Do not use cell phone for more than 18-20 minutes daily: most widely spread disinformation

By Dr K S Parthasarathy

The most glaring disinformation propagated by anti cell tower/phone  activists is that the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limit for cell phones — a safety standard of 1.6 W per kg — is actually for six minutes per-day usage! Do not use cell phone for more than 18-20 minutes daily, they assert.

This dramatic sound bite, though wrong, got wide publicity. It is a glamorous lie almost every one who worries about cell phone risks will know.

A cell phone kept near the ear will cause a small increase in temperature in regions close to  phone. Thermoregulatory mechanisms such as blood flow remove the heat establishing equilibrium in about six minutes. Thereafter, there will not be any increase in temperature. The six-minute interval is the time the body’s defence takes to reach equilibrium temperature. So, it is absurd to say that using a phone longer multiplies the risk.

Many dispatches in leading newspapers in India described  risks from cell phones and cell tower radiation. The scary messages and disinformation that continues, originate from a document called  “Cell Tower Radiation Report”, submitted to the Department of Telecommunication  by Prof Girish Kumar of IIT-Mumbai.

Dr Kari Jokela,  member of the International Commission on Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and research professor at the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Finland, in an email message stated that Dr Girish Kumar’s interpretations of ICNIRP guidelines are incorrect.

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About ksparthasarathy

I am a former Secretary of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. I am a former Raja Ramanna Fellow in the Department of Atomic Energy. Free lance journalism is my hobby
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