Phones Carried on Belt or in Pants Pocket May Harm Reproductive Health
Although most scientific and public attention on the issue of the safety of cell phone radiation has focused on evidence suggesting an increased risk of brain tumors (Baan 2011), a little-noticed but growing body of research points to a new concern – sperm damage (La Vignera 2012).
In a comprehensive review of the published scientific literature, the Environmental Working Group found 10 human studies that have identified a startling variety of changes in sperm exposed to cell phone radiation. In the most striking findings, men who carried their phones in a pocket or on the belt were more likely to have lower sperm counts and/or more inactive or less mobile sperm. These findings accord with similar results in laboratory animals.
Collectively, the research indicates that exposure to cell phone radiation may lead to decreases in sperm count, sperm motility and vitality, as well as increases in indicators of sperm damage such as higher levels of reactive oxygen species (chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen), oxidative stress, DNA damage and changes in sperm morphology (see summary below).
Many men who talk on a cell phone using a Bluetooth device or other headset keep the phone in a pants pocket or clipped to a holster. This exposes their reproductive organs to cell phone radiation, and several studies have found lower sperm count and/or poorer sperm quality in men who use their phones this way than in those who do not.
Scientists have yet to identify a mechanism by which cell phone use might cause such effects (Makker 2009). However, the research appears to rule out the possibility that the changes are caused by simple heating, which is considered to be a possible source of some radiofrequency radiation-related health problems (De Iuliis 2009; Volkow 2011).
The findings are particularly significant in light of the fact that infertility affects approximately 15 percent of couples of reproductive age, and nearly half of these cases are linked to male fertility (Sharlip 2002). The number and consistency of the findings raise the possibility that cell phone radiation could be contributing to this significant public health problem and demand further investigation.
Studies linking cell phone exposure to harmful effects on sperm have been done in the United States, Australia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Turkey and South Africa, using diverse methodologies. In some, scientists compared sperm counts and sperm health in men who wore cell phones on the hip with those who carried them elsewhere on the body or did not use cell phones at all. In others, researchers exposed sperm to cell phone radiation under laboratory conditions. In still others, scientists examined whether there was a correlation between sperm health and the intensity of cell phone use among men undergoing evaluation for infertility.
Among the findings:
Men who carried a phone in a hip pocket or on the belt had 11 percent fewer mobile sperm than men who kept a phone elsewhere on the body (Kilgallon 2005).
Men who carried a cell phone on the belt and used it intensively during a five-day test period had a 19 percent drop in highly motile sperm from their previous levels (Davoudi 2002).
Men who talked on the phone for more than an hour a day had 17 percent fewer highly motile sperm than men who talked less than 15 minutes a day (Fejes 2005).
Laboratory studies on the effects of cell phone radiation on rats, rabbits and other animals have found similar effects on reproductive health (Kesari 2011; Mailankot 2009).
All these studies found statistically significant correlations between cell phone radiation and sperm health, and many found that the adverse changes increased with the amount of radiation exposure. Opinions differ as to the possible mechanism by which cell phone radiation might produce these changes (Falzone 2010).
A number of research papers include unambiguous statements on the potential of cell phone radiation to affect men’s reproductive health:
“Keeping the cell phone in a trouser pocket in talk mode may negatively affect spermatozoa and impair male fertility” (Agarwal 2009).
“Use of cell phones decreases the semen quality in men by decreasing the sperm count, motility, viability and normal morphology. The decrease in sperm parameters was dependent on the duration of daily exposure to cell phones and independent of the initial semen quality” (Agarwal 2008).
“These findings have clear implications for the safety of extensive mobile phone use by males of reproductive age, potentially affecting both their fertility and the health and wellbeing of their offspring” (De Iuliis 2009).
“Overall, these findings raise a number of related health policy and patient management issues that deserve our immediate attention. Specifically, we recommend that men of reproductive age who engage in high levels of mobile phone use do not keep their phones in receiving mode below waist level” (De Iuliis 2009).
“Our results showed that cell phone use negatively affects sperm quality in men… Men with poor sperm quality planning for pregnancy should be advised not to use cell phones extensively” (Gutschi 2011).
“The results show that human spermatozoa exposed to RF-EMR have decreased motility, morphometric abnormalities and increased oxidative stress, whereas men using mobile phones have decreased sperm concentration, motility…, normal morphology, and viability. These abnormalities seem to be directly related with the length of mobile phone use” (La Vignera 2012).
Given the backdrop of increasing infertility rates (Swan 2006), the research findings should be a wake-up call to male cell phone users who are trying to have children or may want to in the future.
Even as scientists continue to gather new data on health risks from cell phone radiation, the findings underscore that consumers should practice simple, precautionary safe-cell-phone-use habits, such as keeping the phone away from the body, in order to protect their health and fertility. Men, in particular, should avoid carrying a cell phone on the belt or in a pants pocket when in use.
What About Women’s Health?
