Even as a global report published by scientists and health experts from 10 countries suggested that India's prescribed standards for radiation emissions from mobile phone towers is higher than the safe limit, officials of the Union telecommunication department and cellular operators continue to refute its findings.
"I am unaware of BioInitiative's credentials. As the government, we have to go by either what World Health Organization (WHO) finds or what the India-centric study, undertaken by the department of telecommunication (DoT) along with the environment and health ministries, reveals. We have implemented one of the strictest norms used globally," said Milind Deora, minister of state for communication and IT.
"After September 2012, India's norms are more stringent than those used even in Europe. We need to enforce these better and need support from municipalities and panchayats for it," Deora added.
On Monday, HT had reported on the newly published BioInitiative 2012 report that was prepared by a group of 29 scientists and health experts to study the correlation between exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation and its health effects. The report suggested that India's revised radiation standard of 450 milliwatts/sqm was almost 900 times higher than its suggested safe limit of 0.5 milliwatts/sqm. The report studied the effects of exposure to EMF radiation on neurology and behaviour, gene and protein expression, stress response, fertility and reproduction, and cancer, among others.
Cellular operators have termed the report 'biased' and 'lacking objective, comprehensive review'. "The BioInitiative 2012 Report is an informal interpretation of a limited selection of available scientific information on electromagnetic fields. The report does not include any new scientific data but reflects the interpretations of individual authors who do not have consensus among themselves," said Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India.