Pitching in on the current debate on the possible danger of cellphone radiation, the Environment Ministry says a review of available scientific information by its panel of experts shows that “electromagnetic radiations interfere with the biological systems.” Accordingly, it has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) not to allow new mobile towers to be constructed within a one-kilometre radius of the existing towers.
The advisory was issued by the Ministry after it received the report of an expert committee set up two years ago to study the possible impacts of the half a million strong network of communication towers on wildlife, including birds and bees. There has been widespread concern that radiation from such towers is responsible for the declining population of birds such as sparrows, and bees which are vital for the pollination of many plant species and hence a key part of both agricultural economy and natural ecosystems.
This has been paralleled by unease among some urban residents over the effect of mobile tower radiation in their own neighbourhoods, prompting the Prime Minister to set up a panel last month, mandated to work out a new set of guidelines to prevent the adverse impact of such radiation in tune with global norms. The DoT says there is not enough scientific proof that mobile towers are a threat to human health.
While the Ministry’s advisory is directed towards the Central and State agencies and local bodies, the Ministry has special advice for the DoT.
“To prevent overlapping of high radiation fields, new towers should not be permitted within a radius of one kilometre of the existing towers. Sharing of passive infrastructure if made mandatory for Telecom Service Providers can minimise need of having additional towers,” it said.
Precautions should also be taken to ensure that any new towers do not obstruct the flight path of birds, or increase the combined radiation of all towers in the area.
The location and frequency of all towers should be put in the public domain, with GIS mapping to help monitor the population of birds and bees or the welfare of animals in protected wildlife areas.
The Forest Department must be consulted before any towers are installed near zoos or any wildlife protected zones.
The Indian standard on safe limits of exposure must be urgently refined, added the Ministry.
Carrollton Texas USA
Swan Hill, Victoria,
City of Gosford, Australia,
Now, telecom operators will have to take welfare of wildlife into account while installing mobile phone towers.
The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) does not want operators to install mobile phone towers in wildlife areas without carrying out a proper ecological impact assessment.
The ministry also wants the government to make public the data on electro-magnetic radiation (EMR) so that people can understand its impact.
HT had in July highlighted adverse impacts of cellphone tower radiation on human health, a claim vehemently denied by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). Taking a safe agenda forward, the ministry sent an advisory to all state governments and the telecom ministry asking to enforce a new set of regulations.
Studies reviewed by the ministry had shown decline of up to 70% in population of honey bees close to towers and falling population of birds, especially sparrows, in cities. The ministry had found that radiation from mobile towers was obstructing flight path of birds too.
“Before according permission for construction of towers ecological impact study and review of installation of sites will be essential in wildlife or ecologically-important areas,” MoEF said in an advisory to states and the telecom ministry.
Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou
Jersey City, New Jersey
Bidiyah, United Arab Emirates, Bidiyah, UAE
Your next cell phone and a carton of smokes may soon have something in common: a cancer warning. That is if Ohio democrat and former presidential hopeful Congressman Dennis Kucinich has his way.
IM, Email, and Social Networks in one easy to use application!
The congressman today introduces a bill in the House that would require all new cell phones to come with warning labels detailing their radiation output.
Called the Cell Phone Right to Know Act, the bill would also establish a national research program to study cell phones and health and update the specific absorption rate (SAR) standard.
The SAR is the amount of electromagnetic radiation it emits. Kucinich says that standard is outdated and should be brought up-to-date with new research.
“It took decades for scientists to be able to say for sure that smoking caused cancer. While we wait for scientists to sort out the health effects of cell phone radiation, we must allow consumers to have enough information to choose a phone with less radiation,” said Kucinich. “As long as cell phone users may be at increased risk of cancer or reproductive problems, Americans must have the right to know the radiation levels of cell phones.”
In a statement, Kucinich pointed to the World Health Organization’s decision to classify cell phones as possible carcinogens for humans, right next to lead and mercury.
Whether spending an hour taking on your phone is the same as smoking a pack a day, however, remains to be seen. Various studies on the topic have turned up a wide variety of conclusions. Part of the reason is that some of those studies have been funded by the very companies that would be most hurt by a cell phone radiation warning, the wireless industry. Which is why Kucinich says the research organization proposed in his bill would be a government, rather than privately, funded endeavor.
The bill does have its detractors, though. Specifically, the wireless group CTIA, which, as CNET points out , is currently suing the city of San Francisco over a similar law. That suit is set to go to a federal appeals court this week.
San Marino, San Marino,
City of Hurstville, Australia,
A large number of people today, carry more than one cellphone. Know about the radiation effect from a mobile and its implication on health issues.
