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Reality", Edited by Ravi V.S. Prasad
Published by Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi, 2014.
Prof. Girish Kumar
Electrical Engineering department
IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai - 400076
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel. - (022) 2576 7436
A book entitled, "Mobile Phones and Public Health - Myth and Reality" edited by Ravi V.S.
Prasad and published by Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi, 2014 was launched by Dr.
Michael Repacholi, Ex-head of the EMF Project of the World Health Organisation (WHO) at
Press Club, Mumbai on Dec. 2, 2013.
On Jan. 9, 2014, there was a full page advertisement of the book in Hindustan Times and
Bombay Times of India. My immediate reaction was, “Full page advertisement of a book will
cost lots of money, who is paying for it?”. I have never seen a full page advertisement of any
book in a national newspaper. However, after reading the content of the advertisement, I
could guess that cell operators and their associates are behind this, who are trying to create
confusion in the minds of people and giving them false assurance that they are safe from high
cell tower radiation.
I read the book and found my name has been mentioned several times in the book. I am not a
movie star or a cricketer or politician or business tycoon or Gandhiji (most sought out
people/names), then why my name has appeared at 12 places in a book of 132 pages? Lots of
questions started floating in my mind:
What prompted the editor to compile this book?,
What prompted various authors to write chapters of the book and what are their
Why book was launched by Dr. Michael Repacholi and who paid for his trip to India, why he
was introduced by COAI people in the press club?,
Why spend so much money on a full page advertisement in major newspapers? and so on.
I started reading the brief description about the editor and various authors and also carried out
Google search. I noted that some of them are associated with cell phone/tower industries in
one or other way, and some of them have never worked in the areas of microwaves, antennas,
microwave heating, biological effects, etc., “So what makes them experts to write the
chapters in the book?”
One thing which came out loud and clear about "Why they love/hate me so much" because I
have written report on "Cell Tower Radiation", which was submitted to Secretary, DOT in
Dec. 2010, came out with two newsletters, conducted workshops and given lectures to create
awareness about "Cell phone/tower radiation hazards and solutions". Obviously, these are not
liked by cell phone/tower industry people due to their business interest. They and their
associates and beneficiaries had been writing/telling at various forums in the past that there
are no evidence of any health hazards due to cell phone/tower radiation. After WHO reported
Cell phone as possibly carcinogen (Class 2B) on May 31, 2011, some of these people now
state that there are no concrete evidence of health hazards. People should understand that "no
concrete evidence" does not mean "no evidence".
Most of the places, the book has shown only one side of the coin or even part of one side of
the coin, which is pro cell operators and also tried to defame me and my credibility and
completely ignored several health hazards reported in 1000's of scientific papers. Through
this document, I want to show other side of the coin, so that people will get complete picture.
Let people see both sides of the coin and then decide what is the truth.
The book entitled "Mobile Phones and Public Health - Myths and reality", is edited by Ravi
V.S. Prasad, who has also written "Foreword", Chapter 8 and "Afterword". It is collection of
articles written by several people. It starts with Foreword, followed by eight chapters, and
ends with Afterword. It also includes several Annexures.
BACKGROUND OF EDITOR AND CONTRIBUTORS OF THE BOOK
Let us start with Ravi V.S. Prasad, editor of the book, who has also written "Foreword". The
following site gives details about him, which quotes, "Since 1995, Ravi Visvesvaraya’s
articles in the [Hindustan Times], Telegraph, Financial Express, and [Indian Express], and his
appearances on CNBC and Jain Television, have been instrumental in spurring the growth of
India’s telecommunications sector, and several favorable government policies can be credited
to his lobbying."
It is clear from the above that Ravi V.S. Prasad is a lobbyist for telecom sector. Hence,
he decided to be editor of this book, which consists of articles favoring telecom industry.
