Cell towers, a health risk

Panel recommends restrictions on mobile phone towers

By Rajil Menon
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

mobile towersAN EXPERT committee, appointed by the Maharashtra government to study the effect of mobile phone towers on public health, has recommended a ban on these structures near schools and hospitals, and restricted access to rooftops of buildings having such towers. 

The panel, headed by additional chief health secretary, was set up in March following public pressure. Among others, it has representatives from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Tata Memorial hospital.

A senior official said these are draft recommendations and the final report would be submitted later. People have been demanding removal of the towers, claiming radiation from them is causing cancer and skin diseases (see '60 people battle giants, Down To Earth, February 15-30, 2010).

The towers are usually installed without permission and later regularised by paying a penalty of Rs 5,000. A Mumbai municipal official said a structural stability certificate and a noobjection certificate from the building society is all that is needed to install a mobile tower. "The rules do not take into account possible health hazards," he conceded.

Chief minister Ashok Chavan had admitted in the Legislative Assembly that over 50 per cent of the mobile towers in Mumbai and Thane are illegal. There are 3,489 mobile network towers in Mumbai; only 1,861 are legal. Rajeev Satoskar, a health expert from G S Medical College in Mumbai, said research on the effect of such towers on health is in its infancy. As of now, the Department of Telecommunication at the Centre has adopted the International Commission of Non- Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines. Service providers flout these guidelines by increasing signal strength so that they have to use fewer towers, said Satoskar.

Girish Kumar, professor of electrical engineering at Mumbai IIT, said India's safe radiation limit for mobile towers is also harmful. "We have allowed 4.5 Watt per sqm as the safe limit. Russia has put a limit of 0.02 Watt and Germany 0.001 Watt," he said. "You know what 4.5 Watt means? It is same as putting someone in a microwave for 19 minutes a day," Kumar said. The elderly and women at home are more at risk, he said while adding he had sent his findings to the telecommunication department. Kumar has developed a handheld device for measuring radiation.

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  • In our building two different

    In our building two different Mobil Companies towers has been instralled 5years ago. Since then my Mygrain pain has started frequently, to the extent twice in one month. My wife also is facing various problem relating to bone. I want to file a PIL at Kolkata High Court against Mobil Towers and am looking for like minded people to start protest on the issue. 

    Posted by: Anonymous | 10 years ago | Reply
  • call me 9874481110. I have

    call me 9874481110. I have similar plan to file PIL

    Posted by: Anonymous | 10 years ago | Reply
  • People in India have to

    People in India have to realize the harmful effects of these Cellphone towers and pressurize governments to draft regulations to limit the no. of towers and their intensity. I am surprised that when countries such as Australia, Austria or New Zealand can have very low radiation norms, why can't we practise lower norms. It may increase the costs incurred by connectivity providers and the customers but it is better to be safe and pay a few rupees extra for the call.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • Cell tower is serious heath

    Cell tower is serious heath risk, I live in kolkata , the cell towers are mushroomed on roof tops of densely populated residential buildings of low mounted type which are having mostly high radiation exposure, I am also fighting against Illegal installation of Cell Towers in Metro city ,I have caught illegal towers in good numbers & complaints lodged to local Govt.bodies since 2010,Govt.body has taken illegal action to the violators, but the service providers still running their business flouting govt. demolition order,
    I have formed an 'Association for eco-friendly cell tower network'in kolkata. I am also looking for like minded people to protest en mass to the proper authority soon. I have created a Blog in google
    gmail account & published my writings you can brouse ---

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • Cell towers are really

    Cell towers are really dangerous at domestic buildings. Recently i am finding some bad symptoms of my health - disturbed sleep, burnings like sensations at different locations of the body from within, high fluctuation in blood pressure, head ache, mood changing very frequently, restless ness, etc.
    I have consulted multiple physicians and on their prescription, underwent so many medical tests like blood picture, lipid profile, blood sugar, ecg .. in short total health profile. i have spent lot of money but found every thing normal except bp. Thats too it started a year ago, after i have shifted into the current staying house 18 months back where a cell tower was already installed at the roof top of the building.
    I have not cared when my friends have hinted me about cell tower effects. but now even my physicians are also suggesting to move away from that house as early as possible.
    but in our locality where ever i move there are cell towers around. it was also said that, cell tower impact will me more on the neighbouring buildings when compared with the buildings on which cell towers are installed. so, there is not chance to get rid of this problem where ever you move it effects.
    Building owners are also running after the money thrown by the service providing companies. our building owner is getting 25,000 rupees per month. He entered into 10 years of contract with the cell phone company.
    He is not able to demand the companies to remove the tower though he is willing to do so after our repeated complaints, as he is in the middle of the contract tenure.
    I dont know what to do I am at cross roads now. Even my wife is started showing some signs of head ache very frequently.
    I want to fight against this i am thinking to file a suit in the public interest can any one help me and support me for this cause

    Posted by: Anonymous | 8 years ago | Reply