Mobile Phone Radiation And Health

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From bedraggled beggars on the streets to the suit clad brokers on Wall Street – the ubiquitous cell phone is everywhere, in every pocket irrespective of the rich / poor status of its owners. It is no longer an item of luxury albeit it’s a must have today, a necessary evil. For technology comes with a price and the technology behind mobile phones is sure to make mankind pay a heavy price – the price of health and safety.

The recent furore created in the media worldwide over the possible hazareds of mobile phone radiation has made us sit up and take note of the pros and cons of using the innocent looking mobile handset which had till date so surely and surreptitiously taken over our lives. We have learnt to live with the cacophony of ringtones emanating from every purse and every pocket, it has become a way of life. So much so that we run the risk of going into depression if we do not hear its tinkle. Professionals are dependent on it, parents rely on it to keep a tab on their wards and their whereabouts, stay-at-home moms swear by it for the juicy gossip etc it helps to disseminate and the youth – well it is their life line without which all would come to a standstill. The increasing number of cell phone users is a jawdropping figure and so are the mobile phone towers coming up everywhere to cater to the needs of the various network services. These towers are scattering an invisible net of radiation risking the lives of all and sundry.

What is radiation one may ask. One can define radiation as energy travelling through space in the form of waves or particles. It occurs naturally and has always been around, we’ve evolved with it and we’re bombarded with it in one form or another every day of our lives from various sources such as the earth, from space and even within our own bodies. Some experts suggest a little radiation is a good thing and it is used in medical science to combat and diagnose certain illnesses.

There are different types of radiation but lets concern ourselves with the radiation in mobile phones.The type of radiation emitted from mobile phones is electromagnetic radiation. It’s present in mobiles because they use radio frequency (RF) waves to make and receive calls. The doses are considered to be very small as the emissions are low power (short range). Nevertheless, researchers say that there are ways in which one can reduce exposure to these waves.

Here the important question that arises is how much radiation is safe for us if at all it can be termed safe. Many of us keep our ears glued to the mobile phones 24 X 7 – by compulsion or by choice. How much damage has already been done already? Despite extensive research on the subject, there has been no conclusive evidence that using a mobile phone causes long term harmful effects in humans. Yet there are instances when many have complained of headaches, migraines even cancer due to the extensive use of mobile phones or radiation from mobile towers. The debate is on regarding the validity of such instances.

According to the group of 31 scientists from 14 countries meeting at the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO/IARC) using a mobile phone may increase your risk for certain kinds of brain cancers.These researchers completed a review of the available scientific evidence on cell-phone radiation and brain tumors. The group, which is working on a research monograph classified cellphones in the carcinogenic category 2B, similar to chemicals like the pesticide DDT and gasoline engine exhaust. In layman’s terms it means cell-phone radiation is “possibly carcinogenic” to human beings. “A review of the human evidence of epidemiological studies shows an increased risk of glioma and malignant types of brain cancer in association with wireless-phone use,” stated Dr. Jonathan Samet, the chairperson of the IARC working group.

Other harm that it can cause apart from the above are the lowering of bone density, causing infertility in men, slightly raised blood pressure at the time of use, direct brain warming after prolonged use, which disperses as soon as you stop using your phone and causes no harm,mild fatigue after prolonged use etc.A recent study in Sweden suggested that acoustic neuromas (benign tumours of the acoustic nerve) are twice as common in mobile phone users than in those who do not use mobiles.

The pace of mobile phone technology is advancing by leaps and bounds luring the consumer with newest developments and technologies but sadly the same is not with the case of researches required into the study of potential harm that they can cause. Other studies have shown no adverse health effects associated with cell-phone use, but many researchers believe those results will change as time passes for future studies would show the long-term effects of cell-phone use by a significant number of people.Despite the mixed research results, many people are increasingly concerned about the possible health effects of frequent, long-term exposure to cell-phone radiation.

More serious and urgent research is needed before we can know for certain the effects they have on human health before the scenario worsens. Will it be too late before we take cumulative steps in this regard.

As for now it is confirm that mobiles do emit low doses of radiation and since we have become aware of it we need to take precautions when using them. Mobile towers are a common sight these days and that too in very close proximity of our living quarters. Is such proximity too close for comfort, probably not. Is the common man on the street aware o the health hazard that these towers are creating putting them at risk of catching unwanted ailments as dangerous as cancer? Certainly not.

