The Tehelka Radiation Survey
#13
One thing is starting to bother me about our attack on Tehelka. Are we sure that the numbers provided by them are wrong? The last two articles from Tehelka seem to be a bit more specific about the numbers.

Quote:"According to international norms accepted by India, the safe level of EMR is 600 mW/msq. Anything above this is deemed hazardous to human and animal health. The analyser lets out a buzzing sound when it detects radiation exceeding the highest level it’s designed to measure: 4000 mW/msq. When the machine does this, you know you are in an ‘extreme anomaly’ zone."

From here: http://www.tehelka.com/story_main45.asp?...n_city.asp

I'm not able to fact check this, but the fact that they have been so strident about the numbers bothers me. What if they are indeed right? Can someone fact check this?
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#14
After doing some preliminary internet searches I'm starting to think there's something extremely suspicious going on here.

Google "EMR 600 mW/msq" (without the quotes) and every single radiation story that pops up is related to the Tehelka story. Replace the "mW/msq" part with "milliwatt", and same result. Now, if that figure is really what the ICNIRP guidelines suggest as the upper limit for something that so many people are worried about, why the hell is no one else talking about it? Obviously many other countries must be concerned about it, and there are many more paranoid conspiracy theorists who have internet access in the US and Europe. Where are all these websites quoting those numbers?

Of course, this is just about the absence of evidence, but given what we know about the internet it is a very telling case of absence of evidence. We need to know what the actual ICNIRP guidelines are.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#15
(18-Jun-2010, 02:51 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:"According to international norms accepted by India, the safe level of EMR is 600 mW/msq. Anything above this is deemed hazardous to human and animal health. The analyser lets out a buzzing sound when it detects radiation exceeding the highest level it’s designed to measure: 4000 mW/msq. When the machine does this, you know you are in an ‘extreme anomaly’ zone."

From here: http://www.tehelka.com/story_main45.asp?...n_city.asp

I'm not able to fact check this, but the fact that they have been so strident about the numbers bothers me. What if they are indeed right? Can someone fact check this?

This wikipedia article has some reference values. Unless my math has gone bad, I can't reconcile the wiki values and the value given by Tehelka's article. The wiki says:

Quote:1998: The ICNIRP standard uses the limit of 450 μW/cm2 at 900 MHz, and 950 μW/cm2 at 1900 MHz. The limit is frequency dependent.

That translates to 4500 mW/msq - 9500 mW/msq (milli watts/square meter).

I also found this paper from ICNIRP. Table 7 (Page 18 in PDF reader) says that for frequencies between 400 - 2000 MHz, exposure limit is frequency/200 W/m2. Frequencies used by GSM fall in that range. So the safe limits of power lie between 2000 mW/m2 - 10000 mW/m2.

Again, my math may be off. I can't believe that Tehelka got the numbers so wrong.

EDIT: Vaibhav said the same thing in his post earlier:

Quote:Referring to the ICNIRP guidelines (which is mentioned as your reference in your article), from table 4,6&7 we know;
SAR limit for general public: 0.08W/kg between the range of 10MHz-10GHz
Power density limits for general public: 2 - 10 W/m^2 (2000 - 10000 mW/m^2)between the range of 10MHz-300GHz
Please refer me to the page in the ICNIRP guidelines where it says the threshold is 600mW/m^2
SNAFU is not mentioned anywhere in your article.
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#16
http://nirmukta.com/2010/06/15/fact-chec...formation/

murali says:
July 7, 2010 at 10:09 am
dear sajith,

our family havent given up cell phones. But we r trying to avoid cell phones as much as possible. We renewed our bsnl land line 2 years ago and we are using it quite frequently rather than cell phones. Are the americans and europeans fools? They dont allow any towers in the residential areas as far as i know. The towers are erected there in the outskirts of residential areas. Many studies are showing the dangerous effects of cell phones and cell towers. Any new technology how convenient it may be it will have its own disadvantages also. One has to accept this. You mean to say that a few hundred or few thousand people have to diewith leukamia or cancer before establishing yhe ill effects of cell tower radiation? You want to test the ill effects of cell towers on humans? Iam sorry. I dont want to be one of them. And why dont you talk of the frequency which who prescribed. Are any companies adhering to those standards? No no no.

