Fears of radiation from using mobile phones have long haunted many of us.
These fears have been compounded by various research papers that claim to validate theories of radiation risks. However, a group of scientists have compiled a book to dispel these fears.
Prof Michael Repacholi, former coordinator of the electromagnetic field project at the WHO, was in the city on Tuesday to release the book, Mobile Phones and Public Health- Myths and Reality.
Scientists, including IISc professor Vasanta Natarajan, professor Susanta Sen of Calcutta University and Dr Jack Rowley, senior director, research and sustainability, GSMA Public Policy Department, have contributed to the book.
While noting that a risk to heavy users of mobile phones cannot be ruled out, Repacholi said people had preconceived notions about the risks of radiation. “The hours of usage are always exaggerated by people who are diagnosed with cancer. They have a psychological tendency to draw a connection between their disease and radiation. It just shows more research needs to be done especially for children,” he told reporters.
A study conducted by Indian Agency for Research on Cancer has not found enough evidence to prove radiation causes head cancer. The International Committee for Non Ionising Radiation has also concluded that not enough evidence exists to prove extensive usage of mobile phones causes brain tumours in adults. These results were also backed by the WHO, Repacholi noted.
He dispelled the notion that switching handsets prevented the risk of radiation.
Repacholi claimed reports by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration about mobile phones attracting lightening were false as they were not made of metal.