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11 Dec, 2013

Indian Studies Prove Radiation Effect of Long-term Mobile Phone Use


New Delhi, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, 10-December-2013 – Recently two reviews have been published from the School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi regarding effect of mobile phone radiation. Both the reviews are based on the review of published studies conducted on animals and in in-vitro system.

Giving this information in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said that the first review concluded that radio frequency Electromagnetic Field (EMF) could cause biological damage and leads to several changes like decrease sperm count, enzymatic and hormonal changes, DNA damage and apoptosis formation.

The second review concluded that the regular and long term use of mobile phone, microwave oven at domestic level can have negative impact upon biological system especially on brain.

However, there is no conclusive evidence available so far to establish adverse effect on human health due to Electromagnetic Field ( EMF) radiations emitted from mobile phone or cell tower particularly with regard to adverse effect of these radiation on heart, brain and other functions of the body of the cell phone users. Studies are on going to find out adverse health effects of radio frequency Electromagnetic Field (EMF) from cell phone use, if any.

Based on the recommendation of Inter Ministerial Committee, constituted by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on EMF radiation issues, the norms for radiation limit for the Radio Frequency Field (Base Station Emissions) in India has been reduced to 1/10th of existing safe limits prescribed by International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) with effect from 01.09.2012. Also Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) level for mobile handsets has been reduced from 2 Watt/Kg prescribed by ICNIRP to 1.6 Watt/Kg averaged over 1 gram of human tissue with effect from 01.09.2013.

MR Sibal further informed the House that Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) under Department of Science and Technology has constituted a Expert Committee / Task Force in September 2013, to evaluate the R&D proposal on the possible impact of EMF radiation exposure from mobile towers and handsets on life (humans, living organism, flora & fauna and environment) and related initiatives.

In addition, Indian Council of Medical Research is also conducting a multi-disciplinary cohort study in Delhi and National Capital Region to find out adverse effects of Radio Frequency Radiation, if any, emitted from cell phone on adult Indian population.