The civic body has decided to conduct a study to determine whether there is a correlation between cancer among citizens and their exposure to radiation emitted from mobile phone towers. The study will be initiated in January, with a panel of doctors from civic hospitals analysing and compiling a report on their observations.
As reported in HT’s December 21 edition, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is revising its policy on the installation of mobile phone towers based on the guidelines set by the Union department of telecommunication, has said that it cannot put in place stricter norms concerning the installation of the towers as it claims there is no “conclusive evidence” to prove the impact of radiation on health.
On Friday, Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner, admitted: “Over the past decade, there has been a surge in the number of cancer cases in the city. While there are several causes, exposure to radiation from mobile towers could be a significant one.”
Dr Sandhya Kamath, dean of KEM hospital, who will be a part of the panel, said the study would be used to create awareness among Mumbaiites. “In 2000, there were around 29,000 newly detected cases of cancer in the city. But because of environmental hazards, including exposure to radiation, we fear that the number could rise up to 45,000 in the next few years,” said Kamath. “This study will help us detect the cause in advance and so help create awareness.”
The BMC’s policy on the installation of mobile phone towers will be finalised after it is cleared by its standing committee and general body.