Tuesday, 26 August 2014

COAI brings in ‘Expert Speak’ to dispel fears about health hazards from cell towers and phones

Experts in physics and medicine come together to allay health fears on the effects of mobile emissions


V.K.Cherian, Director COAI,  T.R. Dua, ED, TAIPA &  Dr. Mehool Mehta, Radiologist.jpg


India’s top brain-tumour specialist,    Dr. Rakesh Jalali, Professor,    Radiation Oncology and Convener, Neuro Oncology Group, Tata Medical Centre:“The RF waves used in the mobile phone technology are probably at the lowest end of the electromagnetic spectrum and does not cause any DNA kill.”

Professor Michael Repacholi, Chairman Emeritus of ICNIRP and Ex-EMF Project Co-Ordinator, WHO: “WHO fact sheet states very clearly that the mobile phones do not cause cancer. A number of studies conducted to ascertain relationship between the electromagnetic radiation and cancer have not found anything to indicate mobile radiation causing cancer.”

Pune, August 26, 2014: COAI, the apex body of mobile communications companies, has launched a public awareness campaign aimed at allaying health fears and dispelling myths surrounding mobile tower antennae and handsets. Titled “Mobile Networks and Public Health” series, this is the first time eminent experts from India and world over have come together on a common platform to dispel unwarranted fears of health hazards from mobile towers and handsets. The campaign comprises reference books and videos, and roadshows involving experts from oncology, radiology, molecular and physical science as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The public awareness campaign, created by COAI, will run across several Indian cities, and is aimed to dispel the myths regarding effects of mobile emissions on public health. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) too had recognised the issue that a large section of Indian public harboured unwarranted fears that were not based on scientific data and facts. COAI’s campaign is along the same lines.

The booklet and video series will be widely circulated among the masses, decision makers, and will be circulated on social media.

Mr. Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, COAI, said: “Over the last 20 years, the mobile industry has been successful in putting India on the global map, making us the second largest telecom market in the world. This has also brought in concerns about the Electromagnetic Field with regards to Cell Towers and Handsets. COAI is happy to bring experts from the relevant disciplines such as Physics and Medicine on a common platform to dispel the fear psychosis created by some people who are oblivious of the science and safety regime behind the technology. The video and communication series ‘Mobile networks and Public Health’ will put forth the scientific and safety regime adopted by the Government and industry.”

The first part of the series “Mobile Networks and Public Health” features Professor R. V. Hosur - Senior Professor, Department of Chemical Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR); Dr. Rakesh Jalali - Professor, Radiation Oncology and Convener, Neuro Oncology Group, Tata Medical Centre; Professor Michael Repacholi - Chairman Emeritus of ICNIRP and Ex-EMF Project Co-Ordinator, World Health Organization; and Dr. Rajesh Dikshit - Department of Epidemiology, Urology (DMG), Tata Medical Centre. The series is introduced by Mr. Rajan S Mathews, Director General of COAI. A twelve minute video film captures the “science and safety regime” behind the mobile emissions.

India, like the rest of the world community, has recognized that mobile telecommunications contributes significantly to the speedy socio-economic development. But at the same time, myths regarding health issues due to mobile towers and mobile handsets have gained ground while the country is making rapid progress in the field of telecom services. Rigorous and independent scientific studies and researches across the globe led by the World Health Organization (WHO) have negated all fears of health effects from mobile tower antennae and phones.

Here is what the experts had to say on the topic:

Dr. Bhavin Jankharia, Mumbai based Radiologist and President of Indian Radiology & Imaging Association: “We have been using X-ray radiations for more than 115 years, and we still haven’t been able to establish the relationship of cancer and radiation to any great extent. The mobile tower radiation is inherently a type of radiation that we believe does not produce any kind of significant harm to humans.”

Professor R.V. Hosur, Senior Professor, Department of Chemical Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) said: “Ionising radiation causes damage to the molecules – they break the chemical bonds and can cause health hazards. But non-ionizing radiations (from mobile tower antennae and phones) do not cause the breakage of bonds and do not cause damage to the molecules. Non-ionizing radiation such as mobile emission causes only local change in temperature depending on the extent of use.”

India’s top brain-tumour specialist, Dr. Rakesh Jalali, Professor, Radiation Oncology and Convener, Neuro Oncology Group, Tata Medical Centre said: “The RF waves used in the mobile phone technology are probably at the lowest end of the electromagnetic spectrum and does not cause any DNA kill.”

Professor Michael Repacholi, Chairman Emeritus of ICNIRP and Ex-EMF Project Co-Ordinator, World Health Organization said: “WHO fact sheet states very clearly that the mobile phones do not cause cancer. A number of studies conducted to ascertain relationship between the electromagnetic radiation and cancer have not found anything to indicate mobile radiation causing cancer.” Reassuring pregnant women about EMF radiation from mobile tower antennae and handsets, Repacholi said that the penetration depth of the EMF is only 1-2 mm, so it never really gets close to the foetus in any significant amount to cause any damage.

Dr. Rajesh Dikshit, Department of Epidemiology, Urology (DMG), and Tata Medical Centre, who is leading a study on effect of mobile emissions on human health in Mumbai said: “A number of researches and studies have been conducted around the globe to ascertain if there is any relationship between the RF emissions from the mobile phone and cancer. However, there is not enough evidence proving mobile phones cause cancer in humans.”

COAI continues to work with the Government of India, industry associations, medical practitioners, academicians and activists to dispel myths about adverse effects of cell phones and mobile towers.

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