By Mukul Saxena 28 Aug 2012
The last few decades have witnessed an exponential rise in the number of cell phone users. Remember the old days when getting a single landline number used to be an achievement? Today, a large number of people are carrying more than one mobile in their pockets. There has been occasional outcry about the harmful effect of radiation that may be associated with use of cellphones.
It is in this context, it would be helpful to understand the radiation effect from a mobile and its implication on health issues. Firstly, the radiation that is emitted is in category of low Radiofrequency. The radiation that is known to cause ill effects is ionising radiation as found in X Rays. Cancer is believed to be caused by factors that affect DNA changes. Most of the Research work done so far fails to associate radiofrequency emission from mobiles with development of cancer.
However, it is advised that patients with certain implants and devices like pacemakers might face some effects due to electromagnetic interference. It is advised that patients on pacemakers hold the mobile on the ear opposite to the implant. It is also advised that they should not carry a turned on mobile close to implant i.e. a shirt or jacket pocket. Use of hands free would also be helpful, if mobile is kept in trouser pocket.
Although, the scientific evidence available today does not associate significant health risks, it must be noted that the studies conducted have been based on limited usage of cellphones. Hence it is recommended that following safety measures be taken to guard against unforeseen risks :
If continuous usage is expected it is better to use hands free and keep cell phones away from ears. This is more important in case of usage of cell phone by children.
In case any device like pacemaker is used, it is advisable not to keep the cell phones in shirt pocket.
It goes without saying, that use of cell phone while driving needs to be discouraged, since it is not only a question of hands being busy, but also distraction which may cause accidents.
Mongolia, Ulan Bator
North Las Vegas Nevada USA
City of Shoalhaven, Australia
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) wants warning labels stamped on cellphone packaging in the same way cigarette companies must place warning labels on cigarette containers.
Kucinich on Friday introduced the Cell Phone Right To Know Act, which would require labels to be put on cellphones warning of the radiation levels emitted by the devices.
Earlier this year, a federal court stuck down a similar rule enacted in San Francisco.
But Kucinich argues that it took decades for scientists to conclude that smoking caused cancer, and he says consumers should get more information now on the possible ill effects of cellphones.
“While we wait for scientists to sort out the health effects of cell phone radiation, we must allow consumers to have enough information to choose a phone with less radiation,” Kucinich said in a statement on Monday. “As long as cell phone users may be at increased risk of cancer or reproductive problems, Americans must have the right to know the radiation levels of cell phones.”
A wireless trade group, CTIA, sued San Francisco last year when the city tried to require warnings on cellphones about radiation risks. A federal court sided with CTIA and blocked the warnings.
A federal appeals court is supposed to rule on the case this week, according to Kucinich’s office.
Kucinich’s bill would also create a research program to study cellphones and would require the EPA to update the Specific Absorption Rate, which is the amount of radiation absorbed in the body when using a cellphone.
Kucinich argues that the current rate is outdated due to recent updates in cellphone technology, including Wi-Fi. The current allowed level of radiation is 1.6 watts per kilogram.
Kucinich’s bill follows an announcement by the FCC in June that it would conduct its own inquiry into the levels of radiation cellphones should be allowed to emit. The FCC last updated its guidelines in 1996.
Recent studies have indicated that radiation from cellphones could increase the risk of cancer, lower bone density or alter brain activity. Numerous other studies have found no harm.
Japan Tokyo City
Solomon Islands, Honiara
City of Coffs Harbour, Australia
Trinidad and Tobago, Port-of-Spain
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 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.
Santa Ana, California
Richmond California USA
Tanzania, Dar es Salaam,
Murray Bridge, South Australia
Terms like “EMF protection” and “EMF awareness” still don’t mean much to most people.
There are a whole lot of areas of our lives which have become regulated, we moan, but its done for our protection.
Cigarettes for instance, you can still smoke, but the dangers are clearly spelled out and there is a minimum age in most countries.
Alcohol, it’s the same idea. Lead pipes and asbestos, again tightly controlled if not banned in certain countries.
But on the issue of EMFs (electromagnetic fields) generally and cell phones particularly where are the safeguards?
EMF Protection – What Are The Current Safeguards
Pretty much anywhere around the world, a 12 year kid can go in a shop and providing he’s got the money he can walk out with a full functioning EMF emitting cell phone. He can take out a monthly contract and use it to his heart’s content and (apart from a few US states where information now appears on the packaging) nobody worries about the consequences.
So why is that? Is it because there aren’t any consequences? No its not, there are lots of consequences. Has nobody ever took a long look at these consequences and tried to put together some sound advice?
Actually they have. In November 2009, in Seletun in Norway, a Scientific Panel comprised of international experts met to discuss the biological effects of EMFs. They reviewed all this mounting scientific evidence and they talked about the public health implications of the unprecedented global exposures to them.
