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Breaking the myths about cell phone radiation

Breaking the myths about cell phone radiation
Highlights

Breaking the myths about cell phone radiation, Titled ‘Mobile Networks and Public Health’, the campaign will see eminent experts from India and world come together on a common platform to dispel unwarranted fears.

Experts in physics and medicine come together to allay fears on the effects of radiation from cell phones and mobile towers

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the apex body of mobile communications companies, launched a public awareness campaign aimed at allaying health fears and dispelling myths surrounding mobile tower antennas and handsets. The campaign was inaugurated by IT minister KTR on Thursday.
(From left) Rajan S Mathews, KT Rama Rao, Somesh Kumar and T Hanuman Chowdary at the launch of COAI public awareness campaign, on Thursday
Titled ‘Mobile Networks and Public Health’, the campaign will see eminent experts from India and world come together on a common platform to dispel unwarranted fears. The campaign will comprise reference books, videos and road shows involving experts from oncology, radiology, molecular and physical science.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) too had recognised the issue that a large section of Indian public harboured unwarranted fears that were not based on scientific data and facts.

Rajan S Mathews, director general, COAI, said, “Over the last 20 years, the mobile industry has been successful in putting India on the global map, making us the second largest telecom market in the world. This has also brought in concerns about the electromagnetic field with regards to cell towers and handsets. The video and communication series ‘Mobile Networks and Public Health’ will put forth the scientific and safety regime adopted by the government and industry.”

The booklet and video series will be widely circulated among the decision makers, general public and will also be available on social media.

Professor RV Hosur, senior professor, department of chemical sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), said, “Ionising radiation causes damage to the molecules – they break the chemical bonds and can cause health hazards. But non-ionising radiations (from mobile tower antennae and phones) do not cause the breakage of bonds and do not cause damage to the molecules. Non-ionising radiation such as mobile emission causes only local change in temperature depending on the extent of use.”

India’s top brain-tumour specialist, Dr Rakesh Jalali, professor, radiation oncology and convener, Neuro Oncology Group, Tata Medical Centre, said, “The RF waves used in the mobile phone technology are probably at the lowest end of the electromagnetic spectrum and does not cause any DNA kill.”

Prof. Vasant Natarajan of Indian Institute of Science, said, “The cell phone photons do not have enough energy to cause a mutation in your DNA no matter what their power is. The power density from the sun received on the earth is typically 1,000 watts per square meter, while that at the base of a cellphone tower is ten thousand times smaller at about 0.1 Watts per square meter.”

Prof. Michael Repacholi, chairman emeritus of ICNIRP and Ex-EMF project co-ordinator, World Health Organisation, said, “WHO factsheet states very clearly that mobile phones do not cause cancer. A number of studies conducted to ascertain relationship between the electromagnetic radiation and cancer have not found anything to indicate mobile radiation causing cancer.”

Reassuring pregnant women about EMF radiation from mobile tower antennae and handsets, Repacholi said that the penetration depth of the EMF is only 1-2 mm, so it never really gets close to the foetus in any significant amount to cause any damage.

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