There are no published studies examining the effect of cell phone radiation on reproductive health in women. Such studies are much more difficult to carry out, since they often require invasive techniques. However, several recent articles suggested that cell phone radiation might be harmful to the developing fetus. For example, a 2009 study in Turkey found that after pregnant rats were exposed to cell phone radiation for 15 minutes twice a day during the entire gestation period, their female pups had fewer ovarian follicles (Gul 2009). A 2012 study by researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine found that mice exposed to cell phone radiation during gestation were hyperactive and had impaired memory (Aldad 2012).
There have been similar findings in two human studies. UCLA researchers reported that cell phone exposure during pregnancy and after birth was associated with behavioral problems in young children (Divan 2008; Divan 2012). This line of research is just beginning, but a recent review article emphasized that cell phone radiation might impact reproduction and development in both men and women (Merhi 2011).
Is it a cactus? A palm tree? A water tower? No It’s a cell phone tower That’s right Cell phone towers today are being disguised in subtle ways unheard of just a few years ago. See a grain silo? Or a church steeple? You guessed it. It could very well be a cell phone tower. There’s even a cell phone tower that looks just like a lighthouse.never mind that it’s over two miles from the ocean.
But don’t let the pretty and ingenious disguises fool you. There is a real and present danger lurking behind the mask of these innocent designs.
Why the disguises? Obviously, for aesthetic reasons. The cell phone companies don’t want to make their neighborhood friends upset. They want to blend in. So they blend in while they blast your home and neighborhood with toxic electromagnetic radiation.
Cell phone towers, sometimes called masts, or mobile phone towers, weren’t an issue years ago when they were few and far between. One could often drive miles and miles through the countryside and never see one. They were few in number and were only found in obscure locations and seen only on an occasional hilltop. Today cell phone towers have increased dramatically in number. There are now more than 1.9 million cell phone towers and antenna towers spread throughout the U.S. They are now found on churches, schools and firehouses as well as being seen on the rooftop of buildings everywhere. Did you know there is even a cell phone tower near Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park? Can’t sleep well at night? It may be that there’s a cell phone tower close by.
Just why would a mobile phone tower be placed on a church, school or firehouse? Why would school boards and churches agree to this? Money. It’s that simple. The mobile phone companies will pay these organizations, and individual property owners, handsomely to install their equipment on their properties. This “rent money” can range from a few hundred dollars a month to several thousand dollars a month. What school district or church couldn’t use extra money to aid a struggling budget? By “renting” the space on an already-constructed building the cell phone industry doesn’t have to purchase land, build a tower or construct a new building. It simply mounts its equipment on a structure that already exists. It’s a win-win deal for the cell phone company and the new ‘landlord.’
Opposition to these cell tower installments used to gone unnoticed and without question. Not so today. Neighborhoods and citizens are becoming vocally opposed. But it’s not the esthetics that causes residents and property owners to oppose these structures. Communities and citizens are afraid of the potential health effects being caused by this technology as well as the adverse affect on property values.
We Can’t Stop Cell Phone Tower Construction
Unfortunately, there isn’t much one can do to stop the proliferation and continued build out of cell phone towers and structures. Although thought to be legislation about deregulation issues, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TCA) was really an open invitation for the cell phone industry to place their towers anywhere they wanted. Section 704 of the TCA basically states that local authorities can’t ban the placement of towers in their jurisdictions. The law says: “No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.” So legally the local government can’t refuse the construction of a cell phone tower in your neighborhood Any challenge by local communities could easily end up in federal court. Our lawmakers have basically given the cell phone industry free reign to install these towers wherever they want. And, by the way, the cell phone industry helped write this legislation that our government officials passed as law The public, therefore, now has no voice and no vote. Is there something wrong with this picture? Why didn’t our public officials represent the people instead of big business? Why would you let the very industry you’re trying to regulate write it’s own laws?
Does the income outweigh the potential risks? It appears not. Scores of studies and well-respected research have exposed alarming health effects from various forms of cancer to stress. Many experts today are predicting an epidemic in brain cancer soon.
Representatives from the industry are quick to point out the microwaves emitted by cell phone towers are well below federal standards. And indeed they may be. At least on paper. Most towers operate at a power output of 100 watts. However, this isn’t the total wattage of the tower. What they aren’t telling you is that 100 watts is the power per channel. Since one tower may have dozens of channels you can see that the power output could be highly excessive and well beyond 100 watts. It’s a technical loophole. And, of course, who is monitoring the power output from these towers after they are erected? The FCC certainly isn’t. It doesn’t have the manpower or money to properly regulate the millions of towers and antennas now online. And who is to prevent these companies from turning up the wattage when no one is around? Some have reported that many of these towers have already shown power outputs in the 900 to 1000 watt range.
You Can’t Escape The Radiation. It’s Everywhere.
We simply can’t escape the exposure to this radiation. It’s everywhere. There are so many people using cell phones and wireless connections today that you don’t even have to own a cell phone to be exposed. You’re just as exposed as everyone else. Every time someone makes a call from a mobile phone the signal is sent to a cell phone tower. There are so many calls being made by everyone all around us and now there are so many mobile phone towers in operation, that all of us are caught in the crossfire. It’s like second-hand smoke from cigarettes, except that we can’t get away from it. There simply isn’t anywhere to escape.
