Presentation on EMF Radiation and Indian Case Study September 2013 R.K. Bhatnagar Advisor(Technology), DoT +91-9868133450 firstname.lastname@example.org. Growing Tele-Density. Unprecedented growth in the communication sector in recent years, Manifold increase in mobile voice & data traffic =>
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Presentation on EMF Radiation and Indian Case Study
November 2012 data
Wireless Telephone Network
The popularity of cell phone and wireless communication devices has resulted in a proliferation of cell towers across the country. As on 31 Jan 2013, there are total 0.7466 Millions Base Transmitting Stations (BTS) in the country.
There has been public concerns on possible health hazards and impact on biota & environment due to EMF radiation from Mobile Towers /Handsets.
Some State Governments are imposing restrictions on installations of towers in school/ hospitals/ playgrounds/ Jail etc.
EMF Radiation Norms
The License conditions were amended on 4.11.2008, directing the licensees to comply to ICNIRP prescribed radiation norms.
Instructions were issued on 8.4.2010 for compliance of the radiation limits/ levels by way of self certification of their BTS to the respective Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM ) Cells of DoT.
TERM Cells carry out the testing of radiation levels on random basis for 10% of towers. If a site fails to meet the EMF Radiation criterion, there is a provision of penalty of about US$ 10,000 per BTS per service provider and directions to stop radiating from site.
Revised Radiation Norms
Based on the Recommendations of the Inter Ministerial Committee constituted by DoT in the year 2010, the limiting reference levels of Electromagnetic radiation from Mobile towers has been reduced to 1/10th of the limit prescribed by the ICNIRP with effect from 01.09.2012.
SAR Level for Mobile Handsets
IMC also recommended adoption of Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limit to 1.6watt/Kg (averaged over 1 gm of tissue):
Setting up Telecom Towers
Setting up Telecom Towers
Wall Mounted/Pole mounted Antenna:
Antenna height ≥ 5 metre above ground/road level on flyovers.
No Residential place /office directly in front of the antenna at a height comparable to the antenna in the exclusion zone.
No restriction for installation of tower on/ near specific buildings such as schools/ hospitals/ playground etc. as new tougher standards based on precautionary principles apply equally to all locations with human presence.
Report of International Bodies on Radiation upto 2011
WHO Fact Sheet No. 193 of 2010
states that “A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established for mobile phone use”.
WHO in its Fact Sheet No. 193 of June 2011, has stated that there are some indications of an increased risk of glioma for those who reported the highest 10% of cumulative hours of cell phone use, although there was no consistent trend of increasing risk with greater duration of use.
Thus there is so far no conclusive scientific evidence of adverse health effects due to RF emissions from mobile phone towers.
WHO regularly conducts a formal risk assessment of all studied health outcomes from radiofrequency fields exposure.
RFP PROPOSALs on Scientific Studies
Department of Science & Technology (DST) constituted a committee on 01.10.2012 to examine the possible harmful effects from Cell towers on the population living in the vicinity and to develop frame of reference for calling RFP for scientific assessment of health hazards and adverse impact on ecology in India specific context under the Chairmanship of Former Director General ICMR with representation from :
Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow,
ICMR , Ministry of Health ,
Department of Telecom,
Ministry of Environment & Forest,
Dept of Science & Technology
More than 75 Proposals received as on 31.08.2013. Evaluation & award to take place
Number of base stations (service area wise) in India as on 31st May 2013
The conditions in India and other developing countries are totally different from those in Europe in terms of
- mobile phone usages
“Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields are Possibly CARCINOGENIC to humans (Group 2B)” Page 421
INDIAN CASE STUDY
CARRIED out based ON Suggestions
WHO, IARC & ITU
In Feb 2013
Actual CDR Based Data used from 94 Licensees out of 200+ Indian Mobile Licensees spread over 23 Licensing Areas for Quarter 1 2013
OVERVIEW OF INDIAN POLICY “Electro Magnetic Field(EMF) Radiation from Mobile Towers & Handsets”
INDIAN STUDY RESULTs On EMF compliance Networks and Devices
Compliance with harmonized EMF Standards and addressing public concern regarding human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) and possible health effects
- Precautionary Principles
- WHO : International EMF Project
- ITU Activities on EMF
- IARC EMF Activities
- ICNIRP Activities on EMF
- IEC 7C106 EMF Activities
- European Union activities concerning EMF
- Public Health, England
- Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS)
- Research Review of Laboratory Studies
WHO International EMF Project
ANSES, Paris, France 6 - 7 June 2013
Country Specific EMF Reports
- Argentina , Australia
- Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria
- Canada, Cyprus
- Germany, Greece
- Iceland, India, Israel
- Newzealand, Norway
- Palestine, Peru
- SouthAfrica, SwedenSwitzerland
- Turkey, Tunisia
IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans Volume 102 (2013)
Non-Ionizing Radiation, Part 2: Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields
full volume (460 pages, 6 Mb)
Page 419 (421/480) IARC Monograph 102 Chapter 6
6.1 Cancer in Humans
There is limited evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of radiofrequency radiation. Positive associations have been observed between exposure to radiofrequency radiation from wireless phones and glioma, and acoustic neuroma.
