The Gujarat Licence Service Area (LSA) unit of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) organised an “Awareness Workshop on EMF Radiation” on 31 March 2021. The session was organised by DoT as part of its public advocacy programme to dispel myths around EMF radiation and address unfounded fears of citizens by presenting credible scientific evidence.
An expert panel comprising of senior officers from the telecom department along with doctors, addressed concerns of citizens while also debunking myths and misinformation related to health hazards connected with radiation from mobile towers.
The workshop was attended by government officials, general public, residents’ welfare associations, students, doctors, telecom service providers, infrastructure providers and other officials. The eminent key speakers at the event were Shri Ajatshatru Somani, DDG (Compliance), Gujarat LSA, DoT, Shri D. P. Parihar, Sr. DDG Gujarat LSA, DoT, and Dr. Vivek Tandon, Department of Neurosurgery, AIIMS.
Shri D. P. Parihar, Sr. DDG, Gujarat LSA talked about the importance of mobile towers and the critical role that telecommunications plays in the overall growth and well-being of all the citizens. Addressing concerns, he added, “The telecom industry forms the bedrock for socio-economic progress by providing a robust network of mobile towers to boost the telecom and internet connectivity. We would like to reassure citizens that there is no risk to health from mobile tower radiation as the EMF radiation norms for India are 10 times stricter than the limits prescribed by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and are in adherence to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Extensive research on EMF signals has not been able to establish any injurious effects on human health from mobile tower radiation”.
Dr. Vivek Tandon, Department of Neurosurgery, AIIMS said “After extensive scientific research, it has been concluded that there is no connection between mobile tower radiation and human health. It is also to be noted that, even countries where the norms are 10 times less strict than India have not reported any adverse impact on human health from mobile tower radiation. After extensive studies, the WHO has concluded that there is no risk to human health from mobile tower radiation.”
Shri Ajatshatru Somani, DDG (Compliance), Gujarat LSA said “The DoT field units across the country regularly monitor the EMF emission levels from towers with the objective of ensuring compliance with the emission norms. LSA also conducts physical audits of telecom towers in collaboration with telecom service provides – the selection is random and we test the power of available EMF signals at different locations in and around the site. Importantly, when mobile phones of users are nearer to the towers, the telecom system design is such that the radiation power is automatically reduced, thus allaying the concerns of the users living in the close proximity of the tower. Further, Gujarat DoT’s LSA unit addresses all complaints received from the public either through email, PG Portal or dak with respect to EMF emissions in a time bound manner”.
Citizens need not worry about the adverse effect of mobile tower EMF radiation as they are been strictly monitored and evidence from credible sources have repeatedly ruled out the possibility of any impending health hazards emanating from EMF radiations. Hence, the misconception with a section of population in Gujarat on the hazards of EMF emission is wrong and installation of towers should be allowed in their respective localities. There are checks and balances in place to ensure that the telecom service providers strictly adhere to the radiation norms set by the Government. Moreover, the Government of India follows 10 times more stringent norms than what has been prescribed by ICNIRP and recommended by WHO.
During Q&A session, the panellists responded that the mobile connectivity is the need of the hour for all sections of society. There is a need to realise the importance of mobile towers in order to maintain the standards of this very essential service; however, due to certain misconceptions and myths, installation of mobile towers is being opposed in some localities, which will result in poor telecom and internet connectivity in such areas. The Government is fully committed to the proliferation of healthy and safe telecom infrastructure, which in turn would enhance the way we all live and work.
It was clarified that the level of exposure near a cell phone tower is typically many times lower than the exposure from simply using a cell phone. DoT and telecom operators are fully complaint and equipped to ensure the radiation norms and guidelines, which have been specifically designed to safeguard the citizens to radiation exposure.
For towers, emission check : go to http://tarangsanchar.gov.in/EMFportal
Click on the location and find EMF levels. Site also geo-locates location by itself. Get email updates for the tower near you.
Mobile radiation check: Type *#07# on mobile to check mobile-specific absorption rate (SAR). The SAR value, which is the radiation emitted by a cellphone, will have to be displayed on mobile handsets. The 1.6 watts/kg averaged over a mass of 1 gram human tissue are only permitted to be manufactured or imported in India for the domestic market.