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  • 10 August, 2022

  • 7 Min Read



The Minister of State for Communications recently claimed that India's high levels of electromagnetic fields have no effect on the environment in a written response to a Rajya Sabha inquiry.

What are Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Emissions?

  • Invisible magnetic and electric fields of force combine to form electromagnetic fields.
  • Differential voltages produce electric fields; the stronger the voltage, the stronger the resulting field.
  • Electric current flows, generating magnetic fields; the bigger the current, the stronger the magnetic field.

Natural Sources of EMF

Despite being invisible to the naked eye, electromagnetic fields are prevalent everywhere in our environment.

The local build-up of electric charges brought on by thunderstorms causes electric fields to form.

Human-Made Sources of EMF

The electromagnetic spectrum comprises fields produced by artificial sources in addition to those produced by natural sources:

  • After a sports injury, X-rays are used to determine whether a limb is fractured.
  • Every electrical outlet produces electricity, which is accompanied by low-frequency electromagnetic fields.
  • Information is transmitted using a variety of higher frequency radio waves, whether it be through radio stations, mobile phone base stations, or TV antennae.


Impacts on People: Several international studies have linked EMF exposure to major health issues like leukaemia, miscarriages, chronic fatigue, immune system deterioration, forgetfulness, melancholy, nausea, and libido loss.

Radars are used for navigation, and weather forecasting emits pulsed microwave radiation that is harmful to the health of the flora and animals that are present around these radars.

Initiatives are taken by the government

According to the government, EMF emissions from mobile towers are non-ionizing radio frequencies with extremely low strength and are unable to have a negative impact on the environment.

The World Health Organization's (WHO) International EMF Project concluded that the exposure limits in the Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines for the protection of human health are also protective of the environment in a 2005 information sheet on the impact of EMF emissions on animals, insects, vegetation, and aquatic life.

The current EMF emission standards for cell towers in India are already ten times stricter (even lower) than the safe limits outlined by ICNIRP and advised by WHO.

To ensure that Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) follow the established standards, including the submission of a self-certificate prior to the commercial start of the Base Transceiver Station (BTS) site, the government has established a well-structured process and mechanism for monitoring any violations.

Up to 10% of BTS Sites are randomly selected each year by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) field units for an EMF audit.

Additionally, DoT fines TSPs whose BTSs are discovered to violate the allowed EMF emission limits.

Additionally, if the emission levels of such non-compliant BTSs are not reduced to the required levels after 30 days, they may be shut down in accordance with the established protocol.


Source: The Hindu

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