India’s Mobile Tower Radio Emission Norms

Telcos say that they are not allowed to expand tower network due to emission issues. Emissions from mobile towers are considered safe as it is non-ionising or “low energy” radiation, which cannot alter the human DNA. At most, it can only induce thermal effects by way of mild arming of the body. Only ionising or `high-energy’ radiation such as X-Rays, Gamma rays or ultra violet emissions can alter human DNA, and hence, can cause harm. Cell tower radiation is less or comparable with the safe emission levels of regular household  electrical appliances like mixer grinders, vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, hair dryers or shavers.

India’s Mobile Tower Radio Emission Norms

India’s cell tower emission rules are 10 times more stringent than those framed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). ICNIRP is the global agency that puts out norms on permissible radiation limits for tower firms worldwide.

The ICNIRP pegs permissible tower emission at 4.5 watts/ sq m in popular 900 MHz band. In India, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has lowered it to be 0.45 W/sq m. For 2100 MHz (or 3G band), ICNIRP pegs safe emission level at 10 W/sq m, while DoT has slashed it to 1 watt/sq m.

Further, India’s cell tower emission standards are more stringent than Germany, US, UK, France, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, Brazil, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, who all follow the ICNIRP rules.

India’s is among a handful of countries that have tougher emission standards than the ICNIRP norms. The others are China, Russia, Switzerland, Israel, Italy, Greece, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Belgium, Chile, Bulgaria and Liechtenstei

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