First chapter is written by Dr. Vasant Natarajan, Professor, Dept. of Physics, IISc
Bangalore. His research interests and activities are: High-resolution spectroscopy; Absolute
frequency measurements; Quantum optics; Hyperfine-structure measurements; Laser cooling
and trapping of atoms; Search for electric dipole moment using laser-cooled Yb atoms as a
test of time-reversal symmetry violation; Ion trapping and its use in quantum computation;
Optical tweezers and trapping of single RBCs.
Second chapter is written by Prof. Susanta Sen, Univ. of Calcutta. His research areas are:
Quantum and Optoelectronic Devices, OEIC, Instrumentation, VLSI Design. Third chapter
is written by Dr. K.S. Parthasarathy, Former Secretary, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.
It is obvious that all the above three contributors do not have experience in the areas of
microwaves, antennas, microwave heating, biological effects, etc., so what makes them
an expert to write a chapter in this book.
Chapter 4 is written by Michael Repacholi, Ex-WHO, EMF project, 1995 till June 2006. He
was also Founding Member and Chairman of ICNIRP. A Google search reveals his role and
industry support, which are summarized as follows:
"Just months after leaving his post as the head of the EMF project at the World Health
Organization (WHO), Mike Repacholi is now in business as an industry consultant. He
admits Interference from the Industry at the World Health Organisation EMF Project. Not
only did Repacholi control the WHO EMF project from its inception, but its main source of
funding was Industry. Repacholi arranged for the industry money to be sent to the Royal
Adelaide Hospital in Australia, where he used to work. The funds were then transferred to the
WHO. Norm Sandler, a Motorola spokesman, told that, “This is the process for all the
supporters of the WHO program.” At the time, Motorola was sending Repacholi $50,000
each year. That money is now bundled with other industry contributions and sent to Australia
by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF), which gives the project $150,000 a year.
Funding summary for the International EMF Project (July 2006 – June 2007) states that the
INCOME of $249,682 came from various Governments and $529,820 from Others. The
“Others” is almost entirely sourced from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and hence from
Industry. The indirect funding arrangement was terminated after Repacholi's departure from
With the source of WHO EMF Project funding exposed, Repacholi's role in the WHO EMF
Project explained and his continuing role of roving ambassador for Industry, isn't it about
time that people ignore Repacholi and the WHO EMF Project reports (earlier than 2007) that
industry representatives often quote?"
Chapter 5 is written by A J Swerdlow, and others. Google search reveals "Prof. A J
Swerdlow holds shares in the telecom companies Cable and Wireless Worldwide and Cable
and Wireless Communications and his wife holds shares in the BT group, a global
telecommunications services company".
Chapter 6 is written by Dr. Jack Rowley, Senior Director, GSM Association. He represents
GSM industry and will try to influence and present the views, which are suited to the industry
than to the people.
Chapter 7 is written by Dr. Bhavin Jankharia, Radiologist. It appears that he does not have
experience in the areas of microwaves, antennas, microwave heating, biological effects, etc.,
so what makes him an expert to write a chapter in this book.
Thus, some of the contributors are associated with cell phone/tower industries in one or other
way and some of them have never worked in the areas of microwaves, antennas, microwave
heating, biological effects, etc., so they are not the right experts to write about hazards of cell
phone/tower radiation. Let us see what they have written, how they are misleading the people
by giving partial truth and conveying the message that all is well, whereas in reality, extreme
precautions and safety measures are required to use cell phone technology safely.
COMMENTS ON RADIATION ISSUES COVERED IN THE BOOK
Since many things are repeated by authors in various chapters, I have summarized my
comments under various sub-headings to avoid repetition.
Comparison of Sun radiation versus cell tower radiation
They compare sun radiation with cell tower radiation and say sun radiation density is 1000
, which is thousands of times larger than cell tower radiation density of 0.1 W/m
Hence cell tower radiation is not harmful. They have also written that if you place a container
of water outdoors, it will not boil no matter how long it is exposed to sunlight.
It is agreed that if one places a container of water outdoors, it will not boil no matter how
long it is exposed to sunlight. However, if the same container of water is kept inside a
microwave oven, it will boil in a few minutes. Thus, even though sun intensity of 1000W/m
cannot boil the water, yet 500W of microwave power can boil the water in a few minutes.
