Though the long-term effects of cell phones and mobile phone towers on the health are still not known, experts advise people to take precautions and ensure minimum exposure to radiation.
Experts studying radiation emitted from cell phones and phone towers term the use of a cell phone for an hour each day as ‘heavy usage’.
“A person is considered a heavy user and at a high risk of radiation-related side effects if the total amount of time spent on the phone is about an hour every day,” said a scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) requesting anonymity.
“One should use the landline more often, while mobile phones should be used for emergency calls,” he added.
An inter-ministerial committee comprising experts from the department of telecom, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), ministry of health and others was formed in September 2009 to examine the effects of electromagnetic radiation emitted from cell phone towers and mobile phones on human beings and the environment. The symptoms that the experts mentioned in the report include burning and tingling sensation in the skin of the head, ringing in the ears, headache, increased heart rate.
Some experts, however, feel that the radiation-induced ill effects, especially from mobile phones and other electronic gadgets, are still debatable.
“It has not been scientifically proven yet whether mobile radiations are carcinogenic or trigger genetic mutation, etc,” said a senior oncologist, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
He said clinical trials were going on in the West to gauge the effects of mobile phone radiation on people.