What Did The Scientists Conclude About EMF Protection ?
Olle Johansson following this meeting stated ”It has become obvious that new biologically based public exposure standards taking into account long term as well as non thermal exposures are urgently needed to protect public health worldwide.”
The Seletun panel called for a new approach to EMF protection particularly for children and the growth and development of the fetus.
The scientists found that even at low-intensity, what the scientists called non-thermal bio-effects, adverse health effects are demonstrated. They concluded that current safety limits for EMF protection as promulgated by the ICNIRP and IEEE/FCC was both inadequate and obsolete.
Sadly, as of writing this post today, nothing has been done to apply the scientist’s recommendations. But I wanted to share them with you. Below is a short presentation by Olle Johansson of the panel. Underneath this I have laid out in layman’s terms their recommendations for EMF protection.
THE SELETUN SCIENTIFIC PANELS 10 KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EMF PROTECTION
1) Global populations are not sufficiently protected from electromagnetic fields from emerging the new wireless technologies, the consequences of which are now affecting the lives of billions of people;
2) They said that sensitive populations may be additionally vulnerable to health risks with EMFs , that’s to say, the elderly, ill, genetically and/or immunologically challenged) and children and fetuses; Their EMF exposure is mainly involuntary and they are less protected by existing public safety standards;
3) They urged governments to put aside the notion of only acting on EMFs when a scientific certainty was established. Instead they should act on the basis of “prudent public health planning principles”. If we wait to get the conclusive scientific evidence everyone would like this could mean basically doing nothing for decades. By the time we do act the public health consequences could be irreparable not to mention the ensuing economic harm
4) They urged governments to make clear that the burden of proof of safety rests lies solely with the “wireless industry”, not with the users and consumers.
5) EMF exposures should be reduced now rather than waiting for further proof.
6) That Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is inadequate and misguides people about EMF safety and risk.
7) An international disease registry needs to be set up to track time trends of illnesses to correlate them with exposures. Tracking effects of EMFs on children and sensitive electrohypersensitive populations needs to be made a high priority.
8.) Pre-market EMF testing should be made mandatory. The evidence needs to show that the wireless device does not cause harm before it is brought on to the market.
9) The public safety standards need to be the same for workers as for the general public.
10) People with electrical sensitivity symptoms should be classified as functionally impaired. ES or EHS should be regarded as having an environmental cause.
India, New Delhi,
St. Lucia, Castries,
Indonesia, Jakarta City,
City of Griffith, Australia
Most modern homes are engulfed by electromagnetic radiation. Fact.
Here are some of the sources:
INTERNAL SOURCES OF EMFS
wired and wireless video game consoles
wireless burglar alarms
wireless baby monitors
blue tooth devices
TV and computer screens
personal computers and laptops
digital alarm clocks
DECT cordless phones
EXTERNAL SOURCES OF EMFS
cell phone antennas and masts
radio and TV antennas
high voltage cables
your neighbors’ electronic devices.
This video will give you an insight to what is happening in your home:
One thing is for sure, you will be exposed to far more EMFs in your home than you could have ever imagined. You can use this short EMF exposure questionnaire to gain a better understanding of your exposure levels.
HOW TO REDUCE THE ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION IN YOUR HOME
There are many ways that you can do this:
1. Wi-Fi Devices and Routers, Wireless modems, Cordless Phones, Bluetooth Devices, Digital Baby Monitors etc
All electronic devices that use a wireless connection to communicate between devices bathe your home with radio frequency radiation – typically these are the biggest contributors to EMF pollution in your home. As much as possible, try and eliminate them. Use wired ethernet for your internet connection with a wired modem – my own personal preference is for the Netgear DG834 because you can easily switch the WiFi function off and it stays off. I have one of these routers in my home and we can run up to 4 computers on it all round the house on wired connections.
If you’re not able to eliminate these devices from your home:
-turn them on only while in use
-move the Wi-Fi router away from your bedroom, office and other living spaces
-place wireless equipement in a secluded part of your home.
The further away they are from you and your family, the better.
Replace your cordless phone with a regular corded land line one. If you really can’t live without a cordless phone at least go for a low EMF cordless phone which only emits EMFs when you are using it.
Digital baby monitors emit pulsed electromagnetic radiation into your babies bedroom and around the house. These are horrific devices when you take into account the devastating effects of EMFs on babies, young children and even teenagers. If you are a parent or a grandparent or you have a friend that use one of these devices its your duty to warn them of the dangers. The alternative is an analog model or a webcam linked via ethernet.
