Study deflates cellular tower radiation myth

The radiation levels in Delhi are "hundreds of times below" international safety standards.

New Delhi: Setting at rest concerns raised over the possible high levels of radiation emanating from the numerous mobile towers in the capital, a study Tuesday said the radiation levels in Delhi were "hundreds of times below" international safety standards.

In a study conducted at 180 locations in the capital, it was found that in all circumstances, the `Cumulative Measurements` were well below the compliance limit set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), adopted by the government for the telecom sector in India, bringing it at par with the international safety standards.

"It is one of the first studies carried out in the Indian environment to assess the level of emissions from the mobile towers. We are happy to note that the cumulative emissions are much below the prescribed limits and that the service providers in India are complying with the safety norms," said P.R. Goundan, joint director, Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology, Chennai.

The study, commissioned by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI), has come as a response to growing public concern over myths associated with the emissions from cellular mobile towers and its alleged health effects on the human body.

The study measured cumulative emissions of both GSM and CDMA technologies across the capital using carefully calibrated equipment, as per the procedure prescribed by the Department of Telecom in line with the ICNIRP specifications.

Leading experts from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai (IITM), Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai (TCE) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology, Chennai (CEWIT), headed the study.

"Any hazard to public health is a larger societal concern. It is important that statements concerning public health and safety should be well supported with facts and scientific evidence. The study brings out very clearly that even in the worst case scenario the cumulative emission levels were far below the INCNIRP standards," said S. Raju, head of department, Thiagarajar College of Engineering.