The article headlined “Is mobile phone tower radiation a health hazard? (Sunday, July 15)” was presented in a biased manner and misrepresented the industry.
The article is one-sided and seems pre-disposed towards the allegations against the industry. The sheer space allocated to both sides to present their views was biased. Also, there is no scientific evidence for the arguments put forth against the industry.
The Government of India/DoT (department of telecom) has adopted and implemented ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection Board) standards for the telecom sector, considered to be one of the best in the world and has been adopted by over 90 per cent of the world’s countries. It ensures abundant precautionary limits for exposure from base stations and phones.
All telecom operators in India, in accordance with their licence conditions, are in compliance with the safety standards and guidelines for EMF as laid down by the ICNIRP. Service providers in India undergo stringent measurements and audits and provide certificates regarding compliance with these standards for each base station antennae.
Also, regular and stringent audits are done by the government's TERM (Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring) cells to ensure the towers comply with these standards. The actual RF (radio frequency) emissions from phones and base stations as measured by the DoT are significantly lower than the levels specified by ICNIRP.
In this regard, we want to first place on record that the above concerns have no basis in fact or finding (whether international or in India) and are wrongly aimed at creating a scare and panic amongst the public by certain self-proclaimed experts with vested commercial interest.
If the general public is concerned about cell tower radiation levels, they are encouraged to contact their local TERM cell, a division of the DoT, which is the only government body authorised to test cell site EMF emission levels.
-Rajan S Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).