The remarkable increase in the users of mobile phones in India and the mushrooming of mobile tower installations in every nook and cranny of cities and towns have raised concerns over its probable impact on human health and wildlife. The common man is still not fully aware of the potential risks of the mobile phone. Multinational companies and telecom operators have been asked to provide better-quality services that are also ecologically safe. C.Mahadevan, HSE Consultant and chemical expert explains the regulations and possible hazards of cell phone towers.
Millions of mobile subscribers had taken part in the delayed rollout of 3G wireless telephony networks in India. Now, mobile subscribers will experience it all over again. The Department of Telecommunication has given a timeline for telecom operators and mobile phone makers to adhere to the globally permissible and safe levels of electromagnetic radiation emissions. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) not to permit installation of cell towers within one kilometer of existing ones. This is to ensure that there is no potential risk of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) harming humans, animals and other biological systems.
The DoT has finalised tougher norms for radiation emission from cell towers. India currently follows the guidelines set for exposure to radiation by International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), a German independent body. The DoT’s new regulations regarding radiation emissions from cellular towers and mobile phones are came into effect on 1st September 2012.
Mobile phone towers installed on top of buildings are a definite threat to human health. According to experts, radiation from mobile phones used for long duration is higher than those from mobile towers. A good part of a telecom tower is a single installed unit can be home to multiple telecom providers. This means that the same telecom tower can be used by multiple companies for distributing the signals.
(Read the full article from the May issue of Safety Messenger Magazine 2015)