India has joined the global mobile radiation conversation in a major way. The second-most populous country in the world, with nearly 900 million cell phone users, has reason to discuss radiation implications. With 73% of the enormous population (1.2 billion!) chatting away on their mobiles, it's a step in the right direction.
The Times of India recently reported on a talk given by Girish Kumar, researcher and faculty at IIT Bombay, who warned that mobile towers in India are "turning the country into an open microwave."
Kumar said that as mobile companies install higher-intensity cell towers - cutting costs - they were paying for the savings in public safety. He cited a case where six residents of a mobile tower-facing Mumbai building became affected by cancer - just one case in a strengthening link between cancer cases and residents living near the towers.
Of course, it's not just an issue for people, but that the environment, including fruit-bearing trees and birds, is being affected.
More from Kumar:
"Those living in a 50-300m radius face a high risk-much worse than smoking as you cannot see or smell radiation," he said, while adding that "you cannot have coincidences everywhere.
Biological effects include drying of fluids around the eyes, brain joints, heart and abdomen leading to sleep disruption, headaches, lack of concentration and memory loss, due to changes in the electrical activity of the brain. Prolonged exposure to mobile radiation increases chances of cancer by 200-400% over 8-10 years."
The SAR ceiling in India has been set to a high level for the benefit mobile operators; not startling since they contribute 30% of India's GDP.