Thursday, December 26, 2013

IMA claim that cellphone towers don't pose health risk raises citizens' hackels

A WEEK after the Mumbai (West) wing of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) claimed that cellphone tower radiation in the city was low and that there was not sufficient evidence to show that they pose any health hazard, members of citizen groups, led by actor Juhi Chawla, met representatives of the association to apprise them of their concerns.
"The representatives, who included IMA-Mumbai (West) president (S K Joshi), agreed to consider our view. They told us that they will get our documents and submissions checked by experts. We questioned them on how they can make statements that 'mobile towers do aggravate risks of cancer' without any substantial scientific proof," said south Mumbai resident Prakash Munshi.
Stating that cellphone tower radiation is lower than radio frequency emissions from TV sets and FM radio, the IMA had told the media that there was no substantial evidence to prove any link between health hazards like cancer and mobile tower radiation.
Questioning their stand on the issue, south Mumbai residents have submitted a letter to IMA-Mumbai (West), which says: "It is the electromagnetic field radiation emitted by the antennae installed on these towers, which creates health hazards, including the risk of cancer over a period of time due to continuous radiation. In case your conclusion is based on experiments conducted by IMA Mumbai (West), advise us and let us have a copy of the report."
Munshi also asked the IMA to measure the actual radiation from TV sets, FM radio, mobile phones and antennae and inform the findings to citizen groups.
The letter dismisses IMA's claim that children are at the same risk as adults to health hazards."International researchers say that the skulls of children are very soft and thin compared to adults, which is the reason why children are more prone to EMF radiation as compared to adults," says the letter.
The citizens also questioned whether IMA Mumbai (West) has any proof of non-ionising radiation not being harmful to health.
"How many members of IMA Mumbai (West) and IMA-Mumbai agree with the stand taken by you? We should be cautious in our opinions if not substantiated beyond reason of doubt. A prestigious organisation like IMA must not get involved in such controversies motivated by vested commercial interests and PR agencies," Munshi told doctors.

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