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Mail Today, Monday, August 3, 2009                                                                                        ...
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Radiation Slow Death


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Based on the Report prepared, this article appeared in Mail Today, a Delhi-based newspaper of the India Today group on 3rd August 2009,

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Radiation Slow Death

  1. 1. Mail Today, Monday, August 3, 2009 Page 13 Radiating slow death Cellphone WHAT IS MICROWAVE >>WHY SHOULD WE FEAR IT? RADIATION? Microwave radiation can have thermal and radiation These are electromagnetic waves with frequencies in the range of 1,000-3,00,000 MHz. All transmitting towers, such as AM non-thermal effects. THERMAL EFFECT| Just as the water content in any food heats up almost immediately when put inside a microwave oven, body fluids absorb can cause and FM towers and TV and mobile phone towers, emit microwave radiation. So do wireless computers, cordless phones and microwave radiation from the atmosphere. The effect on the brain, made up 90 per cent of water, is more pronounced NON-THERMAL EFFECT| This relates to cell membrane per- their base units, cellphones and all other irreparable wireless devices, as well as home appli- ances like the microwave oven >> meability. Current safety standards are purely based on the thermal effect — ignoring the non-thermal effects harm to you >> HOW DOES IT EFFECT US? IMAGINE a life without The radiation can cause a WiFi Internet, micro- host of debilitating illnesses waved food, laptops and including brain tumour, acoustic neuroma, lym- mobile phones. Now, phoma, decrease in immune imagine living with an function, sleep disorder, anxi- invisible, dense fog that ety, autism, multiple sclero- damages your brain, sis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart, lungs, eyes, thyroid cataract, hypothyroidism, gland and nervous system, diabetes, malignant besides risking your preg- melanoma, testicular cancer, nancy and sending you heart attack and strokes in young people. Children are even into depression. more vulnerable as their skulls are thinner and their nervous Plenty of research has been systems are still developing done on the dangers of the ‘electro-smog’ that is >> enveloping us steadily in our HOW CAN WE >> increasingly wired world. Mobile phone companies and PROTECT ARE ALL APPLIANCES service providers challenged all EQUALLY DANGEROUS? research claims except the ones OURSELVES? No. Radiation absorp- on radiation. Now, an IIT-Bom- Minimise time on tion by the human body bay professor, Girish Kumar, cellphone and is called the specific and his daughter Neha, who has use briefly when absorption rate (SAR) done B.Tech in biotechnology, have put together the research you have to and is measured in watts per kg of tissue data to highlight the damage Don’t call when (W/kg). Every mobile phone comes with an SAR done by the radiation that is the signal is weak rating. Radiation depends on the phone’s necessary for a cellphone to Hold the phone design, antenna and how it is used. Thermal function. away from the effects occur when the body’s energy absorp- body while calling tion exceeds an SAR of 4 W/kg. But non-thermal It can lead to cancer and heart damage THE SILENT Use headsets with a plastic air- tube between the earpiece and the phone effects beginning from 0.1 W/kg can harm MOBILE PHONE MODEL (W/KG) Motorola V195s SAR OUTPUT 1.6 Prof Kumar, who tracked his bloated fingers to the extraordi- nary radiation in his study, found that IIT Bombay, despite its dense foliage, could not block the radiation from a cluster of KILLER THE CONVENIENCE OF USING ELECTRONIC GADGETS Use a loud- speaker phone Avoid WiFi con- nections Avoid cordless Nokia E710 LG Rumor 2 Sony Ericsson W350a Samsung Instinct 1.53 1.51 1.48 1.46 transmitting towers. This phones Samsung Soul 0.24 spurred him to look up available COMES AT A HIGH COST. HERE IS A LOOK HOW Stay away from literature on the subject. radiation towers Nokia 9300 0.21 There are a number of studies which have sought to establish a link between mobile phones and brain tumours, sleep problems By Seema Kamdar cancer than those living 400 Developed countries like Swe- Prof Kumar’s study revealed and hearing loss. The report com- in Mumbai metres away from it. den, France, Germany, Italy, that several residential areas piled by Neha and Prof Kumar, Data was gathered from nearly Greece and Israel are facing the had more than 1,000 microwatts who has invented a device to 1,000 patients who had been liv- aftermath of radiation. For per square metres. block radiation, also looks at the results are