Friday, December 23, 2011

Minimizing cellphone radiation impact

Newspapers and online reports have been see-sawing when it came to concluding on whether mobile radiation is harmful to the human body or not. Every successive report concluded contrary to the previous one.

However now with the Indian government mandating that all mobile phones should carry a radiation tag, it is but an implicit admission that the government believes in the threat that mobile radiation poses to the masses.
Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) and Radio Frequency (RF) waves are two sources of radiation from mobile devices. While exposure to EMR radiation can be minimized by usage of hands free devices, RF radiation is more pervasive. Current international norms prescribe an upper limit of 1.6 watts/kg. Termed SAR – Specific Absorption Rate, a measurement for the rate at which body tissue absorbs RF radiation, the new government mandate requires all new mobile phones sold in India to
  1. Mention the SAR for the handset in the mobile phone and accompanying manual
  2. Provide hands free sets along with the mobile phones compulsorily.


It is commendable that the government is bringing in some regulation into the massive mobile phones market; especially regulation that will have a direct bearing on the health of millions of Indians for whom mobile communication has altered lifestyles like nothing before.  This is so also in light of the fact that advanced economies like USA have had problems converting something as simple as this into law – Read the tussle between San Francisco and CTIA (Cellular Telephone Industries Association)

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