Complete submission to charm of technological wrap has overwhelmingly eased our lives so much so that the buzz about its harmful consequences on health propagates a slow start.
Foot-tapping jingles of cellular companies, beguiling customers with lucrative free talk time offers; need to be given a second thought in the wake of rising incidence of health hazards caused by its radiations.
On 31st May, 2011, International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of WHO designates cell phones as “possible human carcinogen”. Evidences, in varied case studies, affirming the increase of Glioma and Acoustic Neuroma brain cancer in people with proximity to mobile phone towers, prodded the Government to implement stricter radiation norms at national level, in effect from 1st September, 2012.
According to new guidelines, the exposure limits for base station (BTS) emission have been lowered to one tenth of the existing exposure. Now the permissible radiation levels in India, 0.45 W / meter square for 900 MHz, still surpasses the International Standard of 0.001 W / meter square accorded safe for 24×7 exposures (Bio Initiative Report 2007).
The mobile handsets with Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limit of 1.6 W / kg over 1 gram of human tissue is the new norm with exposure limit to be displayed on handsets made mandatory.
Ranchi Municipal Corporation framed guidelines, for installation of cell phone towers in February 2008, was lying sedate and ineffectual. In coincidence with Centre’s move, the RMC has pitched up its activity pulse in issuing notices to the service providers of 356 BTS towers in the capital for furnishing relevant papers to reign in unauthorised installation of mobile towers. Prima facie it appears that hundreds of mobile towers in the capital and the state have not obtained the due sanction of the concerned authorities. RMC records show only 36 applications lying for approval for cellular towers.
Flouting the safety norms, cluster of BTS towers mounted on roof tops and more than one cellular tower erected within one km of existing ones near residential areas, schools and hospitals are commonly spotted. It intensifies overlapping of high radiation fields grievously affecting the health of humans, animals and birds. People living within 50-300 metre radius of cell phone masts are in harmful high radiation zone. Dangerously low, 10 ft to 20 ft BTS towers have been installed defying the safe prescribed height of 50 ft to 200 ft. Ratu, Upper Bazar, Circular Road and Lalpur are affected areas.
Mobile service operators self assess the BTS transmission in compliance with the TERM rules. Yielding to temptations like increasing radiation level of BTS towers to upgrade coverage, thus cutting expenditure of mounting more towers is not ruled out. However, the Inter Ministerial Committee recommendations empower the Urban Development Authority to keep a tab on cellular installations, their structural safety clearances and low power transmissions. The CEO, RMC, Deepankar Panda informs, “Purchase of radiation detectors is imminent. BIT Mesra has been roped in for expert consultation with vigil radiation checks being outsourced to them”.
Record unnatural death of crows, last year, reported in several pockets of Jharkhand was imputed to hazardous EMF radiation of BTS towers, growing exponentially and haphazardly. Dr Shekhar Kesri, Cancer Specialist, Apollo Ranchi speaking on the jeopardy, says, “Cases of Lymphoma and Brain tumour have gone up in Jharkhand. Rise in the number of children suffering from this fatal disease raises concern. Though no direct scientific evidence, but definitely an inter-relation between disease and harmful radiation exists.”
Mobile subscriber base in Jharkhand is nearly 1.5 crores and catering to them are 8 service providers.
Large number of cellular towers in the state emphasise the need for drastic abatement measures against harmful EMF radiation. Radio waves emitted by handsets and towers cause heating of human head and body fluid.
Disease symptoms arise due to related changes in electrical activity of the brain. Risk factors are enhanced 5 times in children and pregnant women.
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The Government of India has approved new electromagnetic radiation norms for mobile-phone towers and handsets. Starting September 1, the new norms have come into effect.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) has also been working with Telecom operators to implement the new norms. The report also states that non-compliance of EMF standards, will result in a penalty of Rs 5 lakh, to be levied per base transceiver station per service provider.
Apart from that, mobile handsets with the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values of 1.6 watt/ kg averaged over 1 gram of human tissue will be allowed in India, which is 50% more stringent than current norms. Presently, mobile handsets are compliant with 2 watt/ kg averaged over 10 gram of human tissue. From September next year, mobile phones with new SAR values will be permitted to be manufactured or imported in the country.
