Use your mobile phone only for 24 mins a day: Study | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Use your mobile phone only for 24 mins a day: Study

While we all chat for hours on our mobile phones, we don’t realise that the long exposure to radiation from the handset could be harmful.

mumbai Updated: Dec 07, 2010 00:58 IST
Kiran Wadhwa

While we all chat for hours on our mobile phones, we don’t realise that the long exposure to radiation from the handset could be harmful.

All mobile phones have a SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) rating. In the US, SAR limit for mobile phones is 1.6w/kg that translates into a usage for six minutes a day. This limit has a safety margin of three to four, so a person should not use a mobile phone for more than 18 to 24 minutes a day because of the harmful effects of its radiation.

This recommendation is part of a 30-page report complied by professor Girish Kumar from the electrical engineering department of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

The report, a compilation prepared after studying more than 100 research papers and interaction with people, has been sent to the Department of Telecommunications in Delhi.

The report shows the kind of radiation people living and working around cell phone towers are exposed to. A majority of cell phone towers are near residential and commercial buildings to provide good mobile coverage to users. The report states: “These towers transmit signals 24x7 so people living within 10m from the tower will get 10,000 to 1,00,000 times stronger signal than required for mobile communication. In India, crores of people reside within these high-radiation zones.”

The radiation norms adopted by India are less stringent than those in developed countries. The report states that radiation measurements carried out in Mumbai and Delhi show high radiation levels at places such as the Khar bridge in Mumbai and the Delhi-Gurgaon Highway Bridge. Some studies state that cell phone radiation can affect male fertility. Others state that it is harmful for pregnant women and can damage DNA.

The report recommends tightening radiation norms, which must be cost-effective. It says that all operators must be instructed that power density in schools, hospitals and at common frequently visited places should be within these guidelines.