'Emissions from mobile towers safe'

The radio-frequency emissions were found to be 50,000 times lower than the levels at which health begins to get affected. The current radiations do not have enough energy to cause any genetic damage.

Measuring the level of radiation from 180 towers in Delhi, 50 odd towers in Mumbai and 36 towers in Pune, a team of engineers has found that in all circumstances the “cumulative measurements” were lower than the compliance limit set up by the government. The government limit is based on the safety guidelines for exposure to radio-frequencies prepared by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

“The measurement results showed that all the 180 places in Delhi, measured from July 14 -17, 2010, were much below the ICNIRP standards,” says the report, prepared by Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology, Chennai.

“Similar trend was noticed in Mumbai and Pune. Local weather conditions don’t have any adverse effect,” S Raju, lead researcher from Thiagarajar College, told Deccan Herald.

Doctors also say there have been no major reported health risks so far due to the electromagnetic radiation from the towers. “Despite decades of suspicion, speculation and surveillance, no adverse effects to human life or environment have been reported due to the radio-frequency waves from mobile phone towers,” says Anoop Kohli, a neurologist from Apollo Hospital in Delhi.

Results from the survey—commissioned by Cellular Operators Association of India and Association of Unified Access Service Provider—were given to the Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), which asked all GSM and CDMA companies to comply with the ICNIRP norms before November 15. Violation of the norms would invite a fine of Rs 5 lakh per tower, the companies were told.

“The survey will help establish the methodology to hold similar surveys in other cities,” says an industry insider.

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