Guidelines for issue of clearance for installation of mobile towers
DOT has also issued guidelines (.pdf ) for issue of clearance for installation of mobile towers. The clearance now requires a:
Copy of Access Service License / IP Registration Certificate from DOT
Copy of SACFA clearance for the said location issued by WPC Wing of Department of Telecom.
Other clearance at State / Local authority level: from Pollution Control Board for DG Sets; from Fire Safety Department, if applicable; and from State Environment & Forest Dept. where necessary.
Copy of NOC from Building Owner.
Nominal one time Administrative Fee as may be decided by the Local body to recover its costs on the issue of permission for installation of Tower.
Electricity connection may be provided to BTS site on priority.
For BTS Tower, following details to be required: Data Sheet; Name of Service/Infrastructure Provider; Location; Tower Reference: height, weight, ground/roof top, and number of antennas planned on tower.
Copy of structural stability certificate for ground based BTS. OR
In case of roof top BTS towers, structural stability certificate for the building based on written approvals of authorized Chartered Structural Engineer (local bodies), Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee or reputed Engineering College like IIT, NIIT etc.
Avoid Base Station Antennas in narrow lanes (≤ 5 mt.)
In respect of roof top towers with multiple antennas, the roof top usage desirable to be totally restricted.
In case of both ground based towers & roof top towers, there shall be no nearby buildings right in front of the antenna with height comparable to the lowest antenna on tower at a distance threshold
Formation of State and District Telecom Committees. Keeping public interest in view, there is a need of regular interactions between TERM Cell of DOT and State / District administration. Hence it is proposed to Set-up State and District Telecom Committees for review of all Telecom Infrastructure related issues at State/ District Level.
Though these guidelines do bring the radiation levels lower, but they are still drafted with several open ends, like direction of antenna, How the towers will be mounted in a densely populated areas, how to avoid the pollutions these towers cause by using diesel gen-sets for powering the towers when mains is not available – which is as much as 20 hours in most places in India.
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City of Randwick, Australia,
Cotonou (de facto capital),
Central African Republic, Bangui,
Since last 2-3 years, a systematic campaign has been launched in media about the dangerous “radiation” from cell phone towers. It was called ‘radiation’ intentionally to scare the public, as a common man links the word with dangerous products of nuclear accidents. The author of this post, Mr. Balbir Singh, a senior officer of Indian Telecommunication Services, has an experience of nearly 25 years in dealing with radio communications and through this post, aims to make the readers a little more aware of how baseless the theory behind these campaigns are.
The radiations, which are nothing but electromagnetic waves, are identified by their frequency bands. In ascending order of frequency these are named as medium and short wave radio, Very high, Ultra high, microwave, infrared, visible light ,ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma rays and cosmic rays . The frequencies above visible light are capable of ionizing the matter and so, are dangerous to the DNA of living cells. Visible light and frequencies lower than it, on the other hand, are regarded completely harmless. The cell phone towers emit waves in the UHF range which is much below the heat and visible light frequencies.
Coming to the power of these radiations, never will these evangelists report the fact that for a two way communication, the minimum power received by the mobile hand set from the tower and, received by the tower from the hand set has to be the same. So, a mobile tower and a mobile phone actually radiate more or less the same amount of power. Comparing tentative level of emitted powers from some of the most commonly identifiable devices:
Door Darshan: 10-20 Kilo Watts (UHF), Aakash Wani : 10-20 Kilo Watts (VHF), Micro wave oven : 1 Kilo watts, Police wireless : 20-50 watts (VHF), First Generation Mobile system (in 90s) in New York : 250-500 Watts (UHF), Mobile systems used presently : 10 Watts (UHF) per antenna.
There are thousands of maintenance officials working in above departments for eight hours a day and reside in colonies hosting these sources of UHF/VHF since last thirty years. But there is no evidence of any higher incidence of brain cancer or any other specific health problems in these departments. And why would there be? High power electric transmission lines, electric motors, railway engine and lines, spark plugs of vehicles, TV remotes, Computers and kitchens all emit mu UHF power. In fact, all matter at a nonzero temperature, like living animals, vegetables, electric bulb, heaters, and outer universe continuously emits a spectrum of these rays.
