The Minister of Communications & Information Technology says no health concerns due to mobile towers

By July 9th, 2014 AT 12:34 PM

The Communications Minister told Lok Sabha that there is no convincing scientific evidence that the radiofrequency signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects and ruled out any change in present safety limits of tower and mobile emissions.

After due consideration of the human health concerns on account of EMF radiation being raised in public and the Report of the Committee,( Allahabad High Court) the Government has decided in February 2014 that the present prescribed precautionary EMF safe exposure limits are adequate and need no further change at this stage”, The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Lok Sabha in a written answer.

The Minister also clarified that there is no order on removal of towers from hospitals and schools as Supreme court of India has “extended the time limit till further orders and the matter is sub judice.

In his reply to DEVJI MANSINGRAM PATEL , member of parliament , the Minister also endorsed the view of the World Health Organization (WHO) that there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak radiofrequency signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects.

Responding to a question raised in the Lok Sabha on the threat of occurrence of fatal diseases like cancer was rising due to installation of mobile towers, Ravi Shankar Prasad said – quoting a WHO Fact Sheet – that “considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak Radio Frequency (RF) Signals from the base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects.”

In his answer, Minister said that the WHO has referred to the International Exposure Guidelines developed by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has already prescribed stricter precautionary limits for Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) radiation from mobile towers. The present prescribed limits for EMF radiations from Base Stations in India are one-tenth (1/10th) of internationally-prescribed limits of ICNIRP.

After due consideration of the human health concerns on account of the EMF radiation being raised in public and the Report of the Committee constituted by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, the government has decided in February 2014 that the present prescribed precautionary EMF safe exposure limits are adequate and need no further change at this stage. The committee consisted of Members of IITs Bombay, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Delhi, Roorkee and other prominent persons of other scientific institutions of the country like AIIMS (Delhi) and Indian Council of Medical Research who submitted its report on 17 January 2014.

He further added that in order to ensure compliance to the prescribed stricter precautionary norms related to the EMF radiation from mobile tower, the extensive audit of comprehensive compliance self-certificates being submitted by telecom service providers and base transceiver station (BTS) sites is carried out by Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM) field units of DoT. This is regularly done by TERM units for the purpose of limiting the EMF radiation exposure and keeping general public areas in the vicinity of towers safe. Such audit is being conducted in all the License Service Areas in the country. In case, any BTS site is found to violate the prescribed EMF norms, actions are taken to put a penalty of Rs 10 lakh per BTS per incidence including closing of BTS site as per the prescribed procedure.

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