There is no scientific evidence backing the claim that electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation from mobile towers causes adverse health effects, said Department of Telecommunications (DoT) secretary J S Deepak on Friday. He made this statement at a public outreach and awareness programme organised by DoT highlighting that the mobile towers in India are safe and the emissions are within the prescribed limits of the DoT. It was pointed out that the government of India has very strict norms on monitoring and compliance, comparable with international best practices and there are no scientific studies linking mobile EMF emissions with human health hazards.
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While clarifying myths on possible health hazards from mobile tower radiation, Deepak said that EMF radiation from mobile towers was below the safe limits prescribed by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). DoT has prescribed strict precautionary norms for exposure limit for the Radio Frequency Field (Base Station Emissions) which is 10 times more stringent than the existing limits prescribed by ICNIRP and recommended by WHO. He said that the Government of India has taken adequate steps to ensure that telecommunications service providers strictly adhere to these prescribed norms.
Dr R M Chaturvedi, DDG-CS, DoT, pointed out that WHO has referred to approximately 25,000 studies, conducted around the world over the past 30 years, and based on an in-depth review of scientific literature, has concluded: “Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields.”
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A committee, formed at the behest of Allahabad High Court comprising experts from five IITs, AIIMS (Delhi), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow, has also on the basis of scientific evidence, studies and reports available, found that there is no conclusive evidence about the stated dangers of EMF radiation from mobile BTS tower.
Several high courts in cases related to issue of effects of the radiation from cell phone towers have given judgments whereby they have dismissed petitions, where the mobile tower installations were challenged.