The Union government has reiterated that there is still no evidence yet that radiation from mobile signals from cell towers are dangerous to health, following further public fears over likely adverse effects on health due to the powerful electro-magnetic frequency radiation (EMF) from the impending 5G service.
Minister of State for Communications Devising Chauhan told Parliament on Wednesday that multiple studies over the years have been inconclusive with regards to ill-effects of EMF radiation from mobile cell towers affecting human or animal health.
In fact, India’s EMF emission norms are ten times more stringent that those subscribed by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), he pointed out in his reply.
The minister also pointed out the various attempts by the government to investigate the issue. An inter-ministerial committee was set up in 2010 to study the effect of EMF emission from mobile phones and base transceiver stations, when concerns first started bubbling up. Since then, two major attempts were made to scientifically investigate any possible radiation harms. One in 2014, constituted by Allahabad High Court including members from IIT, ICMR and Delhi AIIMS and another by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) under Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Department of Telecommunications (DoT) all gave their verdict as inconclusive.
The IIT-ICMR-AIIMS Committee had noted that “there is no conclusive evidence to establish any causal link between the effect of EMF radiation from BTS with biological effects described in cell models, animals or humans, and any possible resulting health effects.”
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the apex body of mobile service providers in the country, welcomed the government clarification. COAI director general S.P. Kochhar said, “Telecom towers are the backbone of Indian Mobile Communications. It is important to be addressed that the fear surrounding the theories about radiations from mobile antennae and phones is uncorroborated. More towers are required for the realisation of the vision of Gati Shakti and PM’s Digital India.”