How Mobile Phone Towers Work
Cell phone towers emit signals in a “flower petal” pattern around the tower. This 360-degree radius around the tower is called a “cell” and this is what the term “cell” in cell phone means. When your phone is in a “cell” you get good reception and when it isn’t in a?”cell” you get poor reception. So, for a cell phone company to provide complete coverage cell phone towers and antenna towers must be positioned all across the country so that the “cells” overlap. You can begin to see what a huge infrastructure needs to be created to provide complete cell phone coverage. That’s why cell phone towers and antenna towers are so prevalent. Furthermore, that’s why these antennas are installed in so many places like rooftops, fire stations, schools and churches. This is what is necessary for complete coverage.
Studies Show Adverse Health Effects From Cell Phone Towers
If you aren’t sure that cell phone towers and masts are harmful the following study summaries should convince you. Below are listed six studies that have shown significant adverse health effects on people living near cell phone towers. According to Dr. Grahame Blackwell “these are the only studies known that specifically consider the effects of masts on people. All six studies show clear and significant ill-health effects. There are no known studies relating to health effects of masts that do not show such ill-health effects.”
Santini et al. found significant health problems in people living within 300 meters of a cell phone base station or tower. The recommendation was made from the study that cell phone base stations should not be placed closer than 300 meters to populated areas. Pathol Biol (Paris) 2002; 50: 369-373.
A Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research study entitled, “Effects of Global Communications System Radio-Frequency Fields On Well Being and Cognitive Function of Human Subjects With and Without Subjective Complaints” found significant effects on well being including headaches, muscle fatigue, pain, and dizziness from tower emissions well below the “safety” level.
Gerd, Enrique, Manuel, Ceferino and Claludio conducted a Spanish study called “The Microwave Syndrome” and found adverse health effects from those living near two cell phone base stations. The health effects included fatigue, a tendency toward depression, sleeping disorders, difficulty in concentration and cardiovascular problems.
From an Israeli study published in the International Journal of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 1, No. 2, April 2004, Wolf and Wolf reported a fourfold increase in the incidence of cancer in people living within 350 meters of a cell phone tower as compared to the Israeli general population. They also reported a tenfold increase specifically among women.
In the Naila Study from Germany, November 2004, five medical doctors collaborated to assess the risk to people living near a cell phone tower. The retrospective study was taken from patient case histories between 1994 and 2004 from those who had lived during the past ten years at a distance up to 400 meters from the tower site. The results showed that the proportion of newly developed cancer cases was significantly higher in those patients living within the 400-meter distance and that the patients became ill on average eight years earlier. In the years 1999 to 2004, after five years of operation of the transmitting tower, the relative risk of getting cancer had trebled for residents of the area in the proximity of the installation compared to the inhabitants of Naila outside the area.
An Austrian Study released in May 2005, showed that radiation from a cell phone tower at a distance of 80 meters causes significant changes of the electrical currents in the brains of test subjects. All test subjects indicated they felt unwell during the radiation and some reported being seriously ill. According to the scientists doing the study, this is the first worldwide proof of significant changes of the electrical currents in the brain, as measured by EEG, by a cell phone base station at a distance of 80 meters. Subjects reported symptoms such as buzzing in the head, tinnitus, palpitations of the heart, lightheadedness, anxiety, shortness of breath, nervousness, agitation, headache, heat sensation and depression. According to scientists this is the first proof that electrical circuits in the brain are significantly affected by a cell phone tower. The distance in this study was a mere 80 meters.
Two-time Nobel Prize nominee Dr. Gerald Hyland, a physicist, had this to say about mobile phone towers. “Existing safety guidelines for cell phone towers are completely inadequate. Quite justifiably, the public remains skeptical of attempts by governments and industry to reassure them that all is well, particularly given the unethical way in which they often operate symbiotically so as to promote their own vested interests.”
Dr. Bruce Hocking did a study in Syndey, Australia, of children living near TV and FM broadcast towers, which by the way, are very similar to cell phone towers. He found that these children had more than twice the rate of leukemia as children living more than seven miles away from these towers.
Results in yet another recent study conducted on inhabitants living near or under a mobile phone base station antenna yielded the following prevalence of neuropsychiatric complaints: headache (23.5%), memory changes (28.2%), dizziness (18.8%), tremors (9.4%), depressive symptoms (21.7%), and sleep disturbances(23.5%). In this study the participants were given a neurobehavioral test battery measuring such things as problem solving, visuomotor speed, attention andmemory. Symptoms of exposed inhabitants were significantly higher than control groups.
Furthermore, Europe’s top environmental watchdog group, European Environment Agency (EEA), is calling for immediate action to reduce exposure to mobile phone masts. EEA suggests action to reduce exposure immediately to vulnerable groups such as children.
The development of brain tumors in staff members working in a building in Melbourne, Australia, prompted the closing of the top floors of the building. The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology is housed in the building. Seven staff members were diagnosed with brain tumors and five of the seven worked on the top floor. A cell phone antenna is located on the roof of the building.
The Orange phone company in England is being forced to remove its mast tower on a building in Bristol, England. The removal is a result of a five-year effort by residents and local authorities to have the mast removed. Cancer rates in the building, which has become known internationally as the “Tower of Doom,” have soared to ten times the national average for the 110 residents living there. The two masts sitting on the roof, one owned by Orange and the other by Vodafone, were installed in 1994. Vodafone has refused the remove its mast.
