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Cell Phones in India to carry radiation information

The government of India has directed mobile handset manufacturers to mention the radiation levels on the handsets starting September of this year.
Written by Manan Kakkar, Contributor

The debate on whether cell phones and cell towers are injurious to health has no decisive winner. The companies say it's all good; the skeptics say these companies have deep pockets that make it appear all good. The role of a government in this discussion therefore becomes more important and the Indian government has decided not to sit quite on this topic. The government has directed cell phone manufacturers to display radiation information on the cell phones.

Earlier this year, the government came out strong on the topic of cell phone radiation and instructed all phone manufacturers to limit the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) to 1.6 Watt/Kg. SAR is the rate at which a human body absorbs energy due to an electromagnetic field. The rate set by the government of India is 1.6 Watt/Kg per 1 g of human tissue. The Federal Communications Commission in the US has prescribed the same levels for cell phone manufacturers in the US; the EU, however, is different. The new SAR levels will be in effect starting September of this year and OEMs are expected to have the SAR mentioned on the handsets going forward. The rule applies to all handsets sold in India irrespective of where they are manufactured.

In an update in the Upper House of Parliament of India, the Rajya Sabha, Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Milind Deora said that cell towers radiations across the country are within prescribed limits. This information comes from tests conducted by the Department of Telecom (DoT) in India. Cell Tower radiations aren't the only threat to environment. According to some statistics, due to poor electricity availability in rural India, nearly 240,000 cell towers run on Diesel fuel consuming close to 2 Billion Litres of fuel a year. Yes, 2 Billion Litres of Diesel to ensure cell phone connectivity. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has asked the cell tower companies to look at greener technologies. The companies believe opting for alternate technologies to run the towers will reduce their operation costs as well.

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