As of now the health risk is considered to be very, very small, although some individuals may be more susceptible to radiation than others. Whilst it’s true that excessive exposure to RF waves causes heating, the rumours that claim about being able to cook an egg using a mobile phone are entirely false.

In December 2007, Israeli researchers reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology that long-term cell-phone users who live in rural areas face a “”consistently elevated risk”” of developing tumors in the parotid gland compared with users who live in urban or suburban locations. The parotid gland is a salivary gland located just below a person’s ear.

And in January 2008, the French Health Ministry issued a warning against excessive cell phone use, especially by children, despite the lack of conclusive scientific evidence linking cell-phone use with cancer or other serious health effects. In a public statement, the ministry said: “”As the hypothesis of a risk cannot be entirely excluded, precaution is justified.””

The common man on the street who are exposed to such radiation day in and day out is mostly unaware of the possible dangers of mobile usage. In such a situation we need to generate awareness and educate everyone on the safety measures that is to be taken to keep disasters in abeyance. Children especially should never be allowed to come in contact with the danger emitting gadget as their developing brains and bodies are far more susceptible to radiation effects than adults, absorbing radiation at three times an adult’s rate. Moving your phone 20cm away from your head reduces radiation doses by about 98%. Use hands free headsets which dramatically reduce radiation emissions into the brain, indulge in short chats. There are certain devices available in the market that you can fit to your phone that reduce the emissions of radiation or allow the body to neutralise the effects, but beware of over-hyped promotions by these manufacturers using scare tactics to market their products.

Putting your cell phone on speaker mode, using a wireless Bluetooth headset or earpiece, which emit radiation at far lower levels than cell phones, carry your cell phone away from your body—in a purse, briefcase or computer bag—instead of your pocket where it is pressed up against you. Send text messages as then you hold your phone away from your body, and far away from your head, which reduces your exposure to radiation.

When your cell phone has a weak signal, it has to work harder to transmit and receive, and that equals higher bursts of radiation. You face the same problem when you are moving quickly—riding in a car, bus or train, for example—because your cell phone is forced to repeatedly emit new bursts of radiation as it connects to different cell towers along your route. Therefore finish your conversation by staying put at the area where the signal is strongest.Most cell phones emit the most radiation when they first connect with the cell tower. One way to reduce your exposure to cell-phone radiation is to wait until your call has been connected before you put the phone to your ear. These are simple ways that is in our means to avoid radiation to some extent.

The world is waking up to the monster i.e, mobile phone radiation but is our country getting any wiser? India is said to have the worst cellular tower radiation norms in the world. However, steps has been taken and new guidelines are being implemented to curb the hazards. According to new rules cellular towers will have to reduce the amount of radiation they emit to 1/10th of the current level. But the picture seems bleak as given that most countries in the world have radiation levels 1000 to 10,000 times lesser than India.

An IIT Bombay study done two years ago concluded that people living within 10 meters of cell phone towers receive 10,000 to 1 crore times more radiation than required for mobile signal strength. With the government ordering radiation from cell phone towers to be cut down to 1/10th of the existing level, will this be sufficient to prevent health hazards?

HOD Electrical Engineering, IIT Bombay, Professor Girish Kumar said, “”It should have been reduced 1 by 1000 to even 1 by 10,000 because the health problems happen at even 1 by 10,000 level. Health problems do happen in 5 to 7 years, at 1 by 1000. So we have to take a strict health based guidelines not convenience based guidelines.””

Current radiation limit in India is so high that within two years, the health of one crore Indians could be affected, IIT Bombay research found. Clearly even with these new guidelines, the Indians are not in the safe zone. Most countries in world have 1/100th to 1/1000th permissible levels of mobile tower radiation.

Statistics reveal that people of our country is at a high risk of sustaining damages due to being exposed to radiation by mobile phones and we are in a catch 22 situation even after the so called new norms. But being a third world country probaly our lives are not as precious as those of developed countries. What do we do now? Should we hit the streets demanding protection and safety from the labyrinth of mobile phones or should we take a backward leap and switch to the landline era of phones discarding the technologically advanced but dangerous cell phones? For as far as health is concerned I presume it is better to be safe than sorry.

