Next week, doctors at KJ Nair Hospital will sit for a session on mobile phone and mobile tower radiation, conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) professor Girish Kumar. Last year, Kumar had submitted a report to the government on radiation emitted from mobile phone towers.
“My goal is to convince people that the government needs to be more stringent on radiation norms permitted for mobile phone towers,” said Kumar.
However, representatives of Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) have cited studies that pointed out mobile phone tower radiations were well within the guidelines.
A study by the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, commissioned by COAI indicated that radiation readings in various parts of the city were far below the norms.
The study conducted at 96 locations across the city showed that emission levels were anywhere between two times to 11,000 times lower that the permissible emission level of 4.7 watts/ m2.
“We work with the government and the department of telecom and ensure that we are well below the norms,” said Rajan Mathews, director general, COAI. “Our customers are our concern… There has been no credible evidence linking radiation as a health hazard.”
Concern over mobile phone tower radiation has been gathering steam, with groups protesting against towers near buildings, hospitals and schools.
On criticism that the Indian norms were too lenient, Mathews said, “Too lenient by whose standards? Arbitrarily reducing the norms doesn’t satisfy anybody. Reducing norms will not reduce number of cancer cases and headaches.”