Over the past 30 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published nearly 25,000 articles on biological effects of non-ionizing radiation. However, now the WHO suggests that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields.
Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "A joint initiative has been launched by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body under the department of science and technology (DST) and department of telecommunications (DoT), to study possible impact of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation exposure from mobile towers and handsets in the non-ionizing band (300MHZ to 3 GHZ) on life. Based on in-depth review of the scientific literature, WHO has concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields."
The minister informed that the DST has identified and initiated 19 research studies in 2015, including those from All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). He said, "These research will examine the effects of EMF radiation in other areas as on reproductive dysfunctions, male infertility, neurological disorders (cognitive behavior, sleep related disorders, depression etc.), otorhinolaryngology (ENT) disorders, psychosocial implications, DNA damage and repair, EMF effects in blood cell/tissues in animal and plant systems."
Prasad also assured that currently the limits for EMF radiations from base station in India are 1/10th of the existing limits prescribed by International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and recommended by WHO. He further said, "In order to ensure compliance to the prescribed stricter precautionary norms of EMF radiation from mobile towers, the extensive audit of self-certificates being submitted by telecom service providers and base transceiver station (BTS) sites is carried out by Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM) field units of the DoT. In case, any BTS site is found to violate the prescribed EMF norms, actions are taken to put a penalty of Rs. 10 lakh per BTS per incidence including closing of BTS site, if the violation persists."