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Cell Tower Radiation Effecting Health of Children

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Having mobile towers in your neighborhood can also pose health problems like severe headache, sleep disturbance, constant body pain, memory problems, joint pains etc. The more severe health effects noted include infertility, miscarriage, neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.), heart problems and cancer.

Children are more vulnerable due to a developing immune system and thinner skulls which allows radiation to penetrate deeper. Women run the risk of health problems like hormonal imbalances and miscarriages as they tend to spend more time at home and are exposed continuously.

There are several national and international studies where scientists have found a strong correlation between health problems and exposure to microwaves from mobile phones and mobile towers.

Till 2009, the Indian government had not adopted any standards for safe exposure from mobile phone and mobile towers. In 2009, India adopted radiation norms specified by ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) guidelines of 1998. However, ICNIRP guideline is outdated as it is only intended to protect the public against short term gross heating effects and NOT against ‘biological’ effects such as cancer and genetic damage from long term exposure. Also these safety standards are based on 6 minutes per day exposure, without accounting for people who live close to cell towers 24/7.

In Jan 2011, the report by Inter – Ministerial Committee mentioned several health hazards at levels thousand to ten thousand times below the ICNIRP standards and made recommendations to reduce the exposure to 1/10th of what ICNIRP had earlier recommended. However, even that has not been implemented yet.

There are several epidemiological studies done in various countries, such as, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Israel, etc. where they have reported increase in cancer cases in 5 to 10 years, where radiation level was more than 1 mW/m2. Cancer is the last stage and before that people living close to mobile phone towers have reported sleep disturbance, headaches, memory loss, lack of concentration, fatigue, joint pains, vision distortion, miscarriage, heart problems, etc. There are cluster of cancer cases in India also, which occurred after a few years of installation of mobile towers, and where radiation levels were around 10 mW/ m2.

Lots of other benefits of reducing the power – cooling of the amplifier will not be required, and then it may not require Air conditioner. Total power requirement will be reduced, so Diesel Generator is not required and solar panel can meet this requirement. Operators can claim carbon credit and it truly leads to Green Telecom.

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San Marino Parents Raise Concerns To Harmful Levels of Radiation

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School district to reveal study results from two cellphone towers Tuesday.

Worried that cellphone towers on school grounds could expose children to harmful levels of radiation, a group of parents is fighting to have the two towers dismantled.

A tower designed to look like a tall pine tree was installed between Valentine Elementary and Huntington Middle schools in 2006. Another went up behind San Marino High School shortly thereafter.

School board members approved both and signed off on decades-long lease agreements with cellular companies that earn the public schools about $48,000 each year, San Marino Assistant Supt. Julie Boucher said.

Then along came Ming Jiang, a former Motorola engineer who in August noticed a strange-looking tree while dropping her son off at Valentine. Jiang has organized a group of about a dozen parents and others calling for the tower’s removal.

The Federal Communications Commission has ruled that radio frequency emissions from cellphone towers are not powerful enough to cause cancer and prohibits local agencies from denying tower permits over health concerns.

World Health Organization reports have found no conclusive link between cellphone towers and cancer.

But Jiang and her allies aren’t convinced.

“It’s always been difficult to prove the link between any physical agent and cancer,” said Valentine parent Mike Chen, a neurosurgeon at City of Hope hospital who specializes in brain tumors. “How many years did it take for us to figure out that tobacco causes cancer? That Agent Orange is dangerous? We should be cautious if we can.”

Chen said several studies suggest that radiation from cellphones and towers might interfere with DNA reproduction and impact the human brain. Conclusive proof, no, but “sufficient scientific evidence to raise a warning,” he said.

In response to parent pressure, San Marino school board members voted Sept. 18 to hire a biophysicist to measure radio frequency emissions from campus cell towers. The board also hired the Planning Center, a Santa Ana consulting firm, to analyze those readouts.

Officials are expected to announce results of those studies on Tuesday, and are organizing an Oct. 23 forum on cellphone towers.

Meanwhile, the threat of legal action already hangs over the district.

“We’re monitoring the situation and hoping the school district does the right thing,” said Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos, who sent a lawyer from his firm to attend the Sept. 18 board meeting. “Otherwise, we might have to get involved in a more formal way.”

The tower near Valentine and Huntington schools is owned by Verizon Wireless. The one behind San Marino High belongs to Global Tower Partners, which leases it to Verizon, MetroPCS, Clearwire and AT&T, according to Boucher.

