India: Rijken van Mumbai in verzet tegen zendmasten mobiele telefonie.

zaterdag, 22 mei 2010 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

Oorspronkelijk geplaatst 21 mei 2010, updated met toegevoegde link 22 mei 2010

Bron: Express India 20 mei 2010

1,500 in campaign against mobile towers after 4 fall ill

Mumbai Carmichael road: Residents blame radiation, resolve towers have to go

Over 1,500 residents of South Mumbai’s Carmichael Road, home to some of India’s richest families, have taken a collective decision to seek a “radiation-free environment” by asking for the removal of cellphone towers from their roofs.

The effort was initiated by residents of Usha Kiran Building, who cite three cases of brain tumour and an alleged case of bone cancer as “strong evidence” of dangerous radiation from towers atop the adjacent building, Vijay Apartments. Residents of that building have joined the campaign.

The residents say they struggled for two years to gather the evidence before coming together and agreeing to deny permission to operators who want to set up cellphone towers. Some societies have also written to Vijay Apartments requesting that their towers be removed.

There is no conclusive evidence on health hazards, if any, caused by electromagnetic radiation, and India does not have an authorised, independent agency to inspect radiation levels. There are no legal guidelines either on the installation of cell towers on residential buildings. WHO has said cancer is unlikely to be caused by mobile phones or their base stations, based on expert consensus, and that reviews have not found convincing evidence about other health hazards either.

But the Usha Kiran residents claim doctors treating their four patients suspect the problems were caused by the radiation. Last year they went to Navi Mumbai-based Sameer-CEM, a research and development institution affiliated to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, asking them to survey the “radiated power density”. Two tests were conducted, one in 2009 funded by the residents, and the next this January, funded by one of the telecom service providers themselves.

The 2009 tests projected high density levels. The January tests were done in two environments, once with the towers switched on and then with these off. The Sameer-CEM team checked the radiation power density on the three floors where those with tumours lived, and in a flat just below the towers in Vijay Apartments. When the towers were on, the density on the ninth floor was 0.4637 watts per sq cm; when off, it fell to 0.0008 watts per sq cm.

Vijay Apartments passed a resoultion in its annual general body meeting that the cell phone towers should be removed. A spokesperson said, “We are not looking at it as a decision on health; there is no conclusive research yet on this subject.” But the results showed there was a huge drop in radiation density when the towers were switched off. “We feel there is no need to live in such dense radiation levels. The resolution is a choice we made towards a radiation-free environment.”

The tower operators and the service providers have been asking for time, the building spokesperson said, adding there is a contract that governs the installation and a suitable deadline has to be agreed upon. The spokesperson was not willing to name the service providers involved. Newsline contacted all majors — Vodafone, Airtel, Idea, Reliance and Tata — but each refused to comment on

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