Even 1/10th of this power will boil the water in less than an hour, and even 1/100th of this
power (i.e. 5W) will boil the water in less than a day. There is a different mechanism of
heating. In case of microwave oven operating at a frequency of 2450 MHz, water molecules
vibrate at a speed of 2.45 billion times per second, which creates friction and leads to heating.
In many countries, frequency of 915MHz is also used for industrial microwave heating.
Sun exposure is not continuous whereas microwave radiation due to cell tower radiation is
24x7. People do not stand in the sun for hours and clothes act as protective shielding from
sun. People who do sun bathing for long hours have reported sun tanning, skin burning and
even skin cancer. Sun radiation causes heating from outside to inside. The skin of human
body acts as an insulator from sun and as the temperature increases, skin will either feel the
burning sensation or starts sweating. In addition, air breeze takes away the heat. Whereas,
microwave radiation from cell phone and cell tower penetrates the skin and at a frequency of
900 MHz, water (including blood, fluid, etc.) molecule vibrate at a speed of 900 million
times per second, which creates friction, damages DNA and also leads to heating. This
heating is from inside to outside and the heat is trapped inside the human body with no
escape through the skin. Also, affect of microwave radiation is cumulative in nature and the
harmful effects are noticed after a few months to a few years depending upon the intensity of
Human body consists of 70% liquid and brain contains 90% liquid. When cell phone and cell
tower radiation of GSM900 impinges on human body, the water (including blood, fluids, etc.)
inside the body vibrate at a speed of 900 million times per second, which creates friction.
This friction damages the DNA and if damage to DNA is greater than DNA repair, it initiates
mutation and cancer.
Comparison of Ionizing radiation versus Non-Ionizing radiation of cell phone/tower
The authors, cell operators and their associates have been repeatedly saying/writing/speaking
at various forums that Ionizing radiation (UV Rays, X-Rays, Nuclear) can break the bond
due to its higher frequency and hence higher energy, whereas cell phone/tower radiation has
much lesser frequency and hence lower energy, which cannot break the bond and hence
cannot damage DNA or cause cancer.
It is agreed that ionizing radiation (UV Rays, X-Rays, Nuclear) has higher frequency and
hence higher energy, which can break the bond and cause significant damage to the human
body, including cancer. However, the claim is not correct that one cannot get any mutation
(or damage) in the DNA (biological reaction) due to cell phone frequencies, which is non-
ionizing radiation. Even though microwave frequency is less, which implies less energy due
to the equation Energy E = hxf, where h is Planck's constant and f is frequency. However, all
the world's phenomenon cannot be explained by a single equation of physics. Energy is also
defined as E = power x time, which is easily understood and experienced by people. For
example, standing for longer time in the sun, one will feel more heated, so time is important.
Also, standing in the sun during noon and evening for the same time, one will feel more
heated during noon because sun intensity is more (in other words, power is more). In both the
above cases, only E = hxf will give same value, and hence cannot explain the phenomenon,
so one has to use E = power x time. It is unfortunate that only first equation is used to
explain and emphasize the view-points by totally ignoring the second equation. Is it lack of
knowledge or they trying to confuse people by making statements, which are favorable to
I will like to quote Dr. Martin Blank of Columbia University, past president of the Bio-
electromagnetics Society, "These physicists are thinking about what they know well—heating
effects on matter - but it's clear they need to start spending time with the biologists! And they
should certainly not be opining on this subject until they have read the science on the
biological effects of EMF at non-thermal exposures." For more details, please see:
There are several references given in my report submitted to Secretary, DOT in Dec. 2010.
Also, large number of references are given in Bio-Initiative Report 2012
(www.bioinitiative.org). On Page 47 of this 1479 pages report, it is mentioned, "In twenty-
four technical chapters, the contributing authors discuss the content and implications of about
1800 new studies. Overall, these new studies report abnormal gene transcription (Section 5);
genotoxicity and single-and double-strand DNA damage (Section 6); stress proteins because
of the fractal RF-antenna like nature of DNA (Section 7); chromatin condensation and loss of
DNA repair capacity in human stem cells (Sections 6 and 15)".
