Friday, September 20, 2013

Base norms on data,not perception

‘Base norms on data, not perception’

MUMBAI: The government’s radiation norms should flow from strong scientific evidence was the view held by the scientists at a panel discussion held at Nehru Science Centre on Thursday.
The panel, comprising scientists, doctors, professors, activists and a government representative, discussed the risks associated with radiation from nuclear power sites and electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation emitted by mobile towers.
“The government needs to initiate a scientific study on the effects of cell tower radiation before framing norms. There is a problem when laws are populist decisions,” said said RV Hosur, director, Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, Mumbai.
“Health hazard from radiation is a debatable topic. Often, we perceive without justification, and perceptions become so deep-rooted that they take the form of convictions. Causes of cancer is a complex issue and one should not jump at conclusions without systematic analyses,” he added.
Another panelist, Ratan Singh, a representative from the Telecommunications Consultants of India Ltd, which operates under the union Department of Telecommunications ( DoT), admitted to no study being available in this regard. “The decision to reduce EMF radiation limits was taken by the DoT in haste after the Jaipur high court ruling, which ordered the relocation of mobile towers above schools, hospitals etc.”
Anti-radiation experts questioned the scientific basis of the current international norms that are referred to by the DoT to frame the country’s radiation policy.
“The guidelines of ICNIRP ( International Commission on Non- Ionising Radiation Protection) are questionable because the body is funded by telecom operators and the power industry, leading to the dangers of paid research,” said Singh.

No comments:

Post a Comment