New Delhi: There are no conclusive scientific studies anywhere to prove low radiation emitted from cellular towers can cause cancer in human beings, and authorities must gear up to tackle other environmental issues that cause the lifestyle disease, experts said at a conference here.
"There is no conclusive scientific fact which can directly link cellular tower radiation with cancer. There are various other environmental risk factors also which could be responsible for increasing cases of cancer and authorities should look into it," said Ajay Kumar, the sole Indian member on the World Medical Council, a representative body of doctors across countries.
"Till the theory of the health hazards of cell phone radiation and towers gets a reliable backup of scientific proof, it would be highly unfair to censure the most wonderful technological advent of the 20th century for health risks and diseases as serious as cancer," Ajay Kumar, a former president of the Indian Medical Academy, said.
There has been a massive public outcry over the health hazards of cellular tower radiation in all major cities. People across the country have lot of confusion and misconception about radiation, and they suspecting mobile towers for increasing cancer risk.
India has roughly 400,000 towers according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Several organizations and citizens groups across the country have been protesting over the years against radiation from mobile towers, pointing out that these pose a grave health hazard.
After a string of street protests stalled life over cellular towers during the past few weeks in Jaipur, experts gathered here Monday for a conference on "Cellular towers and radiation - What`s true & what is not".
Hemant Thacker, a consultant at Mumbai`s Jaslok Hospital, who has come across a case where more than two residents in the same building developed cancer after the mobile tower was set up on the building, said: "There is no study prima facie which directly co-relates the two."
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "considering the very low exposure levels and research result collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the week radio frequency signals from base stations and wireless network cause adverse health effects".
"There is no scientific study or proof till now, which can conclusively say that cell tower radiation cause cancer. People have more of misconception than understanding over the issue," D.P. Singh, a senior radiation oncologist with Jaipur`s SMS Hospital, said.
Subir Ganguly, head of radiotherapy at Kolkata`s NRS Medical College and Hospital, said: "It is very important to have conclusive scientific proof on the issue. This calls for immediate research to find out links, if any, between cellular tower radiation and increasing incidences of cancer."
The Cellular Operation Association of India (COAI) conducted a study last year on electromagnetic radiation from cell towers.
The study, conducted by IIT-Madras and Thiagarajar College, Madurai, found that cell phone tower radiation at 96 locations in Mumbai was within the permissible level of 4,500 mW/sq m.
In front of Nehru Science Centre it was 20 times lower, in Phoenix Mills 144 times lower, in Bandra`s Kala Nagar 17 times lower, in Oberoi Mall 64 times lower and at JJ flyover 29 time lower.