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Post effects of reduced cell tower radiation limits in India

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) recently announced that the radiation limits for cell towers in India will be reduced to one tenth of the prevailing standard from 1st September, 2012. The decision is followed by a report submitted by the inter-ministerial committee formed by the ministry of communications and information technology to study the hazards posed by EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation from base stations and mobile phones.

India’s current radiation exposure limit (9.2 watt/m2) for mobile towers is higher than countries like Russia (0.2 w/m2) and China (0.4 w/m2). In USA, Canada and Japan, however, the radiation exposure limit is much higher (12 w/m2).

People who now breathe a sigh of relief with the reduced radiation limits, soon will have to bear the brunt of this decision. Certainly, these people do not have the right to then blame service providers for bad network, delayed 3G and broadband services.

People who say have problems with cell radiations, should ideally give away personal cell phone use. Would like to know how many scientists or environmentalists, researching on cell radiations or fighting against the effects of cell radiations use a phone in their personal life. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a negligible number of them following what they preach.

Little do the people realize that reduced radiation from towers means deteriorated network coverage. In order to solve this problem, service providers will have to increase the number of cell towers which will increase the overall EMF radiation. Bad network means the phone has to work harder to connect with nearest base station. End result is that the phone works at a higher power resulting in greater personal exposure to radiations.

So the whole chaos created for “possible” hazardous effects of cell tower radiations, the country is seeping itself into a bigger mess.

Fake solution to EMF radiation

Cell tower/phone radiations are EMF radiations which are non- ionizing in nature. The debate on the effects of these radiations is never ending. None of health organizations across the world have been able to conclude the effects of these radiations on human health. But this uncertainty has given way to number of misleading conclusions that has led to a public fear about the subject.

Umpteen articles, media stories, conversations have been published which simply state that cell tower radiations are harmful. Baseless conclusions have developed a negative attitude towards the subject. Amidst this public scare, some companies have made way for their own personal agenda of promoting their products. These products are popularly known as radiation shields.

People are made to belief that these radiation shields will protect people from EMF exposure.

However, according to the GSM Association Health Booklet states that:

  • Various products are being marketed that claim to increase the safety of mobile phone use. These products generally take the form of shielded cases, earpiece pads/shields, antenna clips/caps, special batteries and absorbing buttons.
  • A mobile phone automatically operates on the lowest power necessary to maintain call quality. If an add-on device adversely affects the phone’s antenna, the phone will attempt to transmit more power up to its specified maximum.
  • Scientific evidence does not indicate any need for shields on mobile phones. They cannot be justified on health grounds and the effectiveness of many such devices in reducing exposure is unproven.

What are radiations emitted from cell towers?

What are radiations emitted from cell towers?.

What are radiations emitted from cell towers?

Radio signals are part of everyday life, emitted both by natural sources like the sun, the Earth and the ionosphere, and by artificial sources such as: mobile phone base stations, broadcast towers, radar facilities, remote controls, medical, electrical and electronic equipment.

Radio frequency waves lie in the non-ionizing part of the spectrum which means that they cannot directly impart enough energy to a molecule to break or change chemical bonds. In contrast, ionizing radiation, such as x-rays can strip electrons from atoms and molecules, producing changes that can lead to tissue damage and possibly cancer.

Cellular towers work in the non-ionizing spectrum which means they do not have the capability to cause and genetic damage. Mobile phones communicate by transmitting radio waves through a network of fixed antennas called base stations. Radiofrequency waves are electromagnetic fields, and unlike ionizing radiation such as X-rays or gamma rays, can neither break chemical bonds nor cause ionization in the human body.

Emissions from various EMF sources are very much a part of our normal daily lives. The RF emissions from these sources are several multifold times lower than the safety limits set by international EMF standards bodies. Emissions from a mobile tower are lower than the emissions from a microwave and even from our normal radio tuner!

It’s doubtful that these radiations can cause health damage to humans. WHO has classified cell tower/phone radiations under ‘possibly carcinogenic’ category which also includes 240 other agents like coffee, pickled vegetables.

Hence, the myth that it’s unsafe to stay near cell towers is completely baseless. The IARC Monograph Working Group discussed and evaluated the available literature on the environmental exposures associated with transmission of signals for radio, television and wireless telecommunication. The evidence was reviewed critically, and overall evaluated as being limited among users of wireless telephones for glioma and acoustic neuroma, and inadequate to draw conclusions for other types of cancers. The evidence from the occupational and environmental exposures mentioned above was similarly judged inadequate.


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