The Uttarakhand field unit of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) organised an “Awareness Workshop on EMF Radiation”, on September 10, 2021. The session was organised as part of DoT’s public advocacy programme to dispel myths around EMF radiation and address unfounded fears of citizens by presenting credible scientific evidence.

An expert panel comprising of senior officers from the DoT along with doctors, addressed concerns of citizens while also debunking myths and misinformation related to health hazards connected with radiation from mobile towers

The webinar was attended by government officials, general public, telecom service providers, infrastructure providers and other officials.

While giving an outline of the telecommunication services and highlighting the issues faced by the stakeholders, A. K. Mittal, DG(Telecom), DoT mentioned, “For socio-economic progress, we need a strong telecom industry that forms the bedrock by providing a robust network of mobile towers to boost connectivity. Citizens can take comfort from the fact that there is no risk to health from mobile tower radiation as the EMF radiation norms for India are 10 times stricter than the limits prescribed by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and are in adherence to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Extensive research on EMF signals have not been able to establish any injurious effects on human health from mobile tower radiation.”

Addressing the webinar, Sanjeev Agrawal, Sr. DDG, Uttar Pradesh (West) LSA, said “The DoT monitors the EMF emission levels from towers across India and ensures compliance with emission norms across the country through its field units. LSA also conducts physical audits of sites by selecting them randomly and testing the power of the available EMF signals at different probable locations near the site.”

Further, Sumit Gupta, Director(C) O/o DDG(SC), Dehradun discussed the need of mobile phones in our lives and development of the country. He gave the overview of low-level electro magnetic field emanation from mobile towers.

Dr. Arun Chougule, senior professor & head of the department of radiological physics, shared his perspective and cleared misconceptions associated with mobile tower radiations. He said,” Extensive scientific research on the subject has been unable to find a connection between mobile tower radiation and human health. “There is no scientific or medical evidence available to corroborate the argument used against mobile towers. Exceedingly low powered non-ionizing radiations are emitted from cell towers that have no adverse health impact on human life or animal life, whatsoever.”

“Following investigations, the WHO has concluded that there is no risk to human health from mobile tower radiation. Citizens need not worry about the adverse effect of mobile tower EMF radiation as they are been strictly monitored and evidence from credible sources have repeatedly ruled out the possibility of any impending health hazards emanating from EMF radiations. The misconception with our population in Uttarakhand on EMF emission is wrong and installation of towers should be allowed in their respective localities. There are checks and balances in places to ensure telcos adhere to the norms set by the Government. The Government of India follows 10 times more stringent norms than what has been prescribed by ICNIRP and recommended by WHO. Mobile connectivity is the need of the hour for all sections of society. There is a need to realize the importance of mobile towers in order to maintain the standard of this essential service; however, due to misconceptions and myths, mobile towers were removed at several places after installation, resulting in poor connectivity. This programme will help address such issues,” he added.

During Q&A session, the panelists responded that network connectivity is indispensable for a connected future and a healthy infrastructure will support the advancement of many technologies, which in turn would enhance the way we all live and work.

DoT and telecom operators are fully committed and equipped to ensure compliance of guidelines. These guidelines are designed to safeguard the concerns of citizens on EMF exposure norms are adhered as to safeguard our beloved citizens.