Verizon spokeswoman Heidi Flato said all of the company’s towers operate well below FCC radio frequency emission limits. Verizon has commissioned its own third-party study of tower emissions near Valentine, Flato said.

The Los Angeles Unified School District banned cellphone towers from school property in 2000, a move Jiang is hoping San Marino schools will emulate.

But moving cellphone towers could be costly — “as expensive or more than building a brand new tower,” said Jackie McCarthy, a Cellular Telephone Industry Assn. representative.

San Marino school board member Jeng Yen, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer, said parents and school officials should review hard data before making up their minds.

Yen said radiation-sensitive equipment he used four years ago during a robotics project at Huntington Middle School did not pick up evidence of radiation in classrooms.

“As a scientist, I think to take some measurements is a necessary step,” said Yen. “It’s not a definite threat or an immediate hazard.”

But parent Cindy Yung, a pharmacist, said any uncertainty is enough to prompt caution.

“A lack of conclusive proof [of danger] does not mean there is no risk, and these are our children we’re talking about,” said Yung.

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No Consensus in Fight Against Cell Towers

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MUMBAI: Though Sunday’s meet on the dangers of radiation from cellphone towers attracted nearly 400 residents from across the city, building a consensus on getting rid of the towers, a source of revenue for housing societies, is proving to be difficult.

In Chunabhatti (E), members of a housing society are up in arms against the builder for installing a mobile phone tower on the structure. The tower helps the builder rake in Rs 8-10 lakh every year.

“”Though a housing society was formed last year, the builder still collects remuneration from the cellphone companies. The consent of the residents hadn’t been taken while the towers were being set up. Now, residents want to remove the towers from the building as they are a health hazard and because the two heavy transformers on the terrace could damage the building,”” a building resident said.

The residents of the Chunabhatti building are not the only ones suffering on account of cellphone towers. Surendra Patel (60), a Pali Hill resident, has given up sleeping in his bedroom due to constant headaches and sleeplessness, which he claims are due to the radiation from the cellphone tower on a neighbouring building.

Like Patel, many residents in the H (west) ward in Bandra (W) have complained about health problems like headaches, sleep disorders, memory loss, fatigue, buzzing in the head, miscarriages and cancer and leukaemia.

Prakash Munshi, a Malabar Hill resident who with actor Juhi Chawla was instrumental in getting 13 towers removed in the past, is offering guidance to Bandra (W) residents, who have formed a group – Action Against Cell Towers – under the auspices of the Bandra West Residents’ Association (BWRA).

“”As more residents succumb to the lure of cellphone towers on their terraces in exchange for a pittance from cellphone companies, it is important that they are aware of the side-effects of their decision on all the people living in their own building as well as their neighbours. I lost my sister-in-law in 2008 due to brain cancer and I myself suffer from leukaemia. I cannot prove that this is due to cell tower radiation, but I cannot rule it out either,”” said Daryl D’Monte, president, BWRA, who had earlier spoken about a cellphone tower in a building behind his bungalow.

Cornel Gonsalves demanded help from local corporator Karen D’mello to demolish the two illegal cell phone towers at Winnie Apartments oppsite Perry Cross Road and Joyce Lane building on St Andrews Road.

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Mobile Towers Making The City Skyline Aesthetically Unpleasant

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With mobile penetration of more than 100%, many mobile towers are mushrooming in the cities. To provide seamless coverage to the mobile users, telecom companies are installing the towers every 300 meters in the city and sometimes less than that. This is all done to keep up the growing demand of voice and data traffic in the cities.

Apart from the health issues which these mobile towers pose on human being, these mobile towers are making the city skyline aesthetically unpleasant. These mobile towers are just an eye sore when somebody looks at the skyline. No regulation on installations of these mobile towers in the cities has degraded the skyline of almost every city. Moreover there are no proper design specification for the towers and no designated approval body to approve the tower designs. Safety of such towers is also questioned by different agencies in the recent past including Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) of residential colonies.

In European countries, innovative methods like camouflaging, landscaping and stealth structures are used to lessen the unpleasant visual impacts of mobile towers and antennas installed on them. And they also use low power radiating systems where the antennas can also be mounted on the street furniture like behind sign boards and light poles so that visual asthetics of the the city are maintained and do not create eye sores like seen above in India.

