Secondhand Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation: An Emerging Public Health Problem?

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Many people are unaware that they are exposed to cell phone radiation when their cell phones are in standby mode. This occurs because their cell phone contacts the nearest cell tower periodically to update its location.

In a moving vehicle, cell phones in standby mode contact cell towers more frequently. Thus, exposure to cell phone radiation from one’s cell phone is greater in transit.

Two Swiss researchers, Damiano Urbinello and Martin Roosli, set out to measure personal cell phone radiation exposure during car, bus and train trips when one’s own phone was in standby mode.

Their study just published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology identified a source of cell phone radiation that may constitute a public health problem. Namely, secondhand exposure to cell phone radiation from other people’s cell phones can be considerable while traveling on buses and trains (1).

During bus or train trips, individuals may be exposed to considerable amounts of cell phone radiation from other people’s cell phones. Buses and railroad cars act like “”Faraday cages”” that reflect much of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell phones throughout the vehicles’ interiors. Thus, all passengers, including infants and pregnant women as well as those without cell phones, may be exposed to considerable levels of cell phone radiation emitted by others’ phones.

As for car trips, the results of the study suggest that exposure to cell phone radiation from one’s own phone in standby mode is relatively low compared to overall exposures during public transit. Nonetheless, those who are concerned about their exposure to cell phone radiation should turn off their phones during car trips, or at the very least, avoid using their phones for calls.

● “”The study indicates that own uplink exposure during car driving can be considerably reduced (about a fraction of 100) when turning off ones own mobile phone in order to prevent it from location updates.”” (1)

The researchers found that GSM, the 2G carrier system in Europe which is used in the U.S. for voice communication by AT&T and T-Mobile, is particularly problematic compared to UMTS, a 3G carrier system used for data transmission. The researchers did not test CDMA which in the U.S. is used by Verizon and Sprint for voice calls. Other research has found that GSM emits 13 to 28 times more radiation on average than CDMA during phone calls. No published studies have examined exposures from LTE, the 4G carrier system now in widespread use in this country.

● “”GSM levels in the reference scenario during bus and train rides were about 100 times higher than those during car rides. As a consequence of this high background exposure in trains, due to the use of other people’s mobile phone in a closed area intensified by the Faraday cage effect, the relative contribution of the location update from ones own mobile phone is small”” (1)

The study also reported that smart phones, including the iPhone 4 and the Blackberry Bold 8800, which can operate on four radiofrequency bands emit more radiation during standby mode than classic phones, like the Nokia 2600, which operate on two bands.

Earlier this year, a study was published that examined cell phones in standby mode while stationary. Kjell Mild and his colleagues from Sweden found that under these conditions cell phones contacted the cell towers only once every two to five hours. They concluded that exposure to cell phone radiation in this situation “”can be considered negligible.”” (2)

These studies should be replicated in the U.S. as well as in other countries since every cell phone carrier system operates differently.

In the meantime it is advisable to keep cell phone use in moving vehicles to a minimum as low level exposures to cell phone radiation have been associated with deleterious effects in humans.

To protect us from the health risks associated with cell phones and related devices (e.g., cordless phones, Wi-Fi, wireless Smart Meters and security systems, and cell towers), we need research independent of industry to develop biologically-based standards and safer technologies. A nickel a month from each cell phone subscription would suffice to fund a comprehensive program of research. Since the average cell phone subscription costs more than $47.00 per month, this tiny fee constitutes a prudent investment in our health and our children’s health.

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Pembroke Pines, FL: The New Battleground For Cell Phone Radiation

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We have been seeing a torrent of changes in the way that people, governments and legal bodies have been approaching the issue of cell phone radiation.

We recently reported a groundbreaking court case in Italy that ruled in favor of a man who claimed he developed a brain tumor as a result of excessive phone use for his work.

Another high profile occurrence was a recent study that was released which indicated a negative affect on unborn fetuses from phone radiation.

These are only a few of the changes that are going on worldwide, but in the last week a radical development occurred and it has turned the unlikely town of Pembroke Pines, FL into the new battleground for cell phone radiation awareness.

Inspired by a resident’s cancer survival story, Pembroke Pines passed what’s thought to be the first resolution in the state to warn residents about the possibility of cellphone radiation causing cancer.

Pembroke Pines resident Jimmy Gonzalez had a cancerous brain tumor removed from the area above Gonzalez’ left ear the same place where he held his cellphone for hours a day while working as an attorney. Just a year earlier, surgeons removed a tumor from his left hand, in between his index finger and middle finger.