ICNIRP - Funding Questioned by People
India had adopted ICNIRP (the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation
Protection) Guidelines in 2008. ICNIRP is an NGO, whose funding has been questioned by
large number of people. Google search words as "ICNIRP funding" leads to several
The following paragraph is taken from the site:
"It should be noted that ICNIRP is not a transparent organization. It has never disclosed the
sources of its funding nor the procedures for the selection of its members. ICNIRP was
established by Mike Repacholi, who has long had financial ties to both the telecom and
electric utility industries."
One can see website of Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor, Environmental & Resource
Studies, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, Canada, at: http://www.magdahavas.com. She
has uploaded several reports, videos, etc. showing adverse effect of cell phone, cell tower and
wireless radiation. One can see "Conflict of Interest: the Wireless Industry and ICNIRP" at:
Most of the ICNIRP Guidelines are suited to the industry and hence widely publicized by
them. India adopted 1/10th of ICNIRP Guidelines from Sep. 1, 2012, which implies safe
radiation density of 450 milliWatts/m
for GSM900, however, these are still very high. For
24x7 exposure, safe radiation density should be less than 1milliWatts/m
WHO reported Cell phones as “Possible Human Carcinogen” (Class 2B) in May 2011
The authors, cell operators and their associates make fun of WHO (World Health
Organization) Class 2B classification of cell phones and made statements that cell phone is as
dangerous as eating pickles and drinking coffee.
Let me ask, how many times people eat pickles in a day, may be, maximum 2 to 3 times; how
many times people drink coffee, may be maximum 2 to 5 cups of coffee per day. Similarly,
using cell phones for up to 10 to 30 minutes may be safe depending upon SAR value of the
cell phone. Interphone study released in May 2010 reported 5,117 brain tumor cases and
stated that people who use cell phones for 30 minutes per day over a duration of 8 to 10
years, have doubled to quadrupled chances of getting brain tumor, and that's why it was
classified as Class 2B. WHO did not classify it as Class 3 or Class 4, which implies no
evidence. Use of cell phones is a personal choice but what about people who live in the
vicinity of cell towers, they are exposed to the radiation 24x7.
According to Dr. Anthony Miller, who was on the IARC committee, the accumulated
evidence is now strong enough to suggest RF fields really should be classified as Class 2A
A study published in September 2013, “Case-control study of the association between
malignant brain tumors diagnosed between 2007 and 2009 and mobile and cordless phone
use” by Hardell et al also confirmed previously reported results showing an association
between cell phones and malignant brain tumors, suggesting RFs from cell phones may play
a role in both the initiation and promotion of cancer.
Another study by Hardell et al, published in December 2013 showed that the evidence
available suggests that RF-EMF exposure from mobile (and cordless) phones should be
regarded as an IARC Class 1 human carcinogen. Alasdair Philips of Powerwatch (U.K.) says,
“The criteria on strength, consistency, specificity, temporality, and biologic gradient for
evidence of increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma were fulfilled.”
Thus, stronger evidences are emerging and scientists are urging WHO that RF fields
really should be classified as Class 2A or “probable carcinogen” or even Class 1 or
Non-Conclusive versus Conclusive evidences of health hazards
The authors, cell operators and their associates say there are no conclusive evidences of
health hazards due to cell phone and cell tower radiations.
Earlier, they used to say "there is no evidence" but after large number of scientific papers
reported adverse health hazards, now they have started saying, "there is no conclusive
evidence". Do they want millions of people to get affected before they accept, "it is
conclusive" just like cigarette industry?
