Stringent mobile radiation norms from Saturday


New Delhi: Stringent new radiation norms for mobile phone towers and mobile handsets will come into effect Sep 1 across the country, the government announced Friday, keeping in view their possible adverse impact on human health.

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“We have to be careful as a nation. Technology must be embraced but ultimately public health should not be compromised,” Communications Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here, unveiling the norms.

Under the electromagnetic frequency(EMF) radiation standards, all handsets will have to display their exposure limit on the handset like IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number display.

A penalty of Rs.5 lakh will be liable to be levied per tower per service provider for non-compliance of EMF standards.

The new EMF limit will be one tenth the existing exposure limit for all mobile phone towers across the country.

“Indian standards would now be 10 times more stringent than more than 90 percent countries in the world,” the communications ministry said in a statement.

The norms also say that mobile handsets shall comply with the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values of 1.6 W/kg averaged over 1 gram of human tissue. Earlier it was 2W/kg over 10 gram of human tissue.

All cellphone handsets sold in the market in India shall be available in hands-free mode. Existing handsets which do not comply with these norms will co-exist only up to Aug 31, 2013.

From Sep 1, 2012 only the mobile handsets with revised SAR value would be permitted to be manufactured or imported in India.

The ministry issued guidelines for mobile handset owners. It says customers shoul follow basic health rules such as holding the cell phone away from body to the extent possible and using a headset to keep the handset away from your head.

The government said it will set up a test laboratory in the telecom engineering centre (TEC) by this year-end for testing of SAR value of mobile handsets.

The Comptroller and Auditor General in a report tabled in parliament Thursday had slammed the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for delay in finalising safety standards for cell phones.