How dangerous are emissions from mobile phone towers?
“There is no conclusive evidence that electromagnetic emissions from mobile towers cause any health hazard,” says Rajan S Mathews, director-general, Cellular Operators Association of India. But people exposed to cancer risks are not buying it.
“How can we believe the (telecom) industry? They have a vested interest. Tobacco companies denied smoking caused cancer through the 1960s, but they were wrong. We can’t take the risk,” said YR Gadotia, 61, who began having sleepless nights when he saw a mobile tower being installed opposite his home in Karol Bagh.
Radiation from mobile towers and handsets is “possibly carcinogenic to humans” and may cause glioma, a type of brain cancer, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. More common are sleep disturbances, anxiety, headache, fatigue, joint pain, itchiness and disturbed vision in people living around towers.
“When the tower came up in January 2012, I assumed it was being installed legally,” said Gadotia, a retired banker. “After some research and writing to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), I found they needed permission from the RWA (residents’ welfare association) and the civic agency’s building department to erect these towers,” he said.
MCD records showed no permission was sought. Gadotia complained and the MCD intervened and stopped the installation.