Cell Phone Towers Affect Animals
Animals aren’t exempt from exposure the cell phone tower radiation either. One veterinary school in Hanover, Germany, reports that dairy cows kept in close proximity to a cell phone tower for two years had a reduction in milk production in addition to other health problems including abnormal behavior patterns.
Firefighters Vote To Suspend Cell Tower Construction On Fire Stations
Concerned about the effect that masts have on the nation’s firefighters, The International Association of Fire Fighters voted in 2004 to voice its opposition to cell phone towers and antennas being place on and around fire stations. They want proof first that there isn’t a safety issue and have asked for a moratorium on further construction and placement of any more towers or antennas on or around firehouses until such a study can be conducted.
What Are These Antennas Doing To Our Kids While They’re In School?’t worth the risk. They should not be subjected to microwave radiation when science has proven there could clearly be devastating effects as outlined in the previously mentioned studies. School boards and parent organizations need to be aware of the inherent dangers from such an exposure. It’s been clearly shown that microwave radiation penetrates the head of a child much easier than that of an adult. This is due to the thinner and softer bones in the head of child. Skull bones don’t fully harden until about age 22.
How Many Cell Phone Towers Are Near You?
The average person lives within one-half mile of a cell phone tower. Have you ever wondered how close you live or work to one of these towers? Would it bother you if one were right in your backyard? How many of these towers and antennas do you think there are in your immediate area? Find out by visiting the website http://www.antennasearch.com/. Simply type in your address and you’ll get a listing and a map of all the towers and antennas within a short radius of your address. Like most people you’ll probably gasp when you see the numbers. These towers are literally everywhere. Hundreds and hundreds of them are probably located within a few miles of your home or office.
Watch The Signal Bars On Your Cell Phone
The signal bars on your cell phone tell you how strong the signal is that are connecting to your cell phone. In other words, the closer you are to a cell phone tower the stronger the signal. The stronger the signal the less power your phone has to use to maintain the connection. A strong signal is indicated by a full set of “bars” showing on your cell phone display. Fewer bars mean a weaker signal. A weaker signal means the cell phone has to work harder to maintain the signal. Consequently, more power is needed to maintain the connection. The more power needed the greater the amount of radiation produced by your phone and the greater exposure to you. So always try to talk in outdoors or in an open space. This allows an easier connection from your cell phone to the nearest cell phone tower. Your phone won’t have to work as hard and less power is used to maintain the signal, which translates, to less radiation exposure for you.
What Can We Do?
Obviously, can’t escape the exposure. We’ve established that fact. So what can we do to minimize the damage?
Here are few ideas: We need to limit our exposure any way possible. Don’t live near a cell phone tower if you have a choice. Don’t buy a home near one even if the price is right. Limit your use of wireless devices. Go back to ‘wired’ connections whenever possible. Maximize your health through proper nutrition and good hydration. Eat foods high in antioxidants and take supplements. Eat organically as much as possible. There is no safe distance to locate away from a mast tower. Obviously, the closer to the tower the greater the exposure risk so do locate as far away as possible. Whenever possible encourage your local government officials to consider transitioning to the use of fiber optic cable. Most of it has already been laid underground. It’s just not being used. There are no masts with fiber optics and the small amount of radiation at the exits can be neutralized with technology now available. Discourage the use of Wi-Fi in schools by meeting with your school officials and school boards. Wi-Fi hotspots are popping up everywhere now. Even whole cities are going wireless with the installation of Wi-Fi. Again, it’s all done through a wireless signal, which is damaging to your health. Don’t let cell phone companies install cell phone antennas on the roofs of schools where your children attend. The radio waves are disruptive to their ability to focus, not to mention the health hazards we’ve already outlined. If you can’t change your current situation there is some hope. There are some intervention devices now available that you can use in your home, school and office to help lessen the risk of exposure. Some very good cutting-edge technology has been developed that will intervene and help mitigate the damage being done by wireless connections.
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(NaturalNews) Once a third world economy, India is now leading the rest of the world when it comes to protecting consumers from the effects of radiation emanating from cell phones and cell phone towers.
When it comes to cell phones, the plan is simple and to the point: India, as of September 1, has decreased the acceptable amount of radio frequencies (RF) to 1/10 of the previous limits.
SARs, a measure of the rate at which RF energy is absorbed by the body, must now be embossed and displayed on cell handsets where they can be easily seen and have an impact on consumer decisions.
Supplementary safety advice from manufacturers must also be provided for:
• Recipients of medical implants
• Young people
• Pregnant women
India’s Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, has been altered to ensure these new standards are applicable for phones produced in India as well as those coming in from other countries.
Cell phone towers
While cell phones are a major health concern, cell phone towers are potentially even more dangerous due to the fact that the radiation being emitted from these towers is constant and stronger.
What is behind all of this concern and the implementation of new standards?
One answer comes from a unit of the World Health Organization, specifically the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The organization views radiation from cellphones as dangerous and has classified it as a Class 2B carcinogen, meaning the radiation in question is “”possibly carcinogenic to humans,”” with a higher risk for certain types of cancer, including cancer originating in the brain.
