New Delhi: India is not forthcoming in informing the people that mobile phones and towers pose no threat to health and they do not cause brain cancer, WHO`s Radiation and Environmental Health Unit`s first coordinator Michael Repacholi said today.
"The government has not been forthcoming in providing information to the general public and has been essentially mute on the issue," Repacholi, also the chairman Emeritus of International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, said, adding that transparency reduces public concern.
He emphasised that WHO studies have proved that mobile phones do not affect human health or cause cancer or brain tumour. "It doesn`t cause even headache or sleep disorders. Other countries have websites with all information and direct links to WHO," he added.
Repacholi, known for initiating the International EMF Project at WHO in Geneva in 1995, launched a book, "Mobile Phones and Public Health - Myths and Reality", to address the misconceptions and fears related to mobile tower radiations.
He said India, despite being a member of WHO, is not accepting it`s recommendations. "...If the government says we are using the best available scientific standards recommended by the peak health organisation, the public health concern goes down. Why wouldn`t an important country like India adopt the standards?" he asked.
WHO on September 20 had issued a statement on its website saying that mobile phone use does not cause cancer.
He said that a person absorbs five times more radio frequency (RF) from FM radio or television than the base station tower. "Mobile tower radiation is lower compared to RF emissions from FM radio or TV. The base station and wireless technology signals are too weak and modulation effects occur at much higher intensity levels," Repacholi said.
He also dismissed the views that mobile radiation levels are higher than the prescribed limit and added that speaking on a mobile phone (held against the ear) increases the brain`s temperature by less than 0.1 degree Celsius. "It is not alarming at all," he stressed. He, however, said research is needed on children to establish the impact of mobile phone use on them.