In a study conducted to draw some meaningful conclusions in this regard, the radiation level from other sources in our homes were measured. And the power near each of the object was found to be
Tower in open ground =2.52 Tube light= 1.378 Mixie- Grinder System = 4.175 Sun light = 1.67 100 watt bulb=1.6 Hot Tawa (on stove) =0.793 Fire in lighted chulha=0.450 Mobile phone = 0.320.
It can be understood from the above measurements that mobile telephony radiation is of no significance as compared to other radiations in the same band.
Media has reported measured power density in mobile telephony band between 5 to 10 watts per square meter at many congested places. Just by transmitting 10 watts or 100 watt (assuming there are ten mobile towers in area), a power density of 5 to 10 watts per square meter in a radius of 5 Km area cannot be created. It violates the principles of conservation of energy!!
So where from this power has come? And that is the catch. In a market place hundreds of mobile handsets are on. The total power density in an area due to the hand sets will be thousands of times more than the power received from the towers.
Some Ph.D aspirants have concluded that the mobile radiations affect the crops ( Moong specially), honey bees and birds lose their sense of direction and path. A lady from Bombay and a gentleman from Jaipur claim to have developed brain tumor due to the cell phone tower. Some study conducted in a busy mall near mobile towers report irritable behavior, loss of sleep, and depression in the employees. So let us consider the following things:
1. If these cell phone towers had any adverse impact on life cells, then all bacteria, virus, fungus, protozoa, and plants near the towers would have died. Mosquitoes and flies would die or run away. The life time of these organisms and insects is few hours or few days. Millions of their generations have passed and were exposed since last 15-30 years. We would have come across many new mutated species by now. But this is not observed.
2. Mobile radiation is predominantly accused of brains cancer and tumors. But, in fact, reaching frequencies up to the brain penetrating the skin and electrolytic fluids around the brain is not possible. Skin cancer, ear cancer, nose cancer or teeth cancer will precede the brain cancer. There are nearly 20 lakh cell phone towers in India. If we assume that each tower creates cancer in three families living nearest to them then there must be at least sixty lakh families with different forms of cancer. Fortunately there is no such evidence.
3. The mobile phones have penetrated every place in the country during last 15 years. There is no down fall in the total production of any crop, honey or whatever the claims have revolved around. On the contrary, towers have and still seem to be the preferred resting place for birds.
4. In busy malls there is a heavy flux of customers. Every new face causes secretions of adrenaline in the attendants. The irritability or sleeplessness or mild depressions are the well known consequences of the adrenaline. Some people answer 400 calls daily. This will affect their health irrespective of a mobile or a land line phone.
It is the right time for creating a proper public understanding of the issue before unfounded panic is spread. They say knowledge is power, so the next time someone talks about this nonsense, you can kick their asses right out of the park.
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MUMBAI: Freedom from the alleged deadly intensity of electro-magnetic radiation from cell phone towers may come at a price for consumers, especially in the city, where tower density is comparatively higher.
A recent department of telecommunication (DoT) directive to reduce levels of radiation to 1/10th may force telecom operators to increase towers or base transmission stations of lesser radiation levels, rather than putting up fewer high-radiati-on towers.
This, experts said, would increase capital expenditure of operators, which consumers may have to compensate by paying higher tariffs. Each station comes at Rs 3-5 lakh and requires costlier maintenance. But sources said companies will have to first appeal for a higher tariff before the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), following which the authority will take a decision after hearing consumer appeals.
Against high-radiation towers fitted as densely as 300 metres from each other in Mumbai, telecom firms may have to go in for lower power stations or towers beyond a minimum 500-metre peripheral distance from each other.
The distance between towers has been specified in the natural habitat by the environment ministry, which is supposed to be 1,000 metres from each tower. But for dense urban localities like Mumbai, having highrises, no specific distance is recommended.
IIT professor Girish Kumar said each tower should radiate maximum two watts of power and be placed 500 metres from each other. “”Consumers can fit repeaters of maximum 0.1 watt capacity in offices or homes for safer radiation levels,”” he said.
