ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Understanding Mobile Phone Radiation and Its Effects

There is as yet no conclusive evidence of an adverse effect of mobile phone use on people's health. An inter-ministerial committee has, however, asked that mobile phone manufacturers prominently display certain health-related technical features. With telecom use exploding in India and with the haphazard growth of the telecom infrastructure (mobile towers) it helps to be careful in using mobile phones.

T he Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has said it is going to issue orders to the mobile handset manufacturers, to prominently display the Specic Absorption Ratio (SAR) levels on the packing, so that it is readily available to the consumer at the point of sale. The SAR is a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when a handset is in use. Lower number indicates a lower radiation exposure risk.

On 13 January 2010 an inter-ministerial committee submitted its report on electromagnetic frequency radiation to the DoT.1 The committee has said that radiation can cause thermal effects by holding mobile phones close to the body. It can also cause non-thermal effects, which may result in burning and tingling sensations on the skin of the head, fatigue, sleep disturbance, dizziness, lack of concentration, ringing in the ears, reaction time, loss of memory, headache, disturbance in digestive system and heart palpitation, etc. Higher the SAR level of a handset, more are the chances of health hazards. The committee recommends buying a mobile phone with low SAR.

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