Another answer comes from the work of Professor Girish Kumar. Following his campaign, the local government of Gurgaon, shut down 298 cell towers in residential areas in January of last year.
The industry experts’ claim that “”Non-thermal biological effects have not been shown to be a health hazard”” is wearing very thin. Non-thermal effects are known to be several times more harmful than thermal effects. Professor Kumar has produced a separate 50 page report with nearly 200 technical and scientific references to prove this. There are viable solutions.
What are the solutions?
Solutions can be found in the recommendations issued by the New Delhi Ministry. To prevent overlapping of high radiation fields the ministry recommends:
• That new cell towers should not be permitted within a radius of one km of the existing towers
• The mandatory sharing of passive infrastructure for Telecom Service Providers at city/district/village level to minimize the need for having additional towers
• Location-wise GIS mapping of all cell phone towers to help in monitoring the population of birds and bees in and around the mobile towers and also in and/or around wildlife protection areas
Other activities to regulate the radiation stemming from cell phone towers comes from the Rajasthan High Court in Rajasthan, India where the court has authorized the state to take action by:
• Discarding towers already present on school grounds and hospitals
• Calculating how many people with cancer reside close to the towers
• Evaluating the conditions surrounding two specific residents of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, whose cancers may stem from cell phone towers
Nobody is saying ban cell phone towers, without antennas the network would not exist and people could not talk to each. What people are saying is “”why transmit so much power?”” India is now leading the way in terms of cell phone and cell tower consumer protection. Other nations need to pay attention and introduce legislation to protect consumers worldwide.
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The hazards posed by radiation emitted by cell phone towers has caught the attention of Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit who convened a meeting on Wednesday to chalk out an action plan. All three municipal corporations, environment department, Delhi chief secretary and health and health and
department officials were present in the meeting.
Sources said that a private company presented a proposal in which a small antenna can be mounted on an electric pole, which will be connected with optical fibre cables to a cell phone tower. The company claimed that their product will reduce the radiation level from cell phone towers.
In the meeting, Dikshit said that the issue has to be addressed by all agencies as it concerns the common people. But a Delhi government official said that cell phone towers fall under the subject list of the department of telecommunication in the Union telecom ministry and any policy decision about limiting radiation levels has to be approved by them.
“People are concerned about the health hazards cell phone towers pose. At our level, we can only make the citizens aware of the technology available which can reduce the impact. However, issues such as the financial aspect have to be taken into consideration as it may increase call rates too. We will send these suggestions to the Centre which has to take the final call on it,” said a senior Delhi government official.
When quizzed over illegal cell phone towers that have still not been removed by civic agencies, Delhi government officials said that civic agencies can seal them.
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New Mobile Handsets to comply with SAR Value of 1.6W/KG
Penalty, Random Checks Introduced for Enforcement
Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India, Aug 31, 2012
Beginning tomorrow (1st September 2012) India will be among the select few countries in the world to have stringent EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency) Radiation Standards, established in the interest of public health, for mobile towers and mobile handsets. Indian standards would now be 10 times more stringent than more than 90% countries in the world.
The following are the highlights of the Standards:
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 & 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.
* 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 hand set 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.
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 & Technology in collaboration with ICMR, MOEF & Min of Science & Technology to derive norms based on credible scientific evidence taking into account diversity of Indian social context.
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.
Guidelines for Consumers
Guidelines for consumers on Mobile handset usage have been issued and hosted on DoT Web site (www.gov.dot.in) for general public awareness.
Some of them are:
1. Keep distance – Hold the cell phone away from body to the extent possible.
2. Use a headset (wired or Bluetooth) to keep the handset away from your head.
3. 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.
4. Limit the length of mobile calls.
5. Use text as compared to voice wherever possible.
6. Put the cell phone on speaker mode.
7. 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.
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 & 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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India Adopts Health Warnings & U.S. Mobile Phone Standards
India adopts the U.S. cell phone radiation standard, issues health warnings and requires safety precautions in user manuals. Local and state governments in the U.S. should issue precautionary health warnings now to protect cell phone users.
India just adopted the U.S. cell phone handset radiation standard. The Indian government also issued precautionary health warnings about cell phone use and is requiring manufacturers to include safety precautions in user manuals. (1)
Now more than 1.3 billion cell phone subscribers in seven countries will be covered by the U.S. cell phone radiation standard including the U.S., India, Canada, New Zealand, Bolivia, Taiwan, and South Korea. (2)
Moreover, thirteen nations and the European Union have issued precautionary health warnings about the need to limit exposure to cell phone radiation. The countries include Austria, Britain, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Although the CTIA’s (i.e., the wireless industry association) lawsuit over San Francisco’s cell phone “right to know” law has not been resolved, the association has stated in public meetings and in courtrooms that it is fine if governments post precautionary health warnings about cell phone radiation on public property or on government web sites. Thus, local and state governments should take immediate action to protect consumers, especially children, from cell phone radiation by issuing health warnings in these public venues.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo,
Umm al-Qaiwain, United Arab Emirates, Umm al-Qaiwain, UAE
There was big cellphone news out of San Francisco this week – and we’re not talking about the Wednesday launch of Apple’s latest must-have gadget, the iPhone 5. On Monday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, blocked the implementation of that city’s heavy-handed cellphone radiation warning law, pending the outcome of an industry challenge.