Though bringing down radiation levels is welcome, he said, it will not reduce below 450 milliwatts, which is still high. “”Cell phone firms will not obey this directive of reducing levels. They will only assure consumers that radiation levels are lower than what is prescribed. We need a strong monitoring force to get it implemented,”” said Kumar. He said the notification could be a ploy to show the betterment of society but will result in more towers mushrooming, and consumers will have to pay for infrastructure and maintenance through bills.
Kumar said health problems occur after 15 years if the power is .1 watts, but with .45 watts (or 450 milliwatts), it takes few years. “”With 10 watts, it’s a matter of one or two years,”” he said. But Rajan Mathews, director-general, Cellular Operators Association of India), said levels were in compliance with international standards., thus achieving safest levels
The survey was by several institutes, including the wireless communication laboratory of IIT Madras and was sponsored by COAI and the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India, Mathews said.
TRAI eye on city
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has started setting up its office in Mumbai to keep an eye on telecom, broadcasting and cable services in the western region. It recently appointed Madan Mohan, a senior Indian Telecommunication Services officer, as its advisor for the region, which comprises Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa. Monitoring quality and standards of services through audits and surveys, and ensuring compliance of tariff-related guidelines by telecom, broadcasting and cable operators, will be the office’s main responsibility, besides development of consumer advocacy groups and coordination with telecom enforcement and resource-monitoring cells of the department of telecommunication.
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LUCKNOW: The Lucknow Development Authority is all set to put in place new guidelines for installation of mobile towers in the city. The authority has constituted a committee headed by LDA secretary to come up with new guidelines/regulations within two months. The development coincides with the Centre’s move to issue new guidelines, while asking mobile companies to reduce radiation levels.
LDA vice-chairman, Rajneesh Dubey said that the committee has been asked to study the new guidelines of the Centre, see how the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) adhered to it and subsequently come up with measures which are in conformity with the new guidelines of the central government. The new guidelines are based on the recommendations of the inter-ministerial committee of the ministry of communication and information technology (IT), which suggested reduction in the level of radiation from the existing 9.2 watt per square metre to 0.92 watt per square metre.
“”Once the committee submits its report and comes with new guidelines they will be endorsed by the board of LDA,”” Dubey said, while speaking to TOI on Monday. “”The committee has been asked to submit its report within two months after which necessary action will be taken against the erring companies,”” he said.
As a matter of fact, none of the scores of mobile towers installed in the city have got the due sanction of the authority. According to records, LDA received only 60 applications to install the towers, till date. Of these, 21 applications were for installation of towers in Hazratganj, while 24 were from Hasanganj. Couple of applications were also received from areas like Chowk, Alambagh, Wazirganj, Gomtinagar, Aliganj and Indiranagar. However, none of them have got the sanction. LDA officials maintain that while in some case, the map of the building is not passed, while in some cases there is absence of no-objection certificate from the respective residential welfare associations. There have also been cases, where the companies did not show the requisite NOC from the UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB).
It, however, remains to be seen as to how the authority would enforce the new guidelines, which appear to get stricter considering the health hazards posed by the radiations from the mobile towers. The authority has already been struggling to get the existing rules, which are essentially in conformity with the building by-laws, enforced.
LDA sources said that there had been instances of residential welfare associations pointing out some of the dangerously installed towers in the localities. “”We have been lodging complaints with the LDA repeatedly. However, no action has been taken against anyone,”” said Brikeshwar Tewari, president of a residential welfare society in Gomtinagar.
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HYDERABAD: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will crack the whip against mobile phone service providers who have put up illegal cell towers without permission from the civic body.
The corporation has decided to take action against faulty telecom companies like dismantling cell towers if they do not pay Rs one lakh fee and get them regularised immediately. In June, the AP high court, while disposing cases on illegal cell towers, said that the towers should be erected by taking permission from the corporation. After HC verdict, the GHMC town planning wing slapped notices on service providers like Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Idea, Tata, BSNL and others. A meeting was also conducted with representatives of service providers in June last week and they were asked to submit documents like structural stability certificate and owners’ lease agreement within 10 days. However, even after three months, less than 10 applications were received. “”The corporation will remove cell towers if they do not come forward to regularise the existing 3,400 cell towers,”” GHMC chief city planner GV Raghu told TOI on Monday.
