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It’s official – Mobile radiation is dangerous

Yahoo! India News – Thu, Feb 3,2011 12:23 PM IST

The speculative fears of mobile phones being a danger to health in the long run, seem to be coming true. A latest government study talks about the harmful effects of not just using mobile phones but also the radiation from mobile phone towers.

A Times of India report states that : Radiation from mobile phones and towers poses serious health risks, including loss of memory, lack of concentration, disturbance in the digestive system and sleep disturbances, according to an inter-ministerial committee formed by the ministry of communications and information technology to study the hazards posed by mobile phones.

One India also reported that the damages may not be lethal for humans, but are worse for birds and insects as well. The committee has attributed the radiation effects to the disappearance of butterflies, bees, insects and sparrows.

The government report also says that mobile towers should not be installed near high density residential areas, schools, playgrounds and hospitals. “The localized SAR value as per the Indian guidelines standard is 2 watt per kg, averaged over a six minute period and using a 10 gram average mass. With higher SAR values of mobile handsets the public could potentially receive much higher radiofrequency exposure. We have recommended that SAR levels to be lowered down to 1.6 watt/kg, as prescribed by the Federal Communication Commission of US,” said a member.

The eight-member committee, which included representatives from the health ministry, department of biotechnology and member secretary, DoT, has recommended that mobile phones not adhering to standard levels of specific absorption rate (SAR) – a measure of the amount of radiofrequency energy absorbed by the body while using a phone — should be barred.

Member scientist, ICMR R S Sharma said that compared to Europeans, Indian cellphone users are more at risk for adverse affect of radiation due the country’s hot tropical climate, low body mass index, and low fat content. “We have recommended amendment in the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 and rules so that only mobile handsets satisfying radiation standards should be permitted in the country,” he said.