This isn’t a case about medicine or Americans’ love of constant connection. It’s about whether the First Amendment protects businesses from engaging in nanny-state, government-ordered speech.
The ordinance, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, would require cellphone dealers to tell customers the devices may expose them to levels of radio-frequency emissions the World Health Organization classifies as potentially cancer-causing. Businesses would be required to prominently display an informational poster advising customers that the energy emitted by mobile phones is “”a possible carcinogen.”” Retailers also would have to provide customers with an information sheet and paste an informational sticker on all display literature, with all language scripted by the city.
The wireless industry has vehemently contested the assertions contained in the health advisory, noting the World Health Organization issued a report in June 2011 concluding that no adverse health effects had been established as being caused by mobile phone use.
In its brief, unpublished opinion, the 9th Circuit – which has jurisdiction over Nevada – reversed a lower-court judge who said the city could compel cellphone companies to distribute a “”fact sheet”” because its Board of Supervisors concluded “”there is debate in the scientific community about the health effects of cellphones.””
All such portable communication devices certainly do emit radio-frequency radiation, at cumulative levels that differ from device to device. Those levels will be higher for people who never put their phones down. Users should seek independent data on potential health effects.
But this case is primarily about “”compelled speech.”” In a friend of the court brief, the Virginia-based Rutherford Institute argues that retailers have a constitutional right not to be forced to speak for the government. As anyone who has looked at a cigarette pack or advertisement in recent decades could have predicted, the court agreed only in part, holding government-compelled speech must be “”purely factual and uncontroversial.”” The debate over the health risks posed by cellphones is far from settled.
“”The very purpose of the First Amendment … is to ensure that Americans are free to think, speak, write and worship as they please, not as the government dictates,”” notes John W. Whitehead, president of institute. “”Well-meaning or not, the government’s desire to communicate a disputed health alert about cellphone usage cannot be permitted to trump the First Amendment rights of San Franciscans to decide for themselves whether or not to advance such a message.””
Those concerned about the possible health effects of electromagnetic radiation have plenty of ways to publicize their concerns. But if freedom of speech means anything, it certainly should forbid government from using the force of law to require anyone to speak out against his or her own interests and beliefs. San Francisco’s ordinance should be struck down before it can spread here or anywhere else.
Broken Hill Australia
Sri Lanka, Colombo
San Bernardino, California
Providence, Rhode Island
Allentown Pennsylvania USA
Microwave – and other forms of electromagnetic – radiation are major (but conveniently disregarded, ignored, and overlooked) factors in many modern unexplained disease states. Insomnia, anxiety, vision problems, swollen lymph, headaches, extreme thirst, night sweats, fatigue, memory and concentration problems, muscle pain, weakened immunity, allergies, heart problems, and intestinal disturbances are all symptoms found in a disease process originally described in the 1970s as Microwave Sickness.
When the talented physician-author Servan-Schreiber wrote those prophetic words he was lucky. It had been 18 years since he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor incidental to an MRI. The book describing the anti-cancer program he developed had sold several million copies and may well have extended his life. Most brain tumors remain hidden and are only diagnosed after metastasizing into seizures or strokes. David’s luck ran out last year, when he died of a glioblastoma—spreading malignant tumor of the brain. Was it merely a coincidence that he had used one of his three cellphones held close to his head regularly for more than a decade before developing this fatal brain tumor? The WHO (World Health Organization) thinks not, having recently declared cellphone and other wireless radiation a “possible human carcinogen,” adding them to a list that includes some pesticides, engine exhausts and solvents. While we cannot be certain whether cellphone radiation may have promoted or caused the tumor that took his life, that is a highly plausible explanation.
In America today, about 20 million children under the age of 14 have cellphones, and the CDC reports that one-fifth of all 2 year olds reportedly spend two hours a day in front of a screen. Increasingly, scientists and policy makers in tech-savvy nations like Israel and Finland are concerned that the ways these devices are used imperil the brain. The iPhone plastic baby rattle case protects the phone’s glass screen from cracking when dropped or chomped on by teething inquisitive babies, but does not protect the infant’s young brain from the phone’s pulsed digital microwave radiation.
Cell phones have revolutionized the ability to carry out research and promote public health interventions. But, there’s growing recognition in technologically advanced nations that we need to get smarter about how we use these and other wireless devices. Fine print warnings that come with all smart phones today advise not keeping phones in the pocket or next to the body — advice that is typically ignored. Growing numbers of national authorities, from Israel to France and Russia are making concerted efforts to promote awareness of the need to Practice Safe Phone.
The proliferation of wireless gadgets overlooks a critical health issue: non-ionizing or microwave radiation at levels that do not induce measurable changes in temperature can change and damage the brain and sperm of experimental animals. A cellphone is a two-way microwave radio with intermittent and destabilizing pulses, unlike microwave ovens that steadily operate at the same frequencies at much greater power. The weak and erratic microwave radiation from cellphones and tablets cannot directly break the bonds that hold molecules together, but does disrupt DNA, weaken the brain’s protective barrier and release highly reactive and damaging free radicals.