Incidentally, GHMC records show there are only 3,433 cell towers in the city, but there could be another 1,000 more as several new towers have come up in the past two years. Several towers do not have structural stability and were posing danger not only to inmates of buildings where they were erected but also their neighbours. For identifying the existing illegal and new towersGHMC would have to carry out a survey again. Officials estimate that they would get at least Rs 30 crore revenue in form of cell tower fees. As per the survey conducted by the town planning wing in 2010, there were 3,433 cell towers in GHMC limits with highest density (428) towers situated in Circle-10 areas like Khairatabad, Punjagutta, Banjara Hills.
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NEW DELHI, SEPT 01: With the Government’s new norms for mobile towers coming into effect from Saturday, India will be among the few countries in the world to have stringent Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) Radiation Standards, established in the interest of public health.
The US, New Zealand and Canada have already adopted similar norms. Indian standards are now 10 times more stringent than over 90 per cent of the countries, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said here on Friday.
The EMF exposure limit for Base Station Emissions has been lowered to one tenth of the existing level, he said.
“Health of the people should not be compromised at any cost. Technology must be embraced but ultimately public health should not be compromised,” he said.
Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM) Cells under the Department of Telecom (DoT) will conduct random audits of the self certification furnished by the service providers.
TERM, which also monitors illegal telecom operations, will carry out test audit of 10 per cent of the base transceiver station (BTS) site on a random basis and in all cases where there is a public complaint, the Minister said.
Another agency under the DoT, the Telecom Engineering Centre has revised the test procedure for measurement of Electromagnetic Frequency in accordance with new standards.
A penalty of Rs 5 lakh is liable to be levied per BTS per service provider on non-compliance with the EMF standards, Sibal said.
According to DoT, 95 per cent of the towers are already complying with the new emission norms.
On handsets, the Minister said all new designs of mobile handsets shall comply with the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values of 1.6 watt/kg averaged over 1 gram of human tissue from Saturday.
The mobile handsets with existing designs which are compliant with 2W/kg averaged over 10 gram of human tissue, will continue to co-exist up to August 2013. Mobile handsets with revised SAR value of 1.6 watt/kg would be permitted to be manufactured or imported in India from September 2013.
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An insight into the current situation about regulations for radiation levels from cellular towers and mobile phones in India.
The hazards of mobile phones and cell tower radiation join the list of potentially alarming issues for the country. Multinational companies and telecom operators have been wound up to provide better quality services that are also ecologically safe. The World Health Organization had declared that microwave radiation from mobile phones can increase the possibility of cancer. With the September 1 date approaching, stricter regulations related to electromagnetic radiation emission (EMR) from cell towers and mobile phones will be levied.
Millions of mobile subscribers had taken part in the delayed roll out of 3G wireless telephony networks in India. Now, mobile subscribers will experience it all over again. The Department of Telecommunication had given a timeline for telecom operators and mobile phone makers to adhere to the globally permissible and safe levels of electromagnetic radiation emissions. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has asked the DoT not to permit the installation of cellular towers within one kilometer of existing ones. This is to ensure that there is no potential risk of EMR harming humans, animals and other biological systems.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had informed The Mobile Indian that the Government of India/DoT has already adopted and implemented ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) standards for the telecom sector in the country. These standards are considered to be among the best in the world and have been adopted by over 90 per cent countries worldwide.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee comprising of the Department of Telecom, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Department of Biotechnology, and Indian Council of Medical Research, was set up in August 2010 for studying radiation from cellular towers and mobile handsets. This report can be accessed at . Following that the Department of Telecom announced that new regulations regarding radiation emissions from cellular towers and mobile phones will be effective from September 1, 2012.
Regulation of EMR from cellular towers
While the common man is still half-aware of the potential risks of the mobile phone, macro-level matters need immediate attention. Basically, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has notified the DoT to ensure that radiation emission levels from cell towers are under permissible limits. The DoT on the other hand stated that no scientific study had conclusively stated that cellular towers pose a threat to human life. Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal noted that service providers’ cellular towers are maintaining the EMR levels as per pre-defined limits.