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Mobile Towers’ Radiation Poses Threat Hazards

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DHAKA, Sept 14: An in-depth study of the impact of radiation emanating from cellphone towers on human health and environment is yet to be conducted in the country, even though the number of cellphone towers established by different operators has increased significantly in the last few years, following the expansion of mobile networks on a large scale.

In 2008, the Bangladesh Regulatory Commission (BTRC) formed a committee to assess the impact of mobile tower radiation on plants, as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) had complained to the regulator that installation of such towers was hampering coconut and betel nut production in Barishal and Khulna divisions.

Field workers with the NGO had found that the sizes of these two species of plants were becoming gradually smaller, and showed black spots on the plants near mobile towers. The BTRC committee, however, did not produce a complete report as, according to it, the evidence was not conclusive, and so, mobile towers could not be blamed.

An expert panel of the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications, a world-renowned telecom research organization, conducted a small study in 2010. It did not express any opinion about the harsh impact of mobile tower radiation on human health and ecology in Bangladesh.
The study, however, indicated that the number of different types of birds has been decreasing in Dhaka city, owing to the radiation caused by the growing number of mobile towers.

Currently, Grameenphone,
the largest mobile operator, has 14,000 towers. Banglalink, Robi, Airtel, Citycell and Teletalk have 5,200, 8,200, 4,100, 2,900 and 1,400 mobile towers, respectively, across the country.
Talking to The Independent, Dr Satyaprashad Majumder, professor of telecommunications engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), said the radiation emanating from a mobile tower per square metre ranges from 17,100 micro-watts to 72,000 micro-watts.
The human body can tolerate radiation up to 1,00,000 micro-watts, but birds and other flying animals cannot tolerate more than 40,000 micro-watts, he explained. “Sometimes, we find that the tolerance level of some people has decreased to 50,000 micro-watts. If they are directly exposed, they might suffer from skin diseases, as well as from cancer,” he warned.

Wasim Hussain, a BUET lecturer currently carrying out his PhD research on mobile tower radiation at the University of Toronto, told The Independent by e-mail that such radiation is emitted continuously and is more powerful at close quarters. On the other hand, field intensities drop rapidly with distance as one moves away from the base of the transmitters, because of the attenuation of power with the distance, he explained.

Hossain wrote that the sector antenna, which is a popular design of mobile phone towers, has a coverage of 120 degrees on the horizontal and about +/-5 degrees from the vertical. The sector antenna, which works as a base transceiver system (BTS), should be established at a minimum height of 300 feet for better coverage and radiation safety.

But, as Hossain pointed out, cellphone companies in Bangladesh are flouting internationally prescribed rules and are installing towers in populated localities by taking leases of pieces of land or roofs of buildings, some of which are not as tall as 300 feet.

In Western countries, such mobile phone towers are installed at a height of at least 400 feet and are located far from educational institutions, hospitals and similar buildings as there are regulatory guidelines. Bangladesh, however, is yet to have any such guidelines.
Another expert said the minimum distance of a tower from a residential building should be at least 30 metres. But in Bangladesh, especially in metropolitan cities, mobile towers with antennae have been established right on top of residential buildings.

Several other studies conducted in different countries have found that even low levels of radiation have resulted in damage to cell tissue and DNA. This has also been linked to the onset of various forms of cancer, brain tumours, suppressed immune function, mental depression, miscarriage in pregnant women, Alzheimer’s disease and a number of other serious illnesses, according to material sourced from the internet.

In India, a national committee comprising officials and experts from the departments of telecom and science and technology, Indian Council of Medical Research, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Institutes of technology (IITs) and telecom operators conducted an extensive year-long research study on mobile tower radiation.

India, earlier, had the worst cellular tower radiation norms in the world. But after the research, which was completed a few days ago, the committee suggested a new set of guidelines to eliminate health hazards caused by radiation by reducing the amount of radiation the towers emit to one-tenth of the current level.

The Indian government recently implemented new guidelines, which stated that cellular towers will have to reduce the amount of radiation they emit to one-tenth of the current level.
The Independent talked to top officials of the six mobile operators in this connection.
Kazi Monirul Kabir, chief communications officer of Grameenphone, said the company had co-operated with the BTRC study of the impact of mobile tower radiation on plants in 2008. Kabir said it is ready to cooperate if the government wants to conduct further studies.

Mahmudur Rahman, executive vice-president of the operator Robi, said the company is thinking of installing greener and environment friendly towers.

