For the past couple of months, apart from the scams, what’s also making news is the issue of mobile phone tower radiation. While many welcomed this news, the critics were quick to point out that even this was not safe. Even with the absence of scientific data to determine their role, there are many who are convinced that these towers are indeed death traps.
The matter of radiation India has adopted the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection Board (ICNIRP) norms for the telecom sector, which are considered to be the best in the world. While the telecom operators seem happy to have done their bidding by agreeing to abide by the latest norms, there are many who believe that the radiation norms need to be reduced further. He goes on to elaborate, “What is happening right now is that they are transmitting huge amount of power from one rooftop, as each carrier frequency can transmit upto 20 watt of power and there may be 3-4 operators on one rooftop. But with cut-throat competition, it’s highly unlikely that the telcos would want to risk increasing prices. Do mobile phone towers cause cancer?Mobile phones work on electromagnetic radiation technology. When we switch on the mobile phone, the signal is first carried to a tower, then to the intermediate station that recognises the caller and sends it to another tower that is close to the recipient.
Though the effects of radiations are making headlines now, several studies have been conducted over the past 20 years to know the effects of radiations on humans. While there is no direct link to prove the cause of cancer or even tumour, radiation can have other health effects. This item will be sent through the Global Shipping Programme and includes international tracking. By clicking Confirm bid, you are committing to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder and have read and agree to the Global Shipping Programme terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab.
By clicking 1 Click Bid, you are agreeing to buy this item from the seller if you're the winning bidder. This is a private listing and your identity will not be disclosed to anyone except the seller. Recently new radiation norms were adopted by India and the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) had set September 1 as the deadline for the telecom operators to adhere to them. There has been an ongoing debate about whether the radiation being emitted from the mobile phone towers can be a cause of cancer. And their belief is backed by the instances that have been witnessed in the country, be it the Kaiswal family from Jaipur where three family members were detected with cancer after installation of mobile phone towers five metres away from their house, or the Usha Kiran building in Mumbai that cited three cases of brain tumour that were attributed to the mobile phone towers installed on the rooftop of an adjacent building. And today, thanks to the ever increasing popularity of mobile phones, it’s imperative for the operators to install towers to provide coverage. Kumar even developed an instrument to study the radiation levels, using which he has surveyed several areas and found the radiation levels to be high. He says, “Having conducted radiation audits in and around the area I live, I can say that the situation is quite grave. To address the growing concerns of the people, DoT recently launched a public helpline and web portal for the Mumbai Telecom Circle, where complaints against radiation emitted from mobile towers can be registered. The spectrum of electromagnetic radiation is large with varying frequencies and amplitude across the spectrum (for instance – radio that you listen to is also a form of electromagnetic radiation with different frequency and amplitude). And finally, the signal reaches the antenna of the mobile phone that captures it and changes or modulates it into an audible sound.


However, majority of the studies conducted till date haven’t been able to establish a direct link between the causation of brain tumor or cancer in general with the usage of mobile phone. Specific absorption Rate or SAR, as it is more commonly known, is the more worrying factor with evident health implications. By clicking Confirm bid you commit to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder. Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. This item may be a floor model or an item that has been returned to the seller after a period of use.
While some may shrug these off as mere coincidences, several housing societies have now come forward to protest against these towers. He also developed radiation shield, first for himself and then established a company to sell it commercially. Kumar on most parts, especially about the need to further reduce the radiation levels in the country, believes that the telecos would not want to increase prices. The highest end of the spectrum is called ionising radiation and is used for therapeutic radiation to treat cancer, while the lower end of the spectrum is known as radio frequency (RF waves). With all the hype around mobile phone towers and radiation, the question is – whether it can cause cancer? Even though it belongs to the lowest end of the spectrum in terms of frequency, it is still slightly more than the radio frequency waves used by radio. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. Furthermore, it was announced that operators who are found flouting these rules would be heavily penalised.
With lack of conclusive evidence about their safety or even their role in causing cancer, the common man is at crossroads, especially those living around these towers.
He has conducted extensive research in the field and has presented his findings to DoT, but his suggestions have so far been ignored. His harsh criticism of the telcos and the government is often countered with accusations of wanting to promote his own commercial interest. However, he is quick to point out that they are essentially non-ionising, which means they cannot cause direct damage to DNA.
Jalali points out one such important study and the possible reasons why such studies in the past have failed.
When mobile phones use microwave frequency waves, they do deposit some amount of energy and this energy is of two types – thermal energy and non-thermal. Jalali, while explaining the impact of SAR, points out that all electromagnetic radiations are governed by the inverse square law, which means longer the distance of the source to the tissue, the less is the effect of the energy deposition.
The Operators have worked under very tight deadlines to re-align their networks to provide desired QoS and coverage while bringing down the emissions levels and 95% of all towers owned by our members are fully compliant to the new.
He opines that the current radiation levels, even after being reduced, are high and can cause health troubles in the long run.
Now what’s happening is that people who are living within few hundred meters get very high radiation.
Clearing the air he says, “Being an entrepreneur myself, I understand that no one will want to run their business at a loss.


He became concerned about this when his wife was expecting, because as a telecom engineer, he was only too aware of the effects of radiation, especially on pregnant women and young children. Mobile phone technology uses this microwave end of the spectrum, which is roughly about 300 MegaHertz and falls in the non-ionising category. Interphone is a study commissioned by WHO’s branch called International Agency for Research in Cancer IARC.
Speaking about the ill effects of such energy deposition he says, “People have reported headaches which could be because there is a temporary thermal deposition on the hearing nerve due to the hearing apparatus of the phone.
Having himself experienced the ill effects of radiation owing to the nature of his work, he warns others of the ill effects. If telecos were to reduce the radiations levels even further, then they will have to invest in more towers to strengthen the network coverage. He says, “We have a cell phone tower that faces our bedroom and the antenna are at the same level as our flat. But ours is the tallest building in the vicinity and having a tower on our building lessens the risk, then having the tower on the building adjacent to us.
Similarly, radiations emitted by mobile phone towers lie in the non-ionising part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
He is a Radiology Oncologist, also has a Neuro-Oncology fellowship from Royal Marsden Hospital, London. The Interphone study was performed in 13 countries in the world and primarily in the Nordic countries (relatively non-migrating population and they were amongst the first one to use mobile phones).
But the operators would ensure that there is no dearth in the Quality of Service offered to the consumers to the maximum possible extent.
I was concerned about the effects of radiation on my wife and our baby and that’s what prompted me to start looking for solutions. Initially results hardly showed any damage because there was no direct DNA link, but now people are exploring the possibilities of some indirect damage.
He says, “Talking about the overall result of the study, there was no direct link established between cancer and radiations. Many international agencies, including the American Cancer Society, say that the power of the mobile phone energy deposition in the human tissue should not be more than 1.6 watts per kg.
He says, “I have met with industry bodies and even government officials with my research. So they have seen, for example, that it can affect the environment of the cell, it can affect the cell membrane, it can also sometimes affect the nucleus indirectly, it can release what are called free radicals which can predispose people to cancerogenic effect. Earlier I used to think that these people were not knowledgeable, so I thought let me make them aware about the health problems, but now I know better.
The study started roughly in 2000 when cell phone usage was not that high as it is the case now. And interestingly and of slight concern was that there was a small group of patients in whom there was a statistical significant increase in brain tumor and this group belonged to people who reported excessive usage of cell phones. Recently, DoT reduced the SAR value from 2 watts per kg to 1.6 watts per kg, it has also made it mandatory for the mobile phone manufacturers to mention the SAR value of every handset on their website.



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