India: Doctors not convinced of 'safe radiation'

zondag, 21 juli 2013 - Categorie: Artikelen

Bron: .
19 juli 2013

KOLKATA: Top city doctors and researchers don't share the confidence of cellular operators or even government officials that there is no health hazards associated with mobile towers. They believe that stricter radiation norms need to be enforced and the industry needs to fund research on the subject.

According to Shyamal Kumar Sarkar, head of the department (Radiation Oncology), Medical College, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified mobile-phone radiation under Group 2B or in the 'Possibly Carcinogenic' category. ''We don't have any definite proof as yet. There are 4.5 lakh mobile towers in India and something that people should know is that they shouldn't use their cell phones for more than 10-24 minutes a day. A distance of 50-300 metres from a mobile tower falls within the high-radiation zone. India has higher exposure limits than many countries. Only time will tell the kind of damage that will take place. Monitoring agencies are more concerned about the thermal effects but the non-thermal ones are what we are more concerned about,'' he explained.

The doctor pointed to how Blood Brain Barriers, which are supposed to prevent the flow of toxins into the brain, are liable to get affected due to radiation. If the rate of damage to DNA is higher than the rate of DNA repaired, the risk of cancer increases. He also spoke of irreversible infertility and the risk to children.

''Many people complain of Tinnitus and Ringxiety. Such people have ear trouble and a constant ringing in their ears wakes them up in the middle of the night. Children and teenagers fall in the high-risk group. They are five times more susceptible to brain cancer if exposed to radiation. There have been studies that reveal how birds and insects have been affected due to radiation. Maybe, a bit of revaluation of test results on humans needs to be done,'' Sarkar said.

He was speaking at a workshop on electro magnetic fields and cellular telephony organized by the Bengal Chamber. Sarkar's figures were questioned by Vikram Tiwathia, ADG, Cellular Operators Association of India, who was the chairperson of the session. The audience didn't take too kindly to this reaction. Neither did Prof Bhaskar Gupta, electronics and telecommunication engineering department, Jadavpur University, like Tiwathia's attempts to refute the doctor.

''Conclusive evidence is not always available. Researchers are still not very sure what causes cancer or they would have succeeded in preventing the disease. This doesn't mean that the possible causes of cancer should be promoted. If possible, no chances should be taken,'' Gupta said.

According to Prof Bhabotosh Biswas, HOD, cardiothoracic vascular surgery, R G Kar Medical College and Hospital, palpitations are noticed if mobile phones are kept closer to the heart. ''Along with disorders like burning and tingling sensation, fatigue, sleep disorder and dizziness, people complain of palpitations. Such people have no history of heart disease. Cell phones could be responsible. I have seen palpitations in people with mobile phones in their pockets. There is possibility that the brain is also affected. Till there is conclusive evidence, mobile phones should be kept away from the heart. The only way to reduce exposure is to reduce usage,'' he said.

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