A 5 year old’s brain, healthy or otherwise, is encased in a thinner skull and contains more fluid than an adult brain. According to studies carried out by industry modelers in Switzerland and France, the bone marrow of a child’s head absorbs 10 times more radiation than an adult, while that of infants and toddlers will absorb even more. Few parents realize that infant apps such as One Fish Two Fish, Peekaboo Farm, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star may do much more than amuse and distract babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that children need more real face time than screen time; more laps than apps.
Most disconcerting are findings from Nesrin Seyhan, the NATO-supported founding chairman of the Biophysics Department at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey, whose studies show that prenatally exposed rats and rabbits have fewer brain cells — and those that survive sustain more damage to their brains, livers, reproductive systems and eyes. Recent reports from Yale University’s chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hugh Taylor found that prenatal exposures significantly increased hyperactive behavior in offspring. Other research carried out by National Institute of Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, MD, PhD, showed that exposures to cellphone radiation directly alters brain metabolism in human brain cells. Experimental work completed by American, Australian, Greek and Turkish teams working with experts in male reproductive health has reported that cellphone-radiation-exposed human sperm die three times faster, swim significantly more poorly, become more deformed and develop significantly more damage to sperm DNA.
The brain cancer story remains complex, because the disease has a long latency up to four decades and because past uses and users differ radically from current ones.
Distance is your Friend
What can you do to protect yourself from radiation emitted from high tech gadgets? Fortunately, industry has begun to issue more warnings. Samsung provides this advice: “Your mobile device is not a toy. Do not allow children to play with it because they could hurt themselves and others, damage the device, or make calls that increase your mobile device bill. Keep the mobile device and all its parts and accessories out of the reach of small children.”
* When it comes to using electronic devices, remember: Distance is your friend.
* Don’t hold a cell phone directly up to your head. Use a headset or speakerphone to talk on the phone, or a case (such as Pong) that has been independently tested to reduce radiation up to 90%.
* Pregnant women should keep cell phones away from their abdomen and men who wish to become fathers should never keep phones on in their pocket.
* Don’t allow children to play with or use your cell phone. Older children should use a headset or speakerphone when talking on a cell phone.
* Do not text and drive, and use specially adapted antennas for cars to avoid absorbing maximum power as the phone moves from one cell system to another.
* Turn off your wireless router at night to minimize exposure to radiation.
* Eat green vegetables and get a good night’s sleep in a dark room to enhance natural repair of DNA that may have been damaged by radiation.
Japan, Tokyo City,
Simi Valley California USA
Charlotte, North Carolina
Cotonou (de facto capital)
Al Masafirah, United Arab Emirates, Al Masafirah, UAE
Right after I learned that a panel of scientists from the World Health Organization had said for the first time that there may be a “”possible”” link between cellphones and a highly malignant type of brain cancer, I went for a walk in my downtown neighbourhood.
Roughly every third person was using a cell phone – mommies pushing strollers with one arm and holding a phone to their ear with the other; laughing and shouting teens coming home en masse from school, some texting, some talking; the now standard wilted-tulip-necked pedestrians checking their messages.
Maybe one day, if the darkest of scenarios is true and heavy cellphone users start showing up with glioma, this everyday street scene will seem as remarkable to us as photographs of roomfuls of people from the fifties and sixties madly smoking: How could we all have been so stupid?
But then again, maybe not. The evidence of any link between the electromagnetic waves that cellphone use depends on and cancer is tenuous and frustratingly hard to quantify, and all this panel of scientists from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer did was review the existing studies to date, issue a general warning and call for, yes, more research.
Still, I’m weirdly agitated about this latest cellphone scare, however much it has been mocked by naysayers who in a rather patronizing way point out that the WHO’s list of “”possible”” carcinogens includes pickled onions and coffee.
I’m angry not because I just got a new smart phone – if anything, I will be e-mailing more and talking less – but because this cancer theory has been around for a long time and it’s not going away. Indeed it is starting to segue from a heavily mocked urban myth to a more urgent “”what if?””
It’s not myself I’m worried about. I am not a heavy user. But our grown kids don’t even have landlines. The whole ritual of renting that first apartment and waiting for a phone to be installed is ancient history.
And if they are self-employed or working on contract, as so many are, they are on their phones all day and night. For twentysomethings, a cellphone is not a habit, it’s a way of life.
So if anyone is going to end up with tumours and fertility problems (if you’re a guy and carry a phone in your jeans pocket), it’s our children. And that makes me angry on their behalf, because they are so dependent on their cells that they are probably not going to pay all that much attention to the WHO alert. (Although I do know one twentysomething who began using a headset immediately after hearing the news.)
Face it, we are all crazy about our cellphones, a fact that Marc Choma, spokesperson for the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, which works on behalf of the industry, emphasized so many times in the course of a very brief interview – “”we all love our cellphones, right?””- that I wondered whether the association provides a downloadable app with that soothing message.