Various contributors have quoted studies and reports, which mention there are no health
hazards but why they have ignored thousands of papers stating there are health hazards to the
people, birds, animals, plants, trees, etc. Please see the following link:
The following text is taken from the front page of the link:
When it comes to EMF issues, one of the most frequently heard phrases is "There is no
evidence to support EMFs having health effects" or simply "There is no conclusive
We believe that this is completely wrong; there is an enormous body of evidence out there,
but public and even academic awareness seems to be very poor. Therefore, we will be
presenting a list of papers and ORs which either show serious effects or are considered
important papers on the subject which we have collected over the years. This page will be
regularly added to.
P This study has found effects from the exposure or radiation category
N This study has found no effects from the exposure or radiation category
- This study has offered important insights or findings but is neither a positive or null finding
The Bio-Initiative Report 2012 is prepared by 29 scientists and health experts from 10
countries and was uploaded in Jan. 2013 to create awareness. It is an update of Bio-Initiative
Report 2007, which was published by Bio-Initiative Working Group that looked at more than
2,000 peer reviewed studies documenting bio-effects and adverse health effects from EMF
exposures. They recommended safe radiation density of 1 milliwatts/m
for outdoor and 0.1
for indoor continuous exposure.
Bio-Initiative 2012 assessed 1800 new research papers (from 2006 to 2011) and mentioned
that Bio-effects are clearly established and occur at very low levels of exposure to
electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation. Even at 0.03 milliwatts/m
have reported headaches, concentration difficulties and behavioral problems in children and
adolescents; and sleep disturbances, headaches and concentration problems in adults.
Cell phone/tower industry criticized the report citing other reports and references. However,
according to me, Bio-Initiative Reports of 2007 and 2012 are the most authentic reports on
this subject, giving references of 3800 research papers, written by more than 1000 scientists,
reviewed by equally large number of experts and published in the prestigious journals.
Scaremongering Reports versus Awareness about Health Hazards
On Page 13 of the book, it is written, "Most of the scaremongering reports in the media have
been spearheaded by Professor Girish Kumar of the Indian Institute of Technology,
Creating awareness to the people about possible health hazards is important. I had submitted
my report on "Cell Tower Radiation", to Secretary, DOT in Dec. 2010. It contained 30 pages
of report and nearly 200 scientific/technical references. Also, gave presentation to Inter-
Ministerial Committee (IMC) at Delhi in Oct. 2010. IMC committee members interacted with
various stake holders (scientists, doctors, concerned citizen group, cell operators and their
associates, etc.), went through several scientific/technical references and noted several health
hazards, and finally came out with a report in Jan. 2011. They recommended reduction of
norms to 1/10th of ICNIRP Guidelines, but even this is very high for 24x7 exposure. I
conducted two workshops on "Cell Phone/Tower Radiation Hazards and Solutions" at IIT
Bombay on Nov. 20, 2011 and July 9, 2012. It was attended by various scientists, doctors,
concerned citizens, telecom industries and their associates. I have also given lectures to create
awareness about "Cell phone/tower radiation hazards and solutions". Later on, I came out
with two newsletters on "Cell Phone/Tower Radiation Hazards and Solutions" in 2013, where
I have given several reported cancer cluster cases of people living in the vicinity of cell
towers, DOT Guidelines not sufficient to protect people, Global Studies, etc. Obviously,
these are not liked by cell phone/tower industry people due to their business interest.
COMMENTS ON SOME OF THE ANNEXURES IN THE BOOK
In Annexure I, WHO Questions & Answers dated Sep. 20, 2013 states:
Q: What are the health risks associated with mobile phones and their base stations?
A: This is a question which WHO takes very seriously. Given the immense number of people
who use mobile phones, even a small increase in the incidence of adverse effects on health
could have major public health implications. Because exposure to the radiofrequency (RF)
fields emitted by mobile phones is generally more than a 1000 times higher than from base
stations, and the greater likelihood of any adverse effect being due to handsets, research has
almost exclusively been conducted on possible effects of mobile phone exposure.