The resolution encourages all residents to keep their cellphone at least one-inch away from their bodies, and to use a wired headset or speakerphone and to send messages by text or email. The resolution also encourages residents to stay informed about the latest scientific reports about cellphone radiation.

Pines plans to send the resolution, passed at its most recent meeting, to agencies across the state including the governor’s office, the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Legislature to encourage other cities and school boards to adopt a similar resolution to protect Floridians.

Does this sound familiar? That is because these are suggestions we have been promoting for quite sometimes. Simple and easy to follow tips that will help you limit the dangers of exposure to phone radiation.

We all know that smartphones are a huge part of our lives, and most of us are not willing to give them up. With tawkon for Android you don’t have to. You can talk all you want and tawkon will alert you when radiation levels spike, and suggest ways to lessen your exposure.

Do you think this is a harbinger of things to come? Will more towns, cities and states all over the country begin to adopt similar requirements?

What are your thoughts?

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Cell Phone Radiation Increases Risk of Parotid Gland Tumors

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Traditionally, parotid gland tumors have been very rare. And they’ve generally shown up in people after the age of 50.

Not so anymore. According to a study done by a research group in Israel, there has been a sharp increase in these types of malignant tumors and most of them are occurring with people under the age of 20. Cell phone radiation is the suspected culprit.

What is the Parotid Gland?

The parotid gland is a type of salivary gland in the cheek the one closest to where most people hold a cell phone.

What’s important is that the new data from the Israeli study show no similar increases in the two other major types of salivary glands the submandibular and sublingual glands that are further away from where a phone is generally held.

The study, headed by R. Czerninzki of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem at Hadassah school of Dental Medicine, reported a significant increase in incidence of parotid gland tumors over last 30 years. Finding a four-fold increase in parotid gland cancers from 1970-2006, they found the steepest increase happened after 2001.

US Senate Hearing on Cell Phone Radiation

In 2008, Dr. Siegal Sadetzki, principal investigator of another study on cell phone radiation testified in a US senate hearing that cell phones were identified as a contributor to salivary gland tumors. In his report, he stated that risk of getting a parotid tumor on same side of head used for speaking on cell phone increases by:

34% if you are regular cell phone user & have used a cell phone for 5 yrs
49% if you have spoken on phone for more than 266.3 hours during your lifetime
58% if you’ve had more than about 5500 calls in your lifetime
Parotid gland tumors are not the only tumors being linked to cell phones.

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Is There a Connection Between Autism Electromagnetic Radiation?

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Research has established a potential link between autism and fetal/neonatal exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic radiation. Based on epidemiological data, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Recent evidence indicates the incidence of ASD to be roughly 1 per 110 children.

Some data suggest a possible correlation between autism incidence an environmental toxin known as radio frequency (RF) radiation. This is a biologically active substance. It is known that human exposure to RF radiation has increased during the past 20 years. It is suggested that fetal or neo-natal exposures to RF radiation may be associated with an increased incidence of autism.

Dr. George Louis Carlo PhD studied risks associated with cell phones funded by a government grant. The results he obtained initially indicated no correlations, however, by 1999, Dr. Carlo had obtained significantly more evidence pointing to a risk to DNA, eye cancers, and brain tumors.

At this time he developed a theory that low frequency cell phone signals are harmful to the functioning of cells. What can result of this impaired functioning is that cells which normally move wastes and toxins out of the body started to protect themselves and this cellular movement stopped. Without the ability to move wastes outside cells results in a buildup of toxins. Dr. Carlo’s hypothesis suggests that autistic children are less able to process heavy metals, so these remain in their bodies and cause neurological damage, including autism.

Further research conducted by Dr. Carlo along with Tamara Mariea and published in the Journal of the Australian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine in November 2007, demonstrated the positive effects that autistic children could experience in an Electromagnetic-free (EM-free) clinic. This was a trial with 20 autistic children, involving spending at least four hours, 2-3 times a week, in the EM-free clinic. In three months, analyses showed that heavy metals were beginning to be excreted by the children.

Food for Thought:

• The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets standards for the amount of radio frequency that can be emitted by a cell phone based on the size and structure of a man’s head.
• Radio-frequency signals can reach deeper into children’s head because their skulls are thinner and their brains contain more fluid.
• In 2004, standards relaxed and roughly doubled the amount of radio frequency that could reach an adult brain and quadrupled that reaching a child’s.
• A child’s brain doubles in size during the first two years of life and keeps on developing until their early 20s.

