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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA Ministry of Communication and Information Technology DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1460 TO BE ANSWERED ON AUGUST 24, 2012 Radiation from Telecom Towers
1460. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state:
(a) whether based on scientific evidence and Inter-Ministerial report, Government believes that radiation emanating from telecom towers is hazardous for citizens;
(b) if so, the details thereof, including distance, level, etc.;
(c) the reasons for postponing the implementation of the new guidelines to reduce emission levels, which was to be implemented on April 1, 2012;
(d) whether Government has given any commitment regarding the implementation date on new, lower EMF radiation guidelines in any judicial forum or court; and
(e) if so, the details thereof?
ANSWER THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (SHRI MILIND DEORA)
(a) & (b) No Sir. World Health Organization (WHO) in its Fact Sheet No. 304, May 2006 on Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health (Base Stations and Wireless Technologies) has concluded that "considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF Signals from base stations and wireless networks caused adverse health effects. From all evidence accumulated so far, no adverse short or long term health effects have been shown to occur from the RF Signals produced by based stations.
WHO has recommended that 'National authorities should adopt international standards to protect their citizens against adverse levels of RF fields. They should restrict access to areas where exposure limits may be exceeded.' WHO has referred to the International Exposure Guidelines developed by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
ICNIRP guidelines of April 1998 states that, epidemiological studies on exposed workers and the general public have shown no major health effects associated with typical exposure environments. The studies have yielded no convincing evidence that typical exposure levels lead to adverse reproductive outcomes or an increased cancer risk in exposed individuals. ICNIRP, in its report of April 1998, has prescribed the following levels limiting EMF emission from Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) as safe for general public:
(f is the frequency of operation in MHz)
In India, the cellular GSM services are being operated at 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency band as well as 2100 MHz For 900 MHz, Permissible Power Density is 4.5 W/Sqm, whereas for 1800 MHz and 21 00 MHz, Permissible Power Density is 9 W/Sqm and 10.5 W/Sqm
Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had adopted the International Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) norms in the year 2008 in respect of mobile towers prescribed by
As per ICNIRP Statement 2009, the scientific literature published since the 1998 guidelines has provided no evidence of any adverse effects below the basic restrictions and does not necessitate an immediate revision of its guidance on limiting exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields. Therefore, ICNIRP reconfirms the 1998 basic restrictions in the frequency range 100 kHz-300 GHz until further notice.
Further, the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on EMF radiation constituted by DoT, in its report, has examined the health related concerns and has indicated that most of the laboratory studies were unable to find a direct link between exposures to radio frequency
radiation from mobile towers and health; and the scientific studies as yet have not been able to confirm a cause-and-effect relationship between radio frequency radiation and health. The effect of emission from cell phone towers is not known yet with certainty. However, as a precautionary measure, IMC recommended for reduction of Base Station emissions to 1/10th of the existing prescribed limit.
(c)Based on the recommendations of the IMC, directions for reduction of exposure Iimit for the Radio Frequency Field (Base Station Emissions) to 1/10th of the existing limits was issued to the Mobile Operators vide DoT letter no. 800-15/2010-VAS(pt.) dated 30.12.2011.
These directions were initially effective from 01.04.2012. However, for examination of the impact of revised EMF exposure limit on area coverage and exclusion zone, the self certification compliance to the new norms has been extended and shall now come into effect from 01.09.2012. Directions in this regard has been issued vide letter dated 10.04.2012.
(d) & (e)Petitions have been filed in various High Court and Supreme Court of India regarding alleged fear of health hazards from mobile tower radiation. While submitting the reply on behalf of Union of India, DoT has informed the Hon'ble Courts that the norms for exposure limit for the Radio Frequency Field (Base Station Emissions) has been reduced to 1/10th of the existing prescribed limits with the above mentioned effective dates.