No Harmful Impact of Tower Radiation on Health: Prasad
Minister cites WHO study to justify his view, says govt’s put tough norms in place
New Delhi: Radiation from mobile towers does not impact human health, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday, citing a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) involving 30,000 research samples since 1971. “After detailed study of WHO findings, I found that there is no harmful impact of tower radiation on health. There is no reason to deny it. We have already put 10fold stringent norms for telecom companies in India,” the minister said. He said that the government has stipulated a fine of .₹ 10 lakh for violation and imposed a penalty of more than .₹ 10 crore till now for exceeding the prescribed limit for radiation from telecom towers.
Reiterating that complaints against call drops and mobile towers can’t go hand in hand, the minister said that despite extensive research no scientific evidence has emerged to demonstrate health hazards due to telecom infrastructure. In at least six instances, high courts have rejected such claims, he said.
He questioned the logic for growing grievances over telecom towers, asking why users in the US and China don’t have similar complaints. The minister’s views are in consonance with those of the telecom service operators and infrastructure companies that attribute their inability to expand tower infrastructure and thereby improve service quality mainly due to unfounded fears over radiation.
Twenty-four Indian scientists, including those from various Indian Institutes of Technology in the country, came together on Thursday to underline that radio-frequency radiations from mobile towers are non-ionising electromagnetic radiations and they can't break chemical bonds or cause ionisation in the human body.
Prasad unveiled a report prepared by some faculty members from IIT Madras, IIT Bombay, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Delhi and IISc Bangalore.
The recent verdicts of various courts such as the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, Kerala High Court and Madras High Court also supported telecom companies while disposing off petitions by various public groups and non-profit organisations. Mobile phones are a leading tool of leading inclusive governance and it is good that the industry, government, academia and international experts are coming together to allay consumers’ fears, Prasad said. The government is banking on mobile devices for the delivery of many citizen-centric schemes such as financial inclusion and direct-benefit transfer. Radiation issues, which are not medically founded, could jeopardise these ambitious initiatives, the minister said.
“Mobile is used for good governance and is driving inclusiveness. We have 1 billion mobile phones and an equal number of Aadhaar cards which act as a digital identity,” Prasad said.