2. Cell Phones, Smart Phones and PDAs
The smartest thing to do here is to adopt a “no cell phone policy” within your home and make sure everyone in your family sticks to it. There is no reason to keep your cell phone switched on in your home. Much better to use the land line or Skype through a wired handset on your computer.
Just like in British homes in the last century it was customary to have an umbrella stand in the hallway so that people could stand their umbrella there when they arrived home and so that they knew where to find it when they were leaving the house. In our house we do the same thing with cell phones, we have a little basket by the front door where everyone puts their cell phone when they walk into the house – visitors also. See also my article on how to minimize your exposure to cell phone radiation.
3. Microwave Ovens
Having a microwave oven in your home makes no sense at all. On the one hand is what it does to the food. Microwave cooking releases free radicals and causes antioxidant loss. On the other is the considerable amount of electromagnetic radiation it emits into your home when it is in use. This might sound blunt, but do yourself a favor, get rid of the microwave oven.
4. TVs, PCs, Computer Screens.
The older cathode-ray monitors emit the highest amount of electromagnetic pollution if you have still got one of these switch to a flat-screen computer monitor and TV, they emit far less electromagnetic radiation. When not in use, switch off your computer and TV and unplug it (they give off EMFs even if they are switched off but plugged in*). This saves on energy and greatly reduces the levels of electromagnetic radiation in your home.
* Switching off an electrical device does not eliminate AC electric fields. EMFs are still present in any electrical device while ever it is plugged in, even if its switched off.
5. Transformer Units
Transformer units are found in almost all the electronic devices in your home. Transformers are used to convert high voltages from the mains to lower voltages. For instance a bedside alarm clock might operate on 6V but your supply may be 110V (in the US or 240V in the UK). The 104V surplus is radiated out as electromagnetic energy. If an electronic device plugs into the main electricity, it usually has a transformer.
Bedside digital clock and radios are examples of devices in your home that have transformers. Electric bedside alarm clocks because of their close proximity to your head can expose you to a high amount of electromagnetic radiation.
Eliminate these devices from your bedroom. Switch to battery powered clocks and alarms. If not, keep the devices at least 2 feet away from you. See my video on EMFs from bedroom clocks.
6. Smart Meters
If you are unlucky enough to have a digital smart meter installed to measure your gas, water or electricity consumption, you are being exposed to considerable levels of electromagnetic radiation. Some studies have suggest smart meters are responsible for 160 times more cumulative whole body EMF exposure than cell phones.
If you have one of these installed in your home, you are advised to shield the meter and your home. You can also petition your utility company to uninstall the meter and replace it with an analog meter. See my article on smart meter shielding tips.
7. Household Wiring
These can be a major issue especially in older properties where there is faulty wiring, which can cause significant EMFs. But even wiring that complies with modern building regulations can give off high levels of EMFs.
In Europe wiring is typically run through conduits which offer some protection (particularly if they are metal) in the US this practice is much less widespread. One way you can significantly reduce your exposure in the bedroom (which is where the EMFs can do the most harm) is by moving your bed a couple of feet from the walls.
With the rapid adoption of wireless technologies in homes, dirty electricity is another EMF issue which adds into the mix.
8. High Voltage Electricity Pylons
Depending on the distance between your home and high voltage power lines, you could suffer a myriad of health problems from EMF radiation from these power lines. In the US the FCC has guidelines (as do the regulatory bodies of other countries) on the height above ground of these power lines. But these guidelines give little to no protection.
Dr. David Carpenter, Dean of the School of Public Health, SUNY estimates that 10% to 15% of all childhood cancers may be due to exposure to residential power lines. The further away you live from high voltage electric power lines, the safer you are.
9. Electrical Substations
If an electric substation is immediately adjacent to your home, chances are that you are being exposed to high levels of magnetic fields. Shielding may help.
If the substation is more than 3 meters away, the radiation reaching your home should be minimal – depends on the size of the substation.
10. Cell Phone and Internet Antenna’s
If you live nearby a cell phone antenna, radio station transmitter, radar facility or Internet mast, it is radiating your home with electromagnetic fields. If you have an unobstructed view of the tower from your home, you need to seriously consider taking action.
There are various solutions, see my article on cell phone tower shielding for a good overview of this subject. The same solutions apply to Internet masts and radio and TV transmitters and the like as to cell phone antennas.
11. Your neighbor
Yes, your neighbor could be a major electromagnetic radiation polluter. Electromagnetic fields penetrate walls. The same shielding solutions apply as for cell phone tower shielding (see above). Keep in mind that if you have wireless devices in your home this will also reflect radiation back into your home, and may increase your overall levels of radiation.
If you are unsure as to the level of EMF exposure in your home the only way to find out for sure is to measure with an EMF meter.
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Pembroke Pines, Florida