Not satisfied with international scientific data on cellphone safety, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has asked the Indian Council Of Medical Research (ICMR) to do a long-term health study on the hazards of cellphone use and abuse.
“Mobile phones are being used by kids over long periods, causing headaches and short-term memory loss,” Ramadoss said on Friday. “There is no international data that indicates that cellphone use is absolutely safe over a long period of time and we need to find out, even though the onus should be on the industry to prove safety.”
India has 185 million cellphone users.
Dr N.K. Ganguly, the director-general of ICMR, said: “I have chaired an ICMR committee that studied health hazards of radio frequency emitted by cellphone transmission towers and we filed a report for the government to adopt guidelines. Now that the market penetration of cellphones has become phenomenal over the last five years, we have begun working on a module to track its long-term health impact.”
“There is no data on long-term use. Cellphones emit low levels of radio frequency energy while in use and lower RF when on stand-by. But as long use can cause radio frequency to heat tissue and cause biological effects, we need to know the impact.”