Mehbub Chowdhury, chief executive officer of Citycell, said such a study should be conducted at the government and regulatory levels.

An industry expert, who preferred anonymity, said mobile towers emit radio frequencies which are a sub-category of electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Such radiation is of little concern because of the fact that EMR is not classified as an ionizing form of radiation. Non-ionizing radiation only causes harm in large doses, and poses a threat to people only through the heat energy it generates. According to the expert, this has meant that the potential health risks and consequences of cellphone tower radiation have been downplayed.

BTRC consultant and a former director-general with the regulator, Rezaul Quader, said the commission has already held talks with the telecom ministry for conducting a nationwide study to find out the impact of mobile phone tower radiation on human and animal life.

The regulator has, in principle, also approved some rapid infrastructural changes, including handing over of maintenance of mobile towers to third parties and incorporation of a provision to introduce a network-sharing mechanism to reduce operational costs, Quader said. “This will create better and greener maintenance work of mobile towers,” he said.

BTRC director of spectrum, Col. Rakibul Hossain, said there has been no large-scale investigation into the harmful effects of radiofrequency fields from mobile phone towers. “While many theoretical studies in the world have said it is harmful, on the other hand there are many other studies which have said it is not,” he said.

He, however, admitted that the telecom regulator currently lacks guidelines regarding construction of mobile phone towers. Hossain said the BTRC will carry out a large-scale investigation soon. Guidelines will be published after the investigation is completed.

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Kids More Vulnerable to Mobile Tower Radiation: Report

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Srinagar, Sep 14: A report on mobile tower radiation by the Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai has brought to fore some startling revelations regarding the effects of radiation on human population in India. The report says kids are more vulnerable to the mobile tower radiations.

The report submitted by Prof Girish Kumar to the Department of Telecommunication New Delhi states that mobile phone tower radiation poses a “dangerous threat” to human, animal, bird and plant species in different states of India.

“Studies conducted in 2010 reveal that excessive use of mobile phones has doubled to quadrupled brain tumor risk,” the report by the IIT’s Electrical Engineering Department states.

“Children are at higher risk from exposures to carcinogens than adults and today very large population of children is using cell phones and also many of them sleep with the cell phones beneath their pillows every night without realizing the health hazards.”

Pertinently, sometime back experts had told Greater Kashmir that growing mobile towers were posing a grave threat to living species in J&K. The state government is unable to constitute a team to study the possible ill effects of mobile phone radiation in J&K, they had said.

The national-level report states that a number of adverse health effects have been documented including altered white blood cells in children, childhood leukemia, impaired motor function, reaction time, and memory, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, and insomnia.

“Children and pregnant women are more vulnerable to cell phone radiation. The radiation also causes irreversible infertility and damages DNA,” the report states.
The report states that radiation has an adverse effect on skin and is responsible for tinnitus and ear damage. “The radiations also severely affect eyes and weaken bones,” it states.

“The salivary gland tumor, melatonin reduction, sleep disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and increase in cancer risk are some of the other fallouts of emission of mobile phone radiation,” the IIT Mumbai report states. “The radiation has adverse effect on birds, animals and environment as well as on honey bees.”

The report also recommends solutions to reduce the ill effects of radiation with focus remaining at installing mobile towers with lesser transmitting power.

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13 Tips to Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Exposure

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Here are some simple tips to reduce your exposure to harmful cell phones radiation:

1. Use speakerphone or text messaging

To keep the phone away from your head, use speakerphone or send text messaging instead. Every inch you can get the phone away from your body reduces the amount of radiation you are absorbing.
2. Use wired headset
If your cell phone comes with wired headset, you may use it to keep the phone further away from your body. Although the headset may still transmit radiation through the wire – but it is a very low level.

If that is a concern, you can buy a ferrite bead for just a few bucks at most electronic stores. It attaches to the wire and it absorbs any radiation traveling through the wire, thus reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation.

3. Do not wear Bluetooth device all the time
Bluetooth wireless earphones will emit certain levels of radiation. Even it’s far less than cell phone radiation, but most people wear the bluetooth device all the time.

If you use Bluetooth device, switch it from ear to ear so this may reduce your exposure on one side. Take it from your ear when you’re not on the phone.