The cellular towers run by telecom service providers regularly go through audits and checks initiated by the Department of Telecom to measure EMR levels and quality of service. From September 1, the Department of Telecom will ensure that the exposure limits for radio frequency fields (1800 MHz) will be brought down by one tenth to 0.92 Watt per square meter compared to the current standard 9.2 Watt per square meter. However, Rajan S Mathews, director general of COAI, stated that lowering the radio frequency field limits will bring no health benefits. Also, prohibition of cell tower installation in close proximity to one another could lead to poor services.
If cell tower frequencies are lowered, then the mobile phones will consume higher power and emit more radiations to gain better cellular coverage. Also, with higher power consumption on the handset that would lead to lesser battery life, lesser talk time as well as standby time and more mobile charging energy consumption. So eventually that will lead to an unpleasant experience of mobile telephony.
Minister of state for communications and IT, Sachin Pilot, said, “”Necessary changes in the design and packaging for compliance with this instruction will have to be in place on or before September 1. More stringent self-certification will become mandatory for every tower and mobile handset. The ministry will conduct random checks for RF exposure. Violation of radiation limits or non-certification will entail a fine of Rs 5 lakh per tower.””
Telecom service providers will have to tweak the cell towers to adhere to the new RF level standards and also ready them for the new 1800 MHz frequency spectrum. The government of India has plans to refarm the 1800 MHz spectrum by substituting the airwaves being currently crowded in the 900 MHz band by most telecom service providers. The government of India wants to make this possible by early 2013 but apparently it is too short a period for service providers to invest in and implement such changes to boost the efficiency of cellular networks. In order to perform a smoother shift from the 900 MHz spectrum band to the 1800 MHz spectrum band, the government of India will have to let both the bands exist for a couple of years.
Amendments to SAR in mobile handsets
Mobile phone handsets also generate electromagnetic fields which are basically absorbed by the human body. The amount of radio frequency absorbed by the human body while using a mobile phone is measured by Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). As per current standards, the SAR permissible for mobile phones imported and manufactured in India is set at 2.0 Watts per kilogram of the user’s body mass.
As per the IMC report, DoT had announced that Indian mobile handset makers and importers will have to adhere to the new SAR limit of 1.6 Watt per kg effective from August 31, 2013. This date is for mobile phone makers to phase out their products with SAR higher than 1.6 W/kg and this deadline was previously set to September 1, 2012.
Indian mobile phone makers have already started working on their devices to adhere with the 1.6 W/kg SAR levels. Multinational handset makers are already offering devices with SAR levels capped at 1.6 W/kg in the US while in Europe the limit has been set to 2 W/kg. In the US, the Federal Communications Commission is an autonomous body that performs exhaustive tests to check the RF emission levels and accordingly offer FCC certification mentioning the relevant SAR level.
All new mobile phones that will be sold in Indian markets ought to have their SAR level mentioned on the packaging. Also, old mobile devices that have higher SAR levels should be disposed. That clearly means that if you have been using a three year old mobile phone then it is time to recycle/discard it and purchase a new one. Also, non-branded handsets potentially have higher than permissible SAR levels. It is advisable to keep mobile phones away from infants and kids for they have thinner skulls and are more prone to carcinogenic hazards.
The aforementioned scenario where cell towers emitted weaker microwaves will drive mobile phones to function on stronger waves. That means the SAR levels of the phone might spike in low network areas. Hence, it is advisable to switch off the phone or put it in offline mode in weaker signal areas. Health Researchers advise that one must not keep an active smartphone near one’s head while sleeping at night. However, no research has so far been able to conclude that mobile phones cause cancer and you can read a paper on the same from COAI.
Handset makers will be required to move to an aircraft grade chassis material for their high-end (3G and 4G LTE) smartphones to keep SAR levels under control and diminishing.
Tags and accessories
In Delhi, the State Health Department, Indian Council of Medical Research, Jawaharlal Nehru University and World Health Organization decided in a meeting that all mobile phones that are sold and imported in the Delhi region should have SAR level tags on them. Besides that, there will be a boom in the market for accessories that will help reduce radiation levels emitted from the smartphone and also protect the quality of telephony.
