No conclusive data available on effects of Mobile Phone/Tower on Health: ICMR
As per Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), there are no conclusive data available on the issue of Health Hazards due to radiation emitted from cell phone and cell phone tower.
Some scientific evidences indicate some bio-effects and potential adverse health effects of Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR). As per ICMR, WHO/International Agency for research on Cancer has categorized radio frequency electromagnetic field as possible carcinogenic agent to humans. ICMR has initiated a multi-disciplinary cohort study in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) to investigate adverse effects of Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR), if any, emitted from cell phone on adult Indian population.
The study intends to examine whether use of cell phone is linked with reproductive dysfunctions, infertility, neurological disorders (cognitive behaviour, sleep related disorders, depression etc.), cardiovascular disorders, Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) disorders and promote cancer, if any in human volunteers.
Key Findings reported by some studies:
- Cytogenetic damage in tissues of some individuals using cell phone over a period of time.
- Study conducted animals indicated considerable reduction in testicular size, weight and in sperm counts after chronic exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) imitated from cell phone which may lead to infertility.
- Headache, dizziness, numbness in the thigh, and heaviness in the chest among mobile phone.
- Long term and intensive mobile phone use may cause inner ear damage.
- Increase in peak heart rate, serum total cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides concentration in acute RFR.
- Microwave radiation caused an increase in erythrocyte and leukocyte counts, a significant DNA strand break in brain cells and the loss of spatial memory in mice.
- Microwave exposure adversely affects male fertility.
- Reduction in melatonin or an increase in caspase-3, creatine kinase, and calcium ion may cause significant damage in rat brain due to chronic exposure of microwave radiations. These biomarkers indicate possible health implications of such exposures.
- Prolonged exposure to non-ionizing Microwave radiation may lead to infertility.
- Study conducted on animal concluded that 3G mobile phone radiations affect the brain function and cause several neurological disorders. It also indicated testicular impairment in male Westar rats due to long-term exposure of Microwave.
Measure taken in India:
- India has adopted Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) radiation limits prescribed by International Commission on non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
- In addition to this, Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has prescribed stricter precautionary limits for EMF radiation from mobile tower which is 1/10th of the limits suggested internationally by ICNIRP.
- With a view to ensure adherence to the prescribed EMF radiation limits from mobile tower in India, self-certificates are required to be submitted by telecom service providers as per the guidelines issued by DoT.
- To inspect this, regular audit of Base Transceiver Station (BTS) sites is conducted by Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM) field units.
- If any BTS site is found to infringing the prescribed EMF norms, actions are taken by imposing a penalty of Rs.10 lakh per BTS per incidence.
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