Dangers of Wireless: A note on Indian Scenario


Its long that I have actually written anything. Rather I must say I had been feeling incapable of writing quality stuff and this had been putting me on hold.

Lately I have been in touch with a person who is struggling with cancerous brain tumor. My interaction with him encouraged me to dive deep into radio technology and understand the hazards associated..

Any way…… I would continue with the story of this man.

Coming from a rich family this man went to US for treatment. While he was still in US another shocking news came. His brother had the same tumor and at much advanced stage than his. While he was still struggling to accept the new shock he came to know that his dog has the same tumor as well.

Any how he returned back to India after the initial treatment with the only option to sit and wait for death.

But then was it just a co incidence or something else. He decided to explore the possibilities. The very first thing that could have come to notice while exploring the reasons was the nearby mobile tower.

He called up radio experts in Mumbai to measure the radiation level. To his amazement the level of radiation was 2000 times more than maximum acceptable limits in UK. Yes you read it correct its 2000 T I M E S.


No doubt the surveys point out correctly that by the year 2012 every 1 out of 8 persons in India will be suffering from cancer.

As I come from a technical background and working on radio technology for last 8 years I thought it to be my moral and social responsibility to educate my countrymen on the subject and inform them about the ill effects of this technology per se.

What are radio waves: Radio waves are electro-magnetic waves with frequency between 3KHz and 300GHz. These are charged particles moving in wave like movement with waves ranging from 1mm to 100Km in length. A pictorial presentation of the same can be seen as follows


Electro megantic Spectrum


What’s the frequency cell phone works on: Due to historical reasons the frequency bands allocated across countries is not similar. In US the initial standard used 800 MHz. Freq. whereas in Europe 450MHz. spectrum was used. As the number of consumers grew these operators had to shift to new frequencies in higher range from 900MHz. to 1.9GHz. Generally speaking low frequency can be used to cover larger area but lesser users where as higher frequencies can service larger population in smaller areas. As of now the ranges normally used by cellular operators are between 800MHz. to 1900 MHz. (1.9GHz.) though it has some exception like china that uses 2.4GHz. for CDMA uplink and Sprint 4G using 2500 MHz. in US.

In India CDMA works on 869 – 894 MHz, GSM works on 935 – 960 MHz and 1810 – 1880 MHz. whereas 3G uses 2110 – 2170 MHz frequency band.


How Much a cell phone should be used every day?

Very few know about the term Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) This is the rate at which body absorbs radiation. This is measured in terms of Watt per Kg of Tissue mass. The maximum SAR allowed on the mobiles in US is 1.6 W/Kg. At this SAR a user should typically use mobile for 6 mins a day. Depending upon various factors this time can be increased by 3-4 times resulting in maximum 18-24 mins a day.

The SAR for various cell phones is appended at the end.

Fortunately most of the mobile phones adhere to US standards and therefore the mobile phone instruments we get has some limitations on radiations though we don’t keep our usage below 24 mins and very often we talk about 1-2 hours a day on cell phones.

Normally the mobile working on CDMA and GSM uses a radio of 1-2 watt.

Radiations from the cell towers -The real threat:

Well the real threat comes from the mobile towers often called BTS. These towers use radio with directional antennas that provides the additional gain with the radiation directed and concentrated in a particular direction. Moreover a single telcom service provider normally emits upto 100 Watts of radiation (About 50-100 times of a cell phone). In case there are multiple service providers located on the same roof or tower this amount reaches to upto 400 Watts of energy radiation. As every service provider wants to reach as far as possible they use the maximum gain antenna that they can use. So when we say the normal safe limit to use mobile phones is 24 mins at max with 1-2 watt of radiation what is the limit for 400 watts radiating towers. UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE UNDER THESE RADIATING TOWERS FOR 24 HOURS A DAY AND 365 DAYS A YEAR.

The only thing that can save us from these towers is the distance we have from the tower. Let us now understand the calculation pertaining to distance and radiation level.

The radiation level at a particular location is measured in terms of “Radiated Power density” This is measured as Watt per meter sq.

Consider a radio with 20 W output and a 20 dB antenna we have the Power density of radiation as follows

Distance(Meters) Radiation(W/ Mt. Sq.)
1 159.09
2 39.77
3 17.67
10 1.59
15 0.707
30 0.1767
50 0.06363

Consider what happens when there are multiple radios on the same roof or the tower. The radiation multiplies.

