Friday, March 25, 2011

Its official, cell phone radiation is deadly

Its official, cell phone radiation is deadly

Thursday, February 3, 2011, 9:58 [IST]

New Delhi, Feb 3: There have been numerous rhetoric doing the  rounds on the ill-effects of mobile radiation for a while. The results are out and they are not pleasing at all. It has been found that radiation
from mobile towers pose grave health risks including memory loss, lack of concentration and digestive disturbances. The fact was revealed by an Inter-ministerial committee formed by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to study the hazards posed by mobile phones.

If the damages are not lethal for humans, its even worse for birds and insects as well. The committee has
attributed the radiation effects to the disappearance of butterflies, bees, insects and sparrows.
The eight-member committee, comprising representatives from the Health Ministry, Department of Biotechnology and Member Secretary, DoT. The committee found startling violations of radio frequency
levels according to international standards. They have recommended that mobile phones not complying to
standard levels of specific absorption rate (SAR) should be banned. SAR measures the he amount of radio
frequency energy absorbed by the body while using a phone.

"The localized SAR value as per the Indian guidelines standard is 2 watt per kg, averaged over a six
minute period and using a 10 gram average mass. With higher SAR values of mobile handsets the public
could potentially receive much higher radio frequency exposure. We have recommended that SAR levels
to be lowered down to 1.6 watt/kg, as prescribed by the Federal Communication Commission of US," a
committee member said.

The committee also recommended that mobile towers not be installed in highly populated residential
areas, schools, play areas and hospitals. The recommendations submitted by the committee will be used
to chalk out a national policy and better guidelines on electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation for
telecom towers.

The report also revealed the disturbing after-effects and said, “People who are chronically exposed to lowlevel wireless antenna emissions and users of mobile handsets have reported feeling several unspecific
symptoms during and after its use, ranging from burning and tingling sensation in the skin of the head,
fatigue, sleep disturbances, dizziness, lack of concentration, ringing in the ears, reaction time, loss of
memory, headache, disturbance in digestive system and heart palpitation.”

A member of the fact finding mission, Dr R S Sharma who is also an ICMR scientist said that the effects of
the radiation are deadlier in Indians when compared to Europeans due to their low body mass index and
low fat content. The tropical climate in India also aggravating the effect. The report pointed out that
children, adolescents and pregnant women could be at the maximum risk and recommends the use of
hands-free technology to lower physical contact with the body and the cell phone. "People having active
medical implants should keep their cellphone at least 30 cm away from the implant," it adds.

The children seem to be the worst hit with the extreme use of cell phones and according to Girish Kumar,
a professor in the Dept of Electrical Engineering at IIT Bombay claims, “"There is a 400% 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.” Girish's findings were taken
into account by the government appointed committee.

Another study by the Jawaharlal Nehru University also pointed out the effects of radiation on male fertility
and how it effects the defence mechanism of cells.

The committee plans to submit the report so that the government can take some notable action on the
hidden hazards of radiation. "We have recommended amendment in the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 and
rules so that only mobile handsets satisfying radiation standards should be permitted in the country," R S
Sharma said.

This page was printed from: 10/02/2011

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