Wednesday, 29 May, 2024

Mobile tower radiation are affecting human being

Cell  phones  have  become  the  basic  need  of today  and  there  has  been  an  unprecendented  growth  of mobile  industry  in  India  during  the  last  decade.  Every

technology  has  some  positive  as  well as  negative  impacts. There has been a public concern over the adverse impacts of  harmful radiation from mobile towers and mobile phones on

human health. Social activisits and some NGO’s are resisting the erection of mobile towers in residential colonies. A study on  the  quantification  of  electromagnetic  field  (EMF)

radiation  from mobile  towers and  their health  impacts on human  beings  have  been  carried  out  in  Kota  city  of Rajasthan.  It  has  been  noticed  that  EMF  radiation  from almost  50%  of the  mobile  towers  installed  in Kota  city  is beyond the permissible limits prescribed by the DoT, Govt. of India. To  get an  idea of harmful  health impacts  on  human beings, a public survey through questionnaire was also held. The results of public survey indicate that people have seen a rise  in  health  related  issues  since  last  decade,  when installation of mobile towers  has got momentum.  However, the public is not sure whether  it  is due to EMF radiation  of

mobile  towers  or  otherwise.  Hence,  based  on  studies  and research  carried  out  so  far,  it  can  be  concluded  that although  there  is  no  scientific  cause  behind  harmful radiation from mobile towers, there is an increase  in short-term and long-term diseases in general.


Electromagnetic  field  (EMF)  radiation  is  defined  as  the flow of photons in space.  The photons contain energy and depending on the amount of energy found in these photos, different  types  of  radiations  are  defined. EMF  radiations are classified  into two  types, known  as ionizing radiation and  non-ionizing  radiation.  Ionizing  radiations  are  those which  contain energy  sufficient to  overcome  the binding energy  of  electrons  in  atoms  or  molecules,  and  hence creating ions. Examples  of ionizing  radiation are UV rays, X-rays,  gamma  rays,  cosmic  rays  etc.  Non-ionizing radiations are those  which do not  carry much energy  per quantum to  ionize  atoms or  molecules. Examples are low frequency  radiations  such  as  radio  waves,  microwaves, and infrared radiations

1.1 Frequency Range of Radiation

The frequency range of non-ionizing radiation is from 1 Hz to 1THz (i.e.1000 GHz) and that of the ionizing radiation is above  1THz.  Therefore,  non-ionizing  radiation  has  less health effects on human beings whereas ionizing radiation can change the chemical bonds of human tissues and even genetic damage can also occur. 

1.2 Effects of EMF Radiation

Effects of EMF radiation can be divided into two categories: Bio-effects and health effects. 

Bio-effects  can  be  measured  against  any  change  in  the atmosphere  and  these  may  not  be  harmful  to  human health.  Bio-effects  are  again  classified  into  two  types,

thermal and non-thermal effects.

Thermal effects  are  due to the  heat generated  when EMF radiation is absorbed whereas non-thermal effects are due to the induced electromagnetic effects inside the biological

cells of the body, which may be more harmful.

Health effects are those changes which may be either short term or long term and they stress the system and may be harmful to human health.

1.3 EMF Radiation from Mobile Services

The EMF  radiation in mobile services originates from two sources,  base  transceiver  station  (BTS)  and  mobile handsets. These radiations are relatively at the low end of the electromagnetic  spectrum  and  hence  the  energy carried  by  them  is  unable  to  break  chemical  bonds  in molecules.  Therefore,  they  fall  under  the  non-ionizing radiation category.

To  provide  mobile  services  in  a  particular  area, telecom companies  install  their base  transceiver station  (BTS),  at suitable locations, according to their radio frequency (RF) network planning  for better coverage  of the  area and  for meeting consumer requirements. The mobile towers have antennas which  radiate electro-magnetic  power.  The BTS also  contains  radio  transmitters  whose  outputs  are combined and  fed via  cables to  the base  station antenna,

which is mounted at the top of the mast

The actual source of  radiation is the transmitting antenna and  not  the  transmitter  itself,  because  the  transmitting antenna  is  the  main  source  which  determines electromagnetic field distribution in the surrounding area of a transmitting station.