4. Make the switch
If you really want to place the phone near your head, switch ears regularly while talking on the cell. This may limit prolonged exposure on one side, which has been linked to increased risk of brain cancer on the side of the head where the phone is usually held.

5. Go offline mode
When the phone is not used, set to offline or flight mode, which will turn off its transmitter. This still allows you to use the phone to play games or listen to music.

6. Avoid using phone in tight space
Don’t make or take calls in elevator, train or car. Moreover, using a cell phone while driving will also endanger you and other users’ safety.

7. Notice the phone signal
Do not use the phone when the signal is weak, or when you’re traveling at higher speeds in a car or train. Because this will automatically boosts power to maximum as the phone trying to connect to a new relay antenna.

8.Do not put the phone near your bed
You probably need phone alarm to help you get up early. But do not put the phone near your bed, particularly near your head position. Electromagnetic fields can reduce the production of melatonin in the body which may lead to an increase risk of cancer and other diseases.

9.Do not put your phone in the pocket
A recent study found that men who carried their mobile phone in their pockets had 25 percent lower sperm count than those who did not carry a phone. Different parts of the body absorb different intensities of radiation, and testicular tissue may be more vulnerable.

10.Keep the distance while connecting
Do not hurry place cell phone near your ear while your call is connecting. At that time, the phone is sending out a strong signal.
Spend even less time on your PDA
Gadgets such as BlackBerry, iPhone, and Treo produce higher emissions than cell phones because they are rely on battery to power up things such as e-mail, internet connection and a color screen.
11.Read the phone manual

Most cell phones come with safety manual which tell their consumer to not keep the phone next to their head, or even in their pocket.

Apple iPhone 4 says keep at least 5/ 8 inch from the body when transmitting. And the BlackBerry Bold suggests at least 0.98 inches from the body when the BlackBerry device is in use.

If you keep it less than they suggested, the manufacturer can not guarantee the amount of radiation that you are absorbing will be a safe level.
12.Keep phone conversations as short as possible
If your conversation is going to be long, use a landline. One study found that after two minutes, the brain’s electrical activity can be altered for at least an hour. Don’t forget, the risk of brain tumors start at a relatively low level of cumulative lifetime radiation exposure.

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Electromagnetic Protection

Cell Phone Radiation Protection

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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By Tom Leonard

Could mobile phones be giving us brain cancer? And has the ¬mobile phone industry spent years trying to bury the ¬scientific evidence that it does in order to protect its ¬$3 trillion, 4.6billion-¬customer, global business?
According to Devra Davis, an eminent ¬American scientist and one of the country’s leading epidemiologists, the answer to both these questions is a resounding ‘yes’.
With mobile phone use soaring, especially among the young, Dr Davis says we could face a ‘global public health catastrophe’ in as little as three years if the problem is ignored.
Mobile phones are low-powered radio ¬frequency transmitters which produce ¬microwave radiation.
The debate over the cancer risks from this radiation has been going on for years. Yet the lack of any conclusive evidence has allowed the industry to claim phones are safe and led to sceptics being dismissed as scaremongers.

But now the alarm has been raised by an award-winning academic and toxicologist who was in the group that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
So should we think twice before clamping a mobile phone to our ears?
In a new book provocatively titled ¬Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What The Industry Has Done To Hide It And How To Protect Your Family, Dr Davis says we have underplayed the threat from mobile phone radiation for too long.
She says: ‘Is it possible that the pervasive use of mobile phones is causing a host of ¬subtle, chronic health problems, damaging our ability to have healthy children and creating long-term risks to our brains and bodies?
‘The fact we do not have clear answers to this question at this point in the history of electronic technology is not an accident.’
Dr Davis says crucial scientific evidence, some of which has existed for decades, has been ignored – particularly that involving experimental research on animals and human cells.

Her work includes supporting research from studies in the U.S., Sweden, Greece, France and Russia. For example, a team at the ¬University Of Washington found that just two hours of mobile phone-level radiation splintered the DNA of brain cells in rats, making them ¬similar to cells found in malignant tumours.
In humans, the evidence is less dramatic, but equally worrying.
In Moscow, a study has found that while the brains of children who regularly use mobile phones look the same as the brains of those who do not, users have poorer memories and other learning problems.
Dr Davis, who is a grandmother, is worried about the effect on ¬children, arguing that their thin, pliant skulls make them more vulnerable.

