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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Health and Mobile Phones

Alarming report. A government funded study conducted by JNU School of Environmental Sciences has found that exposure to radiation from mobile phones and mobile towers could have an adverse impact on human health - especially fertility as well as depleting the cell defence mechanisms, leading to malignant tumours. The results of these tests match up with similar studies been done in the West.

The report also underlines the extended risk to people living close to cellphone towers. A summary of the findings appears in The Hindu and can be found here.

A similar article had appeared in the "Down To Earth" magazine published by Centre for Science and Environment(CSE) in July 2009 and laid out similar concerns over the mushrooming of cell phone towers in residential areas. The report quotes Girish Kumar, professor of electrical engineering at Mumbai IIT, on the radiation limit in India - "We have allowed 4.5 Watt per sqm as the safe limit. Russia has put a limit of 0.02 Watt and Germany 0.001 Watt," he said. "You know what 4.5 Watt means? It is same as putting someone in a microwave for 19 minutes a day,"...here.

And yet the industry is slow to react to these studies and worse, they are ignored and no action is taken to protect human health.

I had got this in my mail box in March 2010, an entire article quoting a number of scientific studies regarding the safety of mobile phones. Extracts -

Despite industry’s reluctance to admit the scientific basis of placing a prominent warning on every cell phone sold, the legislation was indeed prompted by such scientific findings.
  • Wearing a cell phone on your hip – either on your belt or in a pocket – has been linked to decreased bone density in the pelvic region. (All the other vital organs located in your pelvic region – your liver, kidney, bladder, colon and reproductive organs – are also susceptible to radiation damage)
Protecting Yourself and Family

The bare minimum, don’t let young children use a cell phone or other wireless devices, and avoid cell phone exposure while pregnant or carrying your infant as children are FAR more susceptible to harm from microwave radiation than adults.

If you’re not prepared to ditch your cell phone, you can at least minimize exposure by heeding the following advice
Reduce your cell phone use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call.
Use a land line at home and at work:
Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness.
Reduce or eliminate your use of other wireless devices:
You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them every single time.
Use your cell phone only where reception is good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
Also seek to avoid carrying your phone on your body as that merely maximizes any potential exposure. Ideally put it in your purse or carrying bag.

SAR value, while providing information for comparison purposes between phones, is very limited in its usefulness as a measure of ‘safety.’ For more details on SAR values, please review this previous article.

Keep your cell phone away from your body when it’s on: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area.

The Web site ElectromagneticHealth.org also offers ten free audio interviews with some of the world’s leading experts in the field of EMF.

Will keep this page updated with latest news.

Centre for Science and Environment page - Warning Signal.
“LET the headlines be that mobile towers are safe,” declared Rajan Mathews, director of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI)."

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