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murali says:
July 7, 2010 at 10:46 am
dear sajith if you are willing to see the proof of studies of cell phone radiation, please visit liveindia.com and see the rat brain difference before and after cell phone radiation
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#17
http://www.liveindia.com/news/radiation.html
Cell Tower Radiation
by Rajesh chopra LiveIndia.com
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought responses from the Centre and the telecom department on a PIL describing the communication towers put up at prominent locations by mobile phone service providers as health hazards, because they emit electromagnetic radiation.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justices C K Thakker and R V Raveendran issued notices to a host of ministries — including home, defence, communications and information & broadcasting — on the PIL filed by an NGO, Karma Jyot Seva Trust.
Appearing for the NGO, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said the constant electromagnetic radiation from the communication towers could lead to cancer and also cause neurological, cardiac, respiratory and ophthalmological disorders.

Stating that there were no government guidelines on the placement of communication towers, the NGO cited a US law prohibiting erection of transmitter towers near schools and residential areas because of the health risk posed
by them.

With the massive proliferation of mobile phone users in the country, the service providers were putting up transmitters even on dilapidated buildings and thus posing danger to the residents, it said.
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#18
Ajita, I used the same pdf to check for the power density thresholds. Its distressing to see that Tehelka continues to lie about the thresholds. Found this article on the WHO website http://www.who.int/docstore/peh-emf/publ...fs183.html If our current understanding of science is not correct there should have been an overwhelming amount of evidence which supports tehelka's claim. Whatever research articles they provided us with not even one has been replicated in other labs.
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#19
http://www.scientificamerican.com/articl...R_20101006

Baseball legend Yogi Berra is said to have fretted, “I don’t want to make the wrong mistake.” As opposed to the right mistake? A mistake that is both wrong and right is the alleged connection between cell phone use and brain cancers. Reports of a link between the two have periodically surfaced ever since cell phones became common appendages to people’s heads in the 1990s. As recently as this past May 17, Time magazine reported that despite numerous studies finding no connection between cell phones and cancer, “a growing band of scientists are skeptical, suggesting that the evidence that does exist is enough to raise a warning for consumers—before mass harm is done.”

Their suggestion follows the pre cautionary principle, which holds that if something has any potential for great harm to a large number of people, then even in the absence of evidence of harm, the burden of proof is on the unworried to demonstrate that the danger is not real. The precautionary principle is a weak argument for two reasons: (1) it is difficult to prove a neg a tive— that there is no effect; (2) it raises unnecessary public alarm and personal anxi ety. Cell phones and cancer is a case study in the pre cautionary principle misapplied, because not only is there no epidemiological evidence of a causal connection, but physics shows that it is virtually impossible for cell phones to cause cancer.

The latest negative findings men tioned by Time come out of a $24-mil lion research project published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (“Brain Tumour Risk in Relation to Mobile Telephone Use”). It encompassed more than 12,000 long-term regular cell phone users from 13 countries, about half of whom were brain cancer patients, which let researchers compare the two groups. The authors concluded: “Overall, no increase in risk of glioma or meningioma [the two most common types of brain tumors] was observed with use of mobile phones. There were suggestions of an increased risk of glioma at the highest exposure levels, but biases and error prevent a causal interpretation. The possible effects of long-term heavy use of mobile phones require further investigation.”

This application of the precautionary principle is the wrong mistake to make. Cell phones cannot cause cancer, because they do not emit enough energy to break the molecular bonds inside cells. Some forms of electromagnetic radiation, such as x-rays, gamma rays and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, are energetic enough to break the bonds in key molecules such as DNA and thereby generate mutations that lead to cancer. Electromagnetic radiation in the form of infrared light, microwaves, television and radio signals, and AC power is too weak to break those bonds, so we don’t worry about radios, televisions, microwave ovens and power outlets causing cancer.

Where do cell phones fall on this spectrum? According to phys i cist Bernard Leikind in a technical article in Skeptic magazine (Vol. 15, No. 4), known carcinogens such as x-rays, gamma rays and UV rays have energies greater than 480 kilojoules per mole (kJ/mole), which is enough to break chemical bonds. Green-light photons hold 240 kJ/mole of energy, which is enough to bend (but not break) the rhodopsin molecules in our retinas that trigger our photosensitive rod cells to fire. A cell phone generates radiation of less than 0.001 kJ/mole. That is 480,000 times weaker than UV rays and 240,000 times weaker than green light!

Even making the cell phone ra di a tion more intense just means that there are more photons of that energy, not stronger photons. Cell phone photons cannot add up to become UV photons or have their effect any more than microwave or radio-wave photons can. In fact, if the bonds holding the key mole cules of life together could be broken at the energy levels of cell phones, there would be no life at all because the various natural sources of energy from the environment would prevent such bonds from ever forming in the first place.

Thus, although in principle it is difficult to prove a negative, in this case, one can say it is impossible for cell phones to hurt the brain—with the exception, of course, of hitting someone on the head with one. QED.
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