The latest numbers show about 25 million Canadian cellphone users, which puts us in the 75 per cent range for penetration, and worldwide the figure is now up to an astonishing 5 billion users.
And as both Mr. Choma and a spokesperson from Health Canada, who said our cellphone safety standards are among the highest in the world, reminded me, any “”responsible journalist”” should emphasize that absolutely nothing has been proven, that the WHO panel only says there is “”suggestive”” evidence of a link between electromagnetic waves and cancer.
There was, however, a very odd quote on the CBC website from Bernard Lord, CEO of the CWTA. “”When you consider that more than half of 911 calls made in Canada are made from mobile devices, I think it’s safe to say mobile devices have saved lives in Canada.”” A statement so irrelevant to the subject of cancer and cellphone usage that it made me more, not less, concerned about a possible health risk.
There is no use in getting hysterical and jumping the gun as the Ontario NDP just did, calling for warnings on cellphones because, as the party’s health critic said, “”they’re cooking your brain slowly.””
But the other extreme is to blithely ignore this warning. So until further notice, it is what it always has been: user beware, while taking steps to minimize your risk like using a headset, texting instead of calling and keeping your conversations short.
Parents of teens, who live only in the moment, should probably be emphasizing safe cell use along with safe sex.
And there should be an aggressive push from consumers and governments to demand the best and most definitive research possible on the subject.
Five billion people have a right to know if cellphone use poses a significant health risk. Even if many of them wish they could just delete an alarming answer.
Egypt, Cairo: city limits,
Western Sahara, El Aaiun,
Argentina, Buenos Aires City,
City of Canada Bay, Australia,
Palmerston, Northern Territory,
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that mobile phone use is a possible carcinogen to humans. Today as cell phone use continues to grow, more researchers are speaking out against the technology to warn the public of serious biological side effects that must be acknowledged and remedied.
In May 2011, WHO was the first large agency to admit cell phones might certainly cause cancer, classifying its electromagnetic radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” and listed cell phones in the same carcinogenic hazardous category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. Given the potential consequences, WHO recommended reducing exposure of radiation through hands-free devices and text-messaging.
At the time, scientists found that the use of wireless telephones increase the risk for brain cancer, but had not been able to draw conclusions for other types of cancers. However, in a recent lecture by Dr. Devra Davis, author of the book “The Secret History of the War on Cancer,” she provides toxicological and epidemiological evidence to back up her claims and get the word out on the dangers of cell phone radiation and the biological impact of cell phones which disrupt resonance and interferes with DNA repair causing other types of cancers in the human body than just brain cancer.
Dr. Davis analyzed one interesting case that was released in the recent May issue of the Environmental Health Trust’s newsletter about a young woman who came down with multi-focal breast cancer after having the peculiar habit of tucking her cell phone into her bra. The woman had no other predisposing risk factors for cancer. When cancer specialists analyzed the distribution of her cancerous cells they found the cancer was directly beneath the area of her breast where she’d been tucking her cell phone into her bra. While her doctor can’t prove that the cell phone radiation caused her cancer, the probability is very likely and this case should serve as a potent warning for all of us who keep our phones close to our body in our pants or shirt pockets.
“As a general rule, you should avoid carrying your phone anywhere on your body,” states Dr. Davis. It is important to know that as long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently even when you are not making a phone call. You do not want any part of your body within approximately six inches of the emitting antenna to keep away from radiation exposure.
Carrying your cell phone on your body is the worst place to store your phone. Earlier research published in 2009 showed evidence that wearing a cell phone on your hip could weaken an area of your pelvis. This study analyzed 150 men who regularly carried their cell phones attached to their belts for an average of 15 hours each day for approximately six years. Researchers found that bone mineral density was lower on the pelvis side where the mobile phones were carried, increasing the possibility that bone density could be adversely affected by the electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones. Therefore, all of us especially men may want to reconsider where we carry our cell phones.
There is now robust scientific evidence that cell phones and other wireless devices pose significant health risks to all of us. Yet, even though such findings are not being widely publicized, it makes sense for us to take action now to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Here are some useful tips from Dr. Davis to help minimize your exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices:
Avoid Carrying Your Cell Phone on Your Body: Ideally you should place it more than six inches away from the body, place it in your purse or carrying bag. Avoid carrying it in your pants or shirt pocket.
Reduce Your Cell Phone Usage and Use of Other Wireless Devices: Save your cell phone use for emergencies or important matters only. You would be wise to cut down on your use of these devices.
Turn Your Cell Phone Off More Often: Remember that as long as your cell phone is on, it still emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not making a call.
Use a Land Line at Home and at Work: Limit the amount of time spent on your cell phone when you have other land lines available.
Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use which emits more radiation, and therefore the radio waves penetrate deeper into your body.
Don’t Assume That One Cell Phone is Safer than Another: There is no such thing as a “safe” cell phone, they all omit electromagnetic radiation.
Use Safer Headset Technology: Using wired headsets or speaker will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone further away from your body. And make sure that wire used to transmit signal to your ear is shielded to reduce transmitting radiation to your brain.
Victor Harbor, South Australia
Brunei, Darussalam Bandar Seri Begawan