confirmed in fur- ing at the same address for 10 example, the advent of the new He said, “The blood-brain bar- other lesser known effects. ther studies, we can engineer our years. The study showed that third generation wireless phones rier, or tight junctions between A paper published by Prof way out of the problems, just as radiation within the 400 m- (and related community-wide adjacent cells of capillary walls, Henry Lai and N.P Singh in 1995 . we engineered the technology in radius of the towers was 100 antenna RF emissions) let only nutrients pass through documented DNA damage in the first place.” times higher compared to the prompted several complaints of from the blood to the brain while the brain cells of rats exposed to Hungarian scientists found a outer area. illness in the Netherlands. keeping out toxic substances. cell phone radiation. But the 30 per cent drop in sperm count Another French study showed A 1998 survey by the California However, a research by Swedish paper was contested by cell- in frequent mobile phone users. that people living within 300 department of health services neurosurgeon Leif Salford on phone manufacturers. Not just using a mobile phone, metres of a base station reported indicated that 1,20,000 Californi- microwave radiation showed Other studies found that but also carrying it in pocket increased incidence of fatigue; ans, and by extrapolation one albumin, a protein, managed to mobile phone radiation can could affect a man’s sperm those within 200 metres had million Americans, were unable penetrate the barrier and dam- cause irreparable damage to the count and the sperm motility more headaches, sleep distur- to work because of electromag- age the brain.” DNA. According to Prof (speed of movement). bance, and discomfort; and netic pollution. The work of Allen Frey and Kumar’s report, when the DNA Some doctors in South Ger- those within 100 metres reported Overpopulated Mumbai, too, others indicates that microwave is damaged faster than it can be many found that people living irritability, depression, loss of has its own share of microwave radiation damages similar repaired, it can lead to cancer. close to two transmitter anten- memory, dizziness and drop in radiation. The safe limit of radi- mechanisms that protect the Yet, rather than advocating nas installed in 1993 and 1997 libido. Women were found to ation for human beings is 100 eye and the foetus, Prof Kumar’s dumping cellphones, Lai said, “If faced three-times the risk of have more symptoms than men. microwatts per square metre. report says. King Khan too gets bogged down by superhero tag PARVEEN NEGI By Prashant Singh in New Delhi However, when it comes to movies, the be wonderful because it will be the first superstar is very serious. He says his next Bollywood film produced in India but HE IS the full entertainment pack- film, My Name Is Khan, is “different and released and distributed like Hollywood age and that’s what makes Shah interesting”. films,” said Shah Rukh. Rukh Khan a brand par excellence. “It deals with a problem of how the The picture though is not very rosy So, if SRK calls himself the “biggest world is breaking into factions. It’s not about SRK’s other passion – his Indian Pre- superhero” in India, no one bats an about terrorism, destruction or Muslim mier League team — Kolkata Knight Rid- eyelid. But sometimes the “super- anger. The film explores misconceptions ers (KKR). “Besides picking up captain and hero” too feels the pressure. coach, we will also try to come up with a “At times, I feel weighed down by all winning formula in our next meeting on the titles bestowed upon me. For ‘I want a level of maturity August 4,” he said. SRK denied that Sourav instance, it makes me slightly old if I am but still be a little foolish’ Ganguly had been selected as the captain. called Datuk Padma Shri Dr Shah Rukh SRK is also excited about playing a Khan. But nonetheless, such honours superhero in his VFX-laden home pro- bring a lot of joy,’’ says Khan. about religion, creed, caste and family duction, Ra.One, despite experiencing In town recently as a quizmaster for through the eyes of an autistic man,” pain. But doctors have advised Shah Indian Institute of Planning and Manage- said the actor. Rukh to avoid doing action sequences for ment, SRK says, “I want a certain level of Shah Rukh has high expectations from at least two months. maturity but I still want to be foolish.” My Name Is Khan, especially since it’s been Well, if you happen to be India’s biggest “I want my kids to look at me as ‘old’ bought by Fox Studios for Rs 100 crore. star, your life will surely be full of action Shah Rukh Khan at an event in Delhi. and ‘mature’,” SRK adds. “I think association with Fox is going to — on screen or off it.