1.4 Radiation Pattern of a Mobile Tower Antenna

Radiation  is  highest  from  the  primary  lobes  in  the horizontal  direction.  The  direct  exposure  towards  the primary lobes along the line of antenna is the most severe case  of  the  exposed  radiation.  Radiation from  secondary lobes ranges from medium to very low. The distance from the  source  of  radiation  is  also  an  important  factor.  The power density  varies by  (1/R2), where  R is  the distance.

The pattern of radiation is shown in the figure below.


International  Commission  on  Non-Ionizing  Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is an international body which studies possible  adverse effects  on human  health  from  exposure to non-ionising radiation.In  2008, Department  of  Telecommunication  (DoT),  Govt. of India has adopted the ICNIRP Guidelines and prescribed limits/levels  for  antennas  (Base  Station  Emissions)  for general  public  exposure.  However,  from  2012,  norms  of mobile towers’ EMF  exposure  limits have  been revised  to 1/10th  of  the  existing  prescribed  limits  of  ICNIRP  as  a matter of abundant precaution


To study  the  effect of  EMF radiation from  mobile towers, first  it  was  decided  to  measure  the  radiation  emission from mobile towers in Kota. We divided the city into four zones and  in  each zone, total  10 sampling  locations were identified. So, overall 40 mobile towers were studied from all the zones. The following zones were taken up:

1. Residential area (Zone-A)

2. Commercial area (Zone-B)

3. Agriculture and rural area (Zone-C)

4. Highway and far flung area (Zone-D)

After  zone  wise  distribution  of  mobile  towers, observations of radiations from mobile towers were made using  a  mobile  app  known  as  EMF  detector  and  mobile tower  radiation detector.  The  measurements were  taken for  a  year  long  period  from  April  2016  to  March  2017 throughout the Kota city in residential area, highways, far-flung  agriculture  area  and  commercial  area.  Total  40 observations have been recorded using detector.

Blood–brain barrier

A 2010 review stated that “The balance of experimental evidence does not support an effect of ‘non-thermal’ radio frequency fields” on the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, but noted that research on low frequency effects and effects in humans was sparse. A 2012 study of low-frequency radiation on humans found “no evidence for acute effects of short-term mobile phone radiation on cerebral blood flow”.


There is no strong or consistent evidence that mobile phone use increases the risk of getting brain cancer or other head tumors. The United States National Cancer Institute points out that “Radiofrequency energy, unlike ionizing radiation, does not cause DNA damage that can lead to cancer. Its only consistently observed biological effect in humans is tissue heating. In animal studies, it has not been found to cause cancer or to enhance the cancer-causing effects of known chemical carcinogens.” The majority of human studies have failed to find a link between mobile phone use and cancer. In 2011 the IARC, a World Health Organization working group, classified mobile phone use as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. The IARC summed up their conclusion with: “The human epidemiological evidence was mixed. Several small early case–control studies were considered to be largely uninformative. A large cohort study showed no increase in risk of relevant tumours, but it lacked information on level of mobile-phone use and there were several potential sources of misclassification of exposure. The bulk of evidence came from reports of the INTERPHONE study, a very large international, multicentre case–control study and a separate large case–control study from Sweden on gliomas and meningiomas of the brain and acoustic neuromas. While affected by selection bias and information bias to varying degrees, these studies showed an association between glioma and acoustic neuroma and mobile-phone use; specifically in people with highest cumulative use of mobile phones, in people who had used mobile phones on the same side of the head as that on which their tumour developed, and in people whose tumour was in the temporal lobe of the brain (the area of the brain that is most exposed to RF radiation when a wireless phone is used at the ear)”  The CDC states that no scientific evidence definitively answers whether mobile phone use causes cancer.

Effects on children

A report from the Australian Government’s Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) in June 2017 noted that:

The 2010 WHO Research Agenda identified a lack of sufficient evidence relating to children and this is still the case. … Given that no long-term prospective study has looked at this issue to date this research need remains a high priority. For cancer in particular only one completed case-control study involving four European countries has investigated mobile phone use among children or adolescents and risk of brain tumour; showing no association between the two (Aydin et al. 2011). … Given this paucity of information regarding children using mobile phones and cancer … more epidemiological studies are needed.

Blogger Name: Shaikh shifa zameerahmed

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