The indiscriminate installation of cell phone towers is a matter of global concern. Recently in India Juhi Chawla's loud cry for regulating mobile communication towers will provide food for serious thought in this area.
AT LAST the actors and actresses are becoming vocal against the indiscriminate installation of the cell phone towers. Off late, actress Juhi Chawla came forward to cry foul against cell phone towers in the plush Malabar Hills in South Mumbai.
The actress along the residents of four buildings have approached the government to regulate mobile communication towers after 14 towers were installed in the state guest house in their neighbourhood. Mobile phone users are multiplying with over 4.3 billion users worldwide, and this figure is expected to increase ten-fold over the next five years.
There are more than 800,000 cell phone towers in countries where cell phones are used. In the US alone 100,000 cell phone towers have been built and the so-called ‘safe level’ of radiation exposure is becoming non-existent. According to experts, the exposure limits to radio frequency fields prescribed by India is 9.2 watts per square metre in contrast to much lower levels in other countries – 3 in Canada, 2 in Australia, 1.2 in Belgium, 0.1 in China, Italy 0.095 in Switzerland and 0.02 in Russia.
In India, cell phone towers are indiscriminately being built here and there - aggravating the chances of public health crisis. Doctors, physicists and health officials strongly feel that the emission of the radio frequencies, a form of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) can cause damage to the cell tissue and DNA which is linked to brain tumours, cancer, suppressed immune function, depression, miscarriage, Alzheimer’s disease and numerous other serious illnesses. Children, old men and pregnant women are more easily exposed to radio frequencies. Premature cataracts have not been linked with cell phone use, possibly because of the lower power output of mobile phones.
It is difficult to completely ignore the connection between mobile phone use and cancer incidence. It may be argued that no increase in risk of glioma or meningioma was observed with use of mobile phones. But still there is a high probability of an increased risk of glioma at the highest exposure levels.
Over 100 physicians and scientists at Harvard and Boston University Schools of Public Health have called cellular towers a radiation hazard and 33 delegate physicians from 7 countries have declared cell phone towers a “public health emergency”. In India very few people are aware of all these health hazards. People of the multiplex and residential apartments allow the installation of Cell phone towers for earning money at the cost of others who inhabit in the surrounding area.
Studies on the impact of cell phone towers on birds and other wildlife are almost nonexistent in India and further research is required to guide policies of cell phone tower installation. Thanks to Juhi Chawla for her clarion call in Mumbai, against the installation of cell phone towers others too should come forward.