Australian company Pong Research has been offering custom cases for the Apple iPhone, Android based devices and BlackBerry devices. These Pong cases look fancy and also reduce radiation while optimizing mobile phone reception at the same time. The Pong cases claim to reduce radiation levels by up to 96 per cent below the SAR level limits set by the international regulatory.
While a majority of Android smartphone owners continuously crib about battery life, poor reception from the cell tower or improper modem software could be the culprit. With different SAR level values in different regions, we advise users to purchase mobile phones after checking the radiation tags. Currently, the Indian SAR level limit is as much as the one permitted in Europe but soon the Indian limit will be brought down to 1.6 W/kg. So be ware if you are purchasing a mobile online or in a region that has a higher SAR level than the one permissible in India.
As of now, there are no conclusive reports that radiation emitted from mobile phones and cell towers cause immediate harm. However, it is better to be safe and take enough precaution from microwave radiation than be sorry later.
Miami Florida USA
Andorra, Andorra la Vella
San Buenaventura California USA
New Delhi, Aug 31 — Stringent new radiation norms for mobile phone towers and mobile handsets will come into effect Sep 1 across the country, the government announced Friday, keeping in view their possible adverse impact on human health.
“”We have to be careful as a nation. Technology must be embraced but ultimately public health should not be compromised,”” Communications Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here, unveiling the norms.
A penalty of Rs.5 lakh will be liable to be levied per tower per service provider for non-compliance of EMF standards.
The new EMF limit will be one tenth the existing exposure limit for all mobile phone towers across the country.
“”Indian standards would now be 10 times more stringent than more than 90 percent countries in the world,”” the communications ministry said in a statement.
The norms also say that mobile handsets shall comply with the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values of 1.6 W/kg averaged over 1 gram of human tissue. Earlier it was 2W/kg over 10 gram of human tissue.
All cellphone handsets sold in the market in India shall be available in hands-free mode. Existing handsets which do not comply with these norms will co-exist only up to Aug 31, 2013.
From Sep 1, 2012 only the mobile handsets with revised SAR value would be permitted to be manufactured or imported in India.
The ministry issued guidelines for mobile handset owners. It says customers shoul follow basic health rules such as holding the cell phone away from body to the extent possible and using a headset to keep the handset away from your head.
The government said it will set up a test laboratory in the telecom engineering centre (TEC) by this year-end for testing of SAR value of mobile handsets.
The Comptroller and Auditor General in a report tabled in parliament Thursday had slammed the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for delay in finalising safety standards for cell phones.
–Indian-Asian News Service
Miami Gardens, Florida
Paterson, New Jersey
Hervey Bay, Queensland
Durham, North Carolina
Gladstone Queensland Australia
Taking a major step in the favour of public health, the government has directed the telecom players to follow the new guidelines of radiation, which has come into effect from September 01, 2012 (Saturday).
According to new guidelines, as of now, the EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency) exposure limit (Base Station Emissions) has been lowered to 1/10th of the existing International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) exposure level. It means mobile towers will emit 1/10 times of EMF from Saturday as against earlier.
The higher EMF can cause several deadly diseases like cancer, mutation in human and animals. Viewing the growing network of mobile towers, telecom players and mobile users, the Department of Telecom, Minister of Information and Broadcasting has decided to revise the radiation guidelines.
Besides, mobile towers, now even handsets with higher energy absorption rate can continue to be in use until August 31 of next year. Government has ordered to mobile manufacturing companies to follow the new standard level of Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) which has been set at 1.6 watt per kg.
Mobile manufacturers will also have to display the SAR value on the handset and inform the consumer while selling,’ ordered DoT.
With this new stringent EMF Radiation Standard, India has come up into an elite group that has less EMF Radiation Standard.
DoT has also stated that in case of violation of this norm, a penalty of 5 lakh will be levied per BTS per service provider.
Telecom Enforcement Research & Monitoring cells will be responsible for conducting audit on the self-certification furnished by the service providers.
