India has tough EMF radiation standards: Milind Deora

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 08, 2013 05:30 hrs

Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Milind Deora has said that India is one of the very few countries in the world having the toughest Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) radiation standards not only for mobile towers but also for mobile handsets since September 1 last year.

Addressing the consultative committee meeting of the ministry here yesterday, Deora

said with the standards having been notified, all handsets, Indian and foreign have to comply with the prescribed radiation levels.

Deora also Minister informed the members that as regards the study of harmful effects of radiation on flora and fauna, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has constituted a committee on October 1, 12, under the Chairmanship of Dr N K Ganguly, former Director General (ICMR).

The committee, having representative from IIT Chennai, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow, ICMR, Ministry of Health, Department of Telecom, Ministry of Environment and Forest and DST, will examine the harmful effects from Cell Towers on the population living in the vicinity and to develop frame of reference for calling REP for scientific assessment of health hazard and adverse impact on ecology in Indian Specific Context.

At the meeting, the Department of Telecom gave a presentation on the subject, through which members were informed that based on the recommendations of the Inter Ministerial Committee constituted by DoT in the year 2010, the limiting reference levels of Electromagnetic radiation from Mobile Towers has been reduced to 1/10th of the limit prescribed by the ICNIRP with effect from September 1, 2012.

It was also informed that the committee has also recommended adoption of Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limit to 1.6watt/Kg (averaged over 1 gm of tissue).

Members of Parliament attending the meeting raised a number of issues. A large number of members were concerned with the health hazards of electro magnetic radiation from mobile towers and handsets, and also the effect on flora and fauna, especially birds.

One member stated that some environmentalists are saying that the egg of the sparrow is not hatching due to this radiation. It was also suggested that the ministry should have a study undertaken as to whether mobile networks and vanishing species of some birds are co-related. A member also enquired as to whether those operating walkie-talkies were taking clearances from the environment ministry.

Members also suggested that the ministry must prepare a plan of study as to whether any mutations could occur as a result of these radiations. Concerns were also raised about radiation levels of imported sets, especially those coming in through the gray market. (ANI)

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