6.2 Cancer in Experimental Animals
There is limited evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of radiofrequency radiation.
6.3 Overall Evaluation Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).
Summary Analysis of WHO 2012 Survey on Risk Management Policies regarding EMF
Exposure Limits Mobile Devices (85 countries)
- 62 countries follow 2 W/ Kg
- 15 Countries no policy
- 7 countries 1.6 W/Kg
- 1 country to go based on evidence
Information to Consumers on Mobile Devices
- 20 countries Yes
- 48 countries No
- 8 Yes though not part of policy
It could be on device, packaging, display shelf, internet
Mobile Phone Usage Limitations on Children
25 countries voluntary measures by children with 12 restricting in schools. Some countries restrict advertisements targeting children while some do not issue SIM to children.
Advice on reducing Personal Exposure to RF Fields emitted by Mobile Devices
- 44 out of 75 : Yes
with 24 having special messages for children,
9 for pregnant ladies and
13 for those with biomedical devices
- Reduce Call Time
- Text messages
- Avoid calls in low signal conditions
- Use phones with low SAR
- Maintain body/ ear distance from handset
- Use external car antenna
Advice Information to Consumers through
- Printed material
- Mass Media/ Radio / TV
- Individual personal8 Yes though not part of policy
Answers to Health Queries
44 out of 75 respond to individuals on health concerns including medical consultancy support in some.
Exposure Limits from Mobile Towers
- 77 out of 85 : Yes
with 55 with ICNIRP standards,
4 countries with their own scientific evidence based limits
2 with FCC limits
16 with lower limits (13 based on precautionary approach)
Emission Limits in one form or other
- Specified in 31 (Low Power/ High Power/ Radio/ TV etc)
- 43 countries : Not Specified
Restrictions on Public Access
- 56 out of 74 : Yes
through signage, physical barriers, safety zones with access to authorised personnel
- 60 out of 76 : Yes
Entitled Parties & Payment
Accreditation schemes in 31 and no schemes in 29 countries
Recording Measurements/ estimates required in 47 countries out of 75
Authorisation for Fixed Installations
Yes in 62 out of 77
Spatial Distribution Provisions
Yes in 39 out of 74
IARC and WHO need to go further from IARC Monographs’ 102 findings with focus on latest available inputs from developing world outside Europe. Inputs from Indian Case Study as above, is an example.
ITU needs to have a relook at all EMF related initiatives through Study Groups. Possibly a new ITU Focus Group on ‘EMF Radiation & Health Issues’ cutting across ITU-T, ITU-R and ITU-D needs to be constituted for delivery of time bound results instead of 4 years cycle.
An ITU Handbook on EMF Radiation could also be taken up in the proposed Focus Group.
It can include ITU’s generic guidelines on EMF including safe distances to be maintained for populated location directly falling within the main radiated lobe coverage based on typical shared sites radiating at say 20 Watts/ sector along with other safe usage instructions.
The Handbook should also include “How to minimize exposures to EMF Radiations from Mobile Towers and handsets”, Do’s& Don’t related to mobile phone usage, clarifications on various myths regarding deployment, use of Radio waves / Safety Standards and frequently asked questions relating to Mobile phones & Human health.
The Handbook shall help in facilitating the right inputs for world telecom community and create an environment where everyone can use the radio wave safely.