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   Friday, February 22, 2019
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It's confirmed, mobile phones cause health hazard


Mobile phones, once a luxury and now a necessity, pose some serious health risks, which the common man is ignoring and is pushing himself towards certain fatal problems. To name a few are, neurological problems, memory loss, poor concentration, disturbance in the functioning of various parts of body. Not only that, the radiation coming from the towers set up for the networking of cell phones, is a big risk for the locality nearby as when exposed to the radiation, leads to hazards. Researchers also say that the amount of radiation emitted from the towers in a day is equivalent to putting one’s body in an oven for 19 minutes.

The eight-member committee including representatives from the health ministry, department of biotechnology and member secretary, DoT (Department of Telecommunication), has recommended that mobile phones not abiding by the standard levels of specific absorption rate (SAR) - a measure of the amount of radiofrequency energy absorbed by the body while using a phone -- should be barred.

The committee, who led the study on hazards of mobile phones, also noticed that the ill effects are evident on nature as well and can be seen in the reduced number of fauna around us. Disappearance of butterflies, squirrels and birds are all the aftermath of the radiations.

Presently India follows the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNRIP) guidelines for radiation, which allows a radiation rate of 9.2 watt per sq meter to be emitted. The report suggests that the level should come down at least by one-tenth so that the environment is not affected. At the same time it clearly states that the safe limit for our health is 1000 times less than even the recommended limit.

Continuous use of cell phone causes heating and most of the heating occurs on the surface of the head, causing its temperature to increase by a fraction of degree. The brain thus disposes this access heat by increasing the local blood flow which increases the body temperature. When there is an increase in the body temperature, the whole mechanism goes haywire.

When mobile phones were introduced, it was to make and receive calls. With the advancement in technology, the market is flooded by multi utility phones and so has increased the demand. People in order to “stay-connected” to the world are in the habit of using multiple applications through the cell phone and have become an unavoidable part of their life.

To remain connected to the world, use of cell phones cannot be ignored. However, the study suggests children and pregnant women should strictly avoid overuse of mobile phones and rather should use hands free technologies in order to reduce the contact of mobile phones with head.

But the question remains, will cellular companies take initiatives for better public health or continue to exploit the vulnerable masses by luring them into the ‘feel-good’ world of excess mobile usage?

Write to d-sector  |  Editor's Note

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Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

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