Explain measures to inform people on mobile tower radiations’

Health Ministry is unaware of a WHO report which says radiations emanating from mobile towers can “possibly cause cancer”, the Central Information Commission has noted in its order while asking it to explain measures taken to inform people of its harmful effects.

The Commission had sought a compliance report from Environment Ministry, Health Ministry, Telecom Ministry, DDA and other stakeholders on the issue of growing number of mobile towers in the city and their impact on the health of citizens. It had also sought to know why mobile radiations are not declared as air pollutants.

During the hearing as a follow up of the notice, Central Pollution Control Board submitted a detailed note saying Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) has not been declared as air pollutants but it is better not not to install cell phone towers near hospitals, schools, residential colonies etc.As they are somewhat hazardous to the health of the people living in the surrounding.

The note mentioned that nuclear radiations and X rays have capacity to break chemical bond of DNA and can lead to mutation of cells DNA and cancer, but RFR are not strong enough to break chemical bond and is thus not harmful.

Disputing it, the appellant Surech Chandra Gupta said large number of studies from different parts of globe indicated harmful impact of RFR and WHO categorised RFR as possible carcinogenic.

“It may be noted that WHO (in May 2011) could also have declared RFR as ‘carcinogenic’ or ‘not carcinogenic’, but WHO has declared it as possible carcinogenic,” he submitted.

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