Last year, the Finnish ¬Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority warned that regular use of mobiles could damage children’s brains, ¬confirming previous warnings in the UK, France and Israel.
Dr Davis believes children are ‘growing up in an unprecedented flood of radio frequency signals’. She says they should only use mobile phones in emergencies. ‘The dangers for children are not definitively proven but do we really want to risk it?’
The most troubling research, she says, threatens male fertility. Research in seven ¬countries, including the U.S., China and Australia, suggests that keeping a switched-on mobile in a trouser pocket can have a ¬drastic effect on sperm count.
‘All the research shows the same thing – if you take young men who are trying to become fathers, those who use mobile phones at least four hours a day have about half the sperm count of others,’ says Dr Davis. ‘Sperm exposed to mobile phone radiation in the lab is sicker, thinner and less capable of swimming.’

Using a mobile for four hours a day sounds a lot, but Dr Davis says 20 per cent of the young males in a 2008 study, by America’s Cleveland Clinic, used their mobiles for this long. However, her most compelling evidence about the health ¬dangers, and that mobile phone manufacturers are probably aware of the risks, is buried in the small print of the ¬instructions that ¬accompany every new phone.
Those for the latest BlackBerry (the Torch), warn users to ‘use hands-free ¬operation if available and keep the device at least 0.98 inches from your body (including the abdomen of ¬pregnant women and the lower abdomen of ¬teenagers)’ when it is switched on.
Apple tells iPhone users to keep them 0.625 inches away from their body and to point the dock connection towards their ¬shoulders ‘to increase ¬separation from the antenna’.

Dr Davis says at least two ¬senior scientists who work for mobile phone companies told her they were ‘deeply ¬concerned’ about the health risks. Insiders say phone manufacturers are now developing safer models.
Many studies looking into the cancer risks of mobiles have been inconclusive.

In May, the hotly-anticipated Interphone report for the World Health Organisation drew no conclusions, but suggested that heavy phone users could be at risk.

The research team was divided about their findings, but that didn’t stop the UK-based GSM Association, which represents the global mobile industry, from deciding the report supported a consensus that there was ‘no established health risk’.

Dr Davis specialises in how the environment affects our health and wrote a book about how the tobacco ¬industry was not ¬initially ¬honest about the links between cigarettes and ¬cancer. Similarly, she says, the debate in Britain over the ¬dangers of asbestos lasted a century.
She insists the mobile phone industry has behaved the same way, working, often with ¬government help, to ¬discredit independent scientists while ensuring that others toe the line for fear of losing their funding.

‘Those studies that have been paid for by the industry tend to find that there’s not a problem,’ said Dr Davis. ‘Studies that are ¬independent – while there are fewer – tend to show there is a problem. I don’t think that’s an ¬accident. This has had a chilling effect on the ability of policy-makers to form policy.’
She said the debate has been distorted by a ‘show me the bodies’ approach to evidence.
But it is too early to expect ¬mobile phone users to develop brain tumours, she said.

The same slow development of problems occurred when the Hiroshima bomb survivors were tested: after ten years ¬researchers found no evidence of brain cancer, but 30 years later many cases were found.
While defenders of the safety of mobile phones point out that official statistics show the ¬incidence of brain cancer is ¬falling in countries like the U.S., Dr Davis says people ¬typically don’t develop it until they are over 65 and, at present, people in that age group have not been big mobile phone users.
‘The absence of an epidemic right now is hardly cause for great relief,’ she says.
In most countries, heavy mobile phone use is recent. Even in Scandinavia, home of many of the world’s biggest mobile phone makers, only half the population owned one in 2000.

Dr Davis finds it ¬frustrating that there are ¬simple ¬precautions that users could be ¬taking. She says ¬fashion will have to adapt, with people keeping phones in bags and the ¬knee-level pockets of cargo trousers, well away from their ovaries or testicles.
Her book, ¬published in Britain next month, has already been ¬challenged in America over its science. But Dr Davis doesn’t ¬dispute that mobile phone radiation is weak – she stresses the cumulative effect on people using phones for several hours.

Her solution is for a ‘major, independent research ¬programme, not a fake one like those we’ve had for decades’.
As for her own habits, she has cut down her dependence on her mobile but still uses one.
‘We’re as dependent on mobile phones as we are on our cars,’ she says. ‘They do a lot of good – they save lives in emergencies – but we have to be smarter about how we use them.’

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