the sole entrepreneur who is working in this cellphone radiation shielding space or do you have potential competitors?
We are the only ones who are using absorptive technology for reducing radiation levels and our products have shielding effectiveness of 95-99 per cent. There are other companies abroad that also have shielding solutions.

How many products have you sold till date? What has been your turnover and growth rate?
In the last one year, the company has clocked in revenues of Rs one crore. We are going to continue marketing our product through word of mouth and are looking at setting up a physical distribution chain.

Who all have been on your investor list giving significant boost to your enterprise?
We self-funded NESA with Rs five lakh and have raised investment of Rs one crore from our raw material vendor, Chirag Vadilal Savla, in exchange for 50 per cent stake in the start up. Chirag has been involved in the furnishing business for past several years and is now a partner in the business. He also helps NESA with manufacturing at our unit in Vashi. He has played a big role in shaping our products and in improving the aesthetics of the products.

How has the Indian Government reacted to your shielding techniques?
We started creating awareness and wrote to several telecom and government officials to reduce the radiation norms. They were not ready to immediately look into this matter. It was only after continued research followed by positive feedback from user that we could motivate the Government of India to bring down the radiation level to 450 from 4500 milliWatt (mW) per square meter. However, this is still way above the safe level of 0.1.