It is very important to note that according to WHO, "RF fields emitted by mobile phones is
generally more than a 1000 times higher than from base stations", which implies base station
radiation is 1/1000th of mobile phones. I have measured radiation density of cell phones in
the Antenna Lab at IIT Bombay, the max. average value is less than100 milliwatts/square
meter, when cell phone is in the talk mode. So, base station radiation should be 100/1000 =
0.1 milliwatts/square meter. So, WHO answer implies that any adverse effect are less likely
for cell tower radiation less than 0.1 milliwatts/square meter. According to me and Bio-
Initiative report, less than 0.1 milliwatts/square meter is safe. However, in India, we have
adopted 450 milliwatts/square meter for 24x7 exposure.
Annexure VI includes statement of President, Delhi Medical Association that "Radiation
from the mobile towers poses no threat to health.....WHO, which comes out fact sheets from
time to time". It is unfortunate that he has ignored Bio-Initiative report 2012 and 1000's of
scientific papers reporting health hazards due to cell phone/ tower radiation. Due to high
radiation, people living in the vicinity are experiencing several health problems, such as,
sleep disorder, headache, lack of concentration, memory loss, eyes and ears problems, joint
problems, cardiovascular problems, miscarriage, infertility, cancer, etc.
Guideline of the Austrian Medical Association for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF
related health problems and illnesses adopted on 3rd March 2012 in Vienna are:
Irrespective of the ICNIRP recommendations for acute effects, the following benchmarks
apply to regular exposure of more than four hours per day.
High-frequency electromagnetic radiation (as power flow density)
≥1 mW/m2 - very far above normal
0.01-1 mW/m2 - far above normal
0.001-0.01 mW/m2 - slightly above normal
≤0.001 mW/m2 - within normal limits
The benchmarks listed are intended to be applied to individual types of radiation, e.g. GSM,
UMTS, WiMAX, TETRA, radio, TV, DECT or WLAN, and refer to peak levels.
Annexure VII includes statement of 24 IIT/IISc Professors on Indian Standards on EMF.
They have themselves mentioned, "some of our work has been funded by various government
agencies and by telecom operators.... have also been independent board members of these
companies." There are 8 Telecom Centers of Excellence (TCOE), which are primarily funded
Aircel at IISc Bengaluru
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) at IIT, Kanpur
Bharti Airtel at IIT Delhi
Idea Cellular at IIM Ahmedabad
Reliance Communications at IIT Madras
Tata Teleservices at IIT Bombay
Vodafone Essar at IIT Kharagpur
RailTel at IIT Roorkee
The telecom companies provide a major share, 90%, of the funding to TCOEs. At IIT
Bombay, Bharti Telecom has given US$ 1Million and Tata Teleservices has agreed to pay
Rs. 12 crores and approximately half of that amount has been received and balance amount
will come in a few years. Similarly, other TCOEs receive crores of rupees of funding from
the industry. Many of these professors have been working in Industry sponsored Telecom
Centers of Excellence. and some of them have been board members of telecom companies, so
their view-points support DOT norms, which are beneficial to telecom industry. Also,
majority of them have worked on baseband, signal processing, network protocol, etc. and
have not worked on microwaves, antennas, microwave heating principle, biological effects,
etc. So, people have to ask these professors, what makes them an expert to write such
statement, what studies they have carried out, how much funding they have received
from the telecom operators, why they ignored 1000's of papers stating there are health
hazards due to overuse of cell phones and higher cell tower radiation, and so on.
(NOTE: I know many of these IIT Professors and some of them are my friends. They have
done great academic and research work and have contributed immensely in imparting
knowledge to the students and contributing towards the growth of the country. However, it is
unfortunate that they issued the statement, which is favorable to the telecom industry and
ignored health hazards associated with high cell tower radiation, which is affecting people,
birds, animals, plants, trees, etc. I had no choice but to issue this document as overuse of cell
phones and high cell tower radiation concerns health of the people and environment, which is
more important from humanity point of view).
My daughter, Neha Kumar, has a company named, "NESA Radiation Solutions Pvt. Ltd",
which gives radiation shielding solutions to protect people from the harmful effects of cell
tower radiation. If Govt. adopts better radiation norms, which will compel cell operators to
reduce the transmitted power, then who will need the shielding solutions?
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