No radiation fear from mobile towers: Sibal

No radiation fear from mobile towers: Sibal

Union Communications and Information Technology minister Kapil Sibal said on Wednesday that the government will ensure electro-magnetic radiation from mobile phones and towers across the country was within prescribed limits.

“Science and technology offer new hazards and solutions that throw up a constant conflict between two public interests. But human health is fundamental and should be placed two steps ahead of scientific solutions,” he said.

Sibal was responding to  health concerns over radiation emitted by mobile phones and towers at an international conference organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.

Sibal said the government had recently set up an inter-ministerial committee which concluded that emissions from base transceiver stations (BTSs) are one-hundredth of prescribed limits, and hence safe for human beings.

“We will soon be conducting online checks on BTS stations to ensure that there is no danger emitting from BTS towers.”

Many state governments in India, including Delhi, have recently taken a decision to make it mandatory for cellphone manufacturers to display the level of radiation emitted by the devices. From September 1, 2012 new mobile radiation norms will be implemented in India in which the maximum Specific Absorption Rate will be of 1.6 values, as followed in the United States. Right now the limit is 2.0, which is the European standard.

There is no scientific evidence worldwide to prove that electromagnetic radio frequency signals emitted by mobile phones and towers cause brain cancer and tumour, said Dr Vijaylaxmi, professor at the Department of Radiation Oncology at University of Texas. 

B K Rao, chairman of ASSOCHAM,  said mobile phones are equipment of today’s needs and the medical community has not yet documented any major risks on human health.

“There is not enough research on the issue. No conclusive study is done on the impact of radiation from mobiles on children and pregnant women. So, the question is should we encourage or discourage cell phones?” said, Neha Kumar, director, NESA Radiation Solutions, Mumbai.