The following are the highlights of the Standards:
A. Mobile Towers (EMF Radiation Norms)
EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency) exposure limit (Base Station Emissions) has been lowered to 1/10th of the existing ICNIRP exposure level, effective 1st Sept. 2012.
Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells have been entrusted with the job of conducting audit on the self certification furnished by the Service Providers. TERM Cell will carry out test audit of 10% of the BTS site on random basis and on all cases where there is a public complaint.
Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) has revised the Test Procedure for measurement of EMF for verification of EMF compliance for BTS towers in accordance with new standards.
For non-compliance of EMF standards, a penalty of Rs. 5 lakhs is liable to be levied per BTS per Service Provider.
The BTS site details i.e. self-certification, registration with TERM Cell, test results etc. is proposed to be provided on DoT web site for General Public information.
B. Mobile Handsets
All the new design of mobile handsets shall comply with the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values of 1.6 W/kg averaged over 1 gram of human tissue w.e.f. 1st Sept. 2012.
The mobile handsets with existing designs which are compliant with 2.0 W/kg averaged over 10 gram of human tissue, will continue to co-exist up to 31st August 2013. From 1st Sept. 2013, only the mobile handsets with revised SAR value of 1.6 W/kg would be permitted to be manufactured or imported in India.
SAR value information display on the mobile handsets like IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) display. The information on SAR values to be made available to the consumer at the point of sale.
Mobile handset manufactured and sold in India or imported from other countries shall be checked on random basis for compliance of SAR limit after TEC SAR Laboratory is set up by end of 2012. Test results from international accredited labs will be acceptable in the interim period.
The manufacturers in India will provide self-declaration of SAR value of the handset.
Suitable amendments in the Indian Telegraph Rule under Indian Telegraph Act 1985 are being enacted in support of ensuring compliance of new SAR values for handsets.
Manufacturer’s mobile handset booklet will contain safety precautions.
All cell phone handsets sold in the market in India will comply with relevant standards and shall be available in hand free mode.
C. SAR Test Laboratory:
SAR Test Laboratory is being set up in Telecom Engineering Centre for testing of SAR value of mobile handsets imported/ manufactured in India. New National SAR Standards from Telecom Engineering Centre.
National SAR standards from Telecom Engineering Centre are being finalized.
DoT is procuring EMF radiation measuring instruments for TERM cell units.
Outsourcing for EMF radiation measurement for BTS towers is also being considered.
Expert Group Study:
A scientific study in India-specific context is being undertaken jointly by Dept. of Telecom and Dept. of Science and Technology in collaboration with ICMR, MOEF and Min of Science and Technology to derive norms based on credible scientific evidence taking into account diversity of Indian social context.
F. Guidelines to State Government
Department of Telecommunication has released Guidelines covering BTS Towers so that some consistency gets evolved on setting up of BTS towers. Guidelines have been placed on DoT website.
G. Guidelines for Consumers
Guidelines for consumers on Mobile handset usage have been issued and hosted on DoT Web site (http://www.gov.dot.in) for general public awareness. Some of them are: keep distance – hold the cell phone away from body to the extent possible, use a headset (wired or Bluetooth) to keep the handset away from your head, do not press the phone handset against your head. Radio Frequency (RF) energy is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source-being very close increases energy absorption much more, limit the length of mobile calls, use text as compared to voice wherever possible, put the cell phone on speaker mode, when your phone is on, don’t carry it in chest/breast or pants pocket, when a mobile phone is on, it automatically transmits at high power every one or two minutes to check (poll) the network. . A booklet addressing possible queries from mobile telecom users on radiation-related issues along with other informative inputs is also being placed on DoT website.
H. TEC Test Procedures Document for Service Providers and Term Cell Units
TEC has revised the Test Procedure for measurement of EMF elaborating the methodology, calculations, measurements and report formats for verification of EMF compliance for BTS towers in accordance with new standards effective from 1st Sept. 2012. This will be applicable for all Mobile Service Providers and Term Cell Units to verify compliance.
Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications and IT has ensured that the new EMF Radiation standards get implemented through close co-ordination with the industry. The guidelines underline the Government’s efforts at providing the best possible Telecom services across the country without compromising on public safety and human health.
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