India – Policy Recommendations On Cell Phones, Wireless Radiation & Health
2012 – The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology issued new EMF guidelines with new Exposure Limits lowered to 1/10 of the ICNIRP level, SAR labeling on phones made available to consumers at point of sale and a new SAR limit of 1.6W/kg over 1 gram. Mobile hand set manufactured and sold in India or imported from other countries shall be checked on random basis for compliance of SAR limit by a TEC SAR Laboratory.
India Government Precautionary Guidelines for mobile users:
- Keep distance – Hold the cell phone away from body to the extent possible.
- Use a headset (wired or Bluetooth) to keep the handset away from your head.
- Do not press the phone handset against your head. Radio Frequency (RF) energy is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source — being very close increases energy absorption much more.
- Limit the length of mobile calls.
- Use text as compared to voice wherever possible.
- Put the cell phone on speaker mode.
- If the radio signal is weak, a mobile phone will increase its transmission power. Find a strong signal and avoid movement – Use your phone where reception is good.
- Metal & water are good conductors of radio waves so avoid using a mobile phone while wearing metal-framed glasses or having wet hair.
- Let the call con
nect before putting the handset on your ear or start speaking and listening – A mobile phone first makes the communication at higher power and then reduces power to an adequate level. More power is radiated during call connecting time.
- If you have a choice, use a landline (wired) phone, not a mobile phone.
- When your phone is ON, don’t carry it in chest/breast or pants pocket. When a mobile phone is ON, it automatically transmits at high power every one or two minutes to check (poll) the network.
- Reduce mobile phone use by children as a younger person will likely have a longer lifetime exposure to radiation from cell phones.
- People having active medical implants should preferably keep the cell phone at least 15 cm away from the implant.
These recommendations are part of the Precautionary Guidelines for Mobile Phone Users Issued by the Indian Government Department of Telecommunications ( PDF from 2012, online link in 2012)
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology EMF webpage.
Cell Towers Removed Near Schools/Homes in India Localities
2018: State of Karnataka drafts policy to limit cell towers near schools and homes and hospitals. Read news article “Mangaluru: Actress Juhi Chawla appreciates state’s new mobile tower policy” and TV debate Are cell phone towers safe? | The Urban Debate With Faye D’Souza.
- “These towers should be at a minimum distance of 50 meters from schools, hospitals and places of worship. Silent generator needs to be installed. The towers which are already existing also have to implement all the rules mentioned in the policy. Before installing these towers on the house or buildings a certificate needs to be issued by the structural engineer with regards to the strength of that particular building.”
2016: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation bans mobile towers at parks, playgrounds
“The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in its new policy on regularising mobile towers, has said such towers won’t be allowed on plots reserved for playgrounds, recreational grounds, gardens and parks.” Hindustan Times News Article – “Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) bans mobile towers at parks, playgrounds”
2015: Zilla Parishad orders removal of all cellphone towers within a 50-metre radius to schools citing exposure to “harmful radiation”. Kantilal Umap, chief executive officer of Pune Zilla Parishad, said, “We will survey the cellphone towers in all the grampanchayat limits in the district. Notices will be sent to unauthorised towers and those falling within a 50-metre radius from a school’s premises. They will have to be moved to another location.” Read Times of India News January 6 2015 article Zilla Parishad orders removal of cellphone towers near schools in district
2013: State of Rajasthan: Supreme Court of India upheld the 2012 High Court of the State of Rajasthan decision to remove all cell towers from the vicinity of schools, hospitals and playgrounds because of radiation “hazardous to life.”
- Two hundred and four mobile towers installed on the school premises of Rajasthan have been removed in compliance.
- Economic Times News Article – “Rajasthan HC orders relocation of mobile towers from schools, hospitals”
- Hindustan Times News Article – “Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) bans mobile towers at parks, playgrounds”
2013 Mumbai Policy to Prohibit Mobile Towers in Educational Insitutions
In August 2013 the city of Mumbai, prohibited cell towers within 100 meters of schools, colleges, orphanages, child rehabilitation centers, and old age homes. It ordered that existing antennas on schools, colleges and hospitals be removed. It also prohibited the installation of antennas on residential rooftops without the consent of every person on the top floor, as well as the consent of 70% of the people in the rest of the building. And it began the process of dismantling 3,200 illegal rooftop towers.
Indian Council of Medical Research Continues research on EMFs:
“Short Report on the Indian Studies” – Document prepared by Dr. Sharma, Sr. Deputy Director of the Indian Council of Medical Research on Indian Research Studies.
Department of Telecom, Government of IndiaEng_final.doc copy
- “Ensuring Safety from Radiations : Mobile Towers and Handsets” – Graphic including precautionary guidelines for mobile phones
2011 Ministry of Environment and Forest Study on the Impact of Communication Towers
- “Report on Possible Impacts of Communication Towers on Wildlife Including Birds and Bees”
- “The review of existing literature shows that the Electro Magnetic Radiations (EMRs) are interfering with the biological systems in more ways than one. There had already been some warning bells sounded in the case of bees and birds, which probably heralds the seriousness of this issue and indicates the vulnerability of other species as well.”
Celebrity Advocates Raising Awareness
- Juhi Chawla – who has won multiple awards for her work – including the Indira Gandhi Memorial award for Social Awareness in regards to cell tower and cell phone radiation- is featured in several videos. Global Awards 2016, Indira Gandhi Memorial Awards, Full Speech at Gandhi Awards, 2011 Lecture, Do’s and don’ts for using cellphone safely by Juhi Chawla
News Pieces From India on Wireless and Health
YOUTUBE VIDEOS ON INDIA ACTION