Given these data the radiation of 0.1 W/ Mt sq. is good enough to cause cancer in the vicinity within a time range of 2-4 years. Remember we are not talking about other ill effects.

Here is a true story on the radiation causing cancer in India


Crores of Indians live in the vicinity of these radating towers. No wonder we are on the verge of reducing our population in a very new and unique manner.

The radiation norms: The norms for radiation are not uniform across the nations. We in india are adhering to the worst norms. While Russia adopts radiation norms of 0.02 W/ Mt. Sq., Poland, China, Italy adopts 0.1 W/ Mt. Sq. We in India have norms for 9.2 W/ Mt. Sq. (Ref: http://www.dot.gov.in/as/2010/800-15%202010-VAS.pdf) . Moreover going through the same document we find several lacunas.

1) The norms say that the telecom service provider is responsible to conduct the self audit and provide the audit report. (Thieves are being asked to keep the keys… isn’t it?)

2) The authorities will audit 10% of new Base stations randomly. (Lets mint money in choosing the towers to audit).

3) In case the radiation levels are more than the prescribed norms the penalty is Rs. 5,00,000/- ( Ok still you were caught ? Pay small amounts for butchering the human beings…. After all you are helping reduce the population)

4) Oh just forgot…. What about the old towers? Means once they are audited you are free to increase the capacity. You will be audited only if a complaint is lodged.. (well let people first find the expertise for measuring radiation that is available only in metros, then lodge a complaint and then we will come… may be inform you before that ; ) )

5) Consider the fact that the power levels in most radios are configurable. Its very easy to configure at a low level at the time of audit and then increase the same later on.

Well definitely we have given a very free hand to the telecom operators to implement the kind of radios they want with the power level they want. No wonder the person I met found the radiation level as high as 2000 times than those in Europe.

After looking at the level of radiations we are receiving in India its time to turn our focus on the effects of these radiations. Definitely Cancer is not the only effect of these radiations.

1) Thermal effects: The radio waves that mobile towers use comes in the range of microwaves. With the acceptable range of radiation as per the norms and Taking an average height of 5’6” and a waist of 35 of a person Prof Girish Kumar from IIT Mumbai has excellently demonstrated that the radiation we receive is equal to keeping our body in microwave oven at 60% efficiency for 19 Minutes as day. Well how many of us will agree to do that. Keep in mind that microwaves affect water and liquid most and our body is 70% water. Take the substantial part like brain which is 90% water and the mobile we use is kept on the ears i.e. near our brain. (Just want to mention that most of the facts in this article have been taken from his report submitted to Dot)

2) Blood brain barrier destruction: Our brain is protected by a thin wall like structure that allows the nutrients to pass through it and reach the brain where as blocks the toxins in the blood to pass through. The studies conducted clearly shows that this wall starts malfunctioning and thus damaging the brains severely. This risk is very high in children as they have a thin bones protecting the brain.

3) Genetic alterations: Well known fact need no discussion

4) Hearing loss

5) Neurological disorders

6) Salivary gland tumor

7) Sleep disorder

8 ) Cancer

And the list is ever growing………

Well I know I have been cutting short on educating the effects of cell phones as there are so many things that can be brought out. This is the time we just sum up the article with the ways to reduce the risk of these radiations

1) Use blue tooth or preferably earphone connected with wires while using cell phones

2) Use wired line connection to the maximum possible

3) Keep the duration of talks on cellphones to minimum

4) In case you see a Cellphone tower in the vicinity make sure that you don’t fall in direct line with the radio antenna. The radiation is far high on the straight line then on the level below

5) Make sure that the cell tower doesn’t contain more than 1 or 2 radios in a direction. If it is so get the same checked and lodge a complain

6) Thick walls prevent the radiations to enter. Make sure that you don’t have windows or doors in front of the radio antenna.

7) Educate the people so that more care is taken bye the mobile operators to minimize the radiation

8 ) Use radiation protection chips on mobiles

9) Select the mobile with lower radiation

10) Switch off the wi-fi devices used commonly in case they are not in use.

11) Eat healthy and do everything that you can do to improve your resistance power.

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