Mobile phone radiation poses health risks: Government panel


New Delhi: Next time you chat away for hours on your mobile phone, think about the grave health risks from the emitted radiation. It causes loss of memory, lack of concentration, digestive and sleep disturbances, says a government panel on hazards posed by electromagnetic radiation.

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According to a study by the eight-member inter-ministerial committee, comprising representatives from the health ministry and the departments of biotechnology and telecommunications, startling violations of radio frequency levels according to international standards were found.

The localised Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) as per the Indian guidelines standard is 2 watt per kg, averaged over a six minute period. According to the study however, the radiation effects are more in Indians than Europeans due to the tropical climate in India, low mass index and low fat content.

“With higher SAR values of mobile handsets, the public could potentially receive much higher radio frequency exposure. We have recommended that SAR levels be lowered down to 1.6 watt per kg, as prescribed by the Federal Communication Commission of United States (US),” a committee member said.

The report also recommends the use of hands-free technology to lower physical contact with the body and the cell phone and the mobile phones not adhering to standard levels of energy radiation should be banned.

It recommended children, adolescents and pregnant women should avoid excessive use of mobile phones.

“People having active medical implants should keep their cell phone at least 30 cm away from the implant,” the report advises.

Apart from health risks, the study also indicates that mobile phone radiation creates environment hazards like disappearance of butterflies, bees, insects and sparrows from big cities.

“Mobile towers should not be installed near high-density residential areas, schools, playgrounds and hospitals,” the report said.

The recommendations submitted by the committee will be used to chalk out a national policy and better guidelines on electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation for telecom towers.