Although it is impossible to pinpoint one single cause of autism or one single barrier to an autistic child’s successful recovery, we are continuing to take steps forwards in identifying contributing factors. It is definitely reasonable to agree with researchers who believe that the increase in exposure to EMR from all of the wireless devices in our lives in combination with environmental and genetic factors is creating the perfect storm to increase the incidence of autism.

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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.

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Warning: Your Mobile Gadgets Can Be Hazardous To Your Heath

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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.

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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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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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MUMBAI: Freedom from the alleged deadly intensity of electro-magnetic radiation from cell phone towers may come at a price for consumers, especially in the city, where tower density is comparatively higher.

A recent department of telecommunication (DoT) directive to reduce levels of radiation to 1/10th may force telecom operators to increase towers or base transmission stations of lesser radiation levels, rather than putting up fewer high-radiati-on towers.

This, experts said, would increase capital expenditure of operators, which consumers may have to compensate by paying higher tariffs. Each station comes at Rs 3-5 lakh and requires costlier maintenance. But sources said companies will have to first appeal for a higher tariff before the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), following which the authority will take a decision after hearing consumer appeals.

Against high-radiation towers fitted as densely as 300 metres from each other in Mumbai, telecom firms may have to go in for lower power stations or towers beyond a minimum 500-metre peripheral distance from each other.

The distance between towers has been specified in the natural habitat by the environment ministry, which is supposed to be 1,000 metres from each tower. But for dense urban localities like Mumbai, having highrises, no specific distance is recommended.

IIT professor Girish Kumar said each tower should radiate maximum two watts of power and be placed 500 metres from each other. “”Consumers can fit repeaters of maximum 0.1 watt capacity in offices or homes for safer radiation levels,”” he said.

Though bringing down radiation levels is welcome, he said, it will not reduce below 450 milliwatts, which is still high. “”Cell phone firms will not obey this directive of reducing levels. They will only assure consumers that radiation levels are lower than what is prescribed. We need a strong monitoring force to get it implemented,”” said Kumar. He said the notification could be a ploy to show the betterment of society but will result in more towers mushrooming, and consumers will have to pay for infrastructure and maintenance through bills.

Kumar said health problems occur after 15 years if the power is .1 watts, but with .45 watts (or 450 milliwatts), it takes few years. “”With 10 watts, it’s a matter of one or two years,”” he said. But Rajan Mathews, director-general, Cellular Operators Association of India), said levels were in compliance with international standards., thus achieving safest levels

The survey was by several institutes, including the wireless communication laboratory of IIT Madras and was sponsored by COAI and the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India, Mathews said.

TRAI eye on city

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has started setting up its office in Mumbai to keep an eye on telecom, broadcasting and cable services in the western region. It recently appointed Madan Mohan, a senior Indian Telecommunication Services officer, as its advisor for the region, which comprises Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa. Monitoring quality and standards of services through audits and surveys, and ensuring compliance of tariff-related guidelines by telecom, broadcasting and cable operators, will be the office’s main responsibility, besides development of consumer advocacy groups and coordination with telecom enforcement and resource-monitoring cells of the department of telecommunication.

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NEW DELHI, SEPT 01: With the Government’s new norms for mobile towers coming into effect from Saturday, India will be among the few countries in the world to have stringent Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) Radiation Standards, established in the interest of public health.

The US, New Zealand and Canada have already adopted similar norms. Indian standards are now 10 times more stringent than over 90 per cent of the countries, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said here on Friday.

The EMF exposure limit for Base Station Emissions has been lowered to one tenth of the existing level, he said.

“Health of the people should not be compromised at any cost. Technology must be embraced but ultimately public health should not be compromised,” he said.

Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM) Cells under the Department of Telecom (DoT) will conduct random audits of the self certification furnished by the service providers.

TERM, which also monitors illegal telecom operations, will carry out test audit of 10 per cent of the base transceiver station (BTS) site on a random basis and in all cases where there is a public complaint, the Minister said.

Another agency under the DoT, the Telecom Engineering Centre has revised the test procedure for measurement of Electromagnetic Frequency in accordance with new standards.

A penalty of Rs 5 lakh is liable to be levied per BTS per service provider on non-compliance with the EMF standards, Sibal said.

According to DoT, 95 per cent of the towers are already complying with the new emission norms.

On handsets, the Minister said all new designs of mobile handsets shall comply with the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values of 1.6 watt/kg averaged over 1 gram of human tissue from Saturday.

The mobile handsets with existing designs which are compliant with 2W/kg averaged over 10 gram of human tissue, will continue to co-exist up to August 2013. Mobile handsets with revised SAR value of 1.6 watt/kg would be permitted to be manufactured or imported in India from September 2013.

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