Electromagnetic fields and mobile phones

Naseem-Varun/WHO India

Common sources of electromagnetic fields include power lines, household electrical wiring, motor-driven instruments, computer screens, telecommunications and broadcasting facilities, and mobile telephones. Short-term exposure at levels present in environment or in home does not cause any apparent detrimental effects. The studies carried out by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) could not establish conclusive evidence on the safety or risk of radio frequency radiation emitted from mobile phones and mobile phone towers.

With regard to radiation from mobile towers and mobile phones, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Government of India has adopted the Electro Magnetic Radiation norms prescribed by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The DoT has also directed all Cellular Mobile Telephone Service/ Unified Access Service licensees for compliance of the reference limits/ levels prescribed by ICNIRP by way of self-certification of their Base Transmitting Station for meeting the Electro Magnetic Field radiation norms.

Short-term exposure at levels present in environment or in home does not cause any apparent detrimental effects. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), a category used when causal association is considered credible, but when chance, bias or confounding cannot be ruled out with reasonable confidence.