January 04, 2007

Public Advocacy Seminar On Cellular Infrastructure, A Socially Responsible Approach

A Public advocacy seminar on Cellular Infrastructure, a socially responsible approach was arranged in Pearl Continental Hotel, Lahore on 19th December 2006 in collaboration with Nokia Pakistan by M/s Telenor Pakistan.  Dr. Michael Repacholi, Former Coordinator, Radiation & Environmental, Health Unit World Health Organization, Geneva; Dr.Jack Rowley, Director research & Sustainability GSM Association and Dr. Jafar Keshvari,(Nokia) were the main speakers.  The participants discussed and deliberated the issue at length and addressed the following questions raised during the Seminar;

  • Does cellular infrastructure cause radiation?

  • Do mobile phones cause radiation?

  • If yes, is the radiation dangerous?

  • In what ways can public safety be ensured?

  • What are international standards?

  • What are international policies?

  • What can the industry do?

  • What can the government do?

  • What is the final word on this debate?


 Following are the main conclusions;


1&2)   Yes, cellular infrastructure as well as mobile phone cause radiations.  However       

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEChas developed compliance   

standards for mobile device radiations from base stations and maximum level  

recommended by the International Ttelecommunications Union (ITU) and the

European Union.  As per the guidelines of ICNIRP( International Commission

for Non-Ionizing   Radiation Protection) maximum exposure limit for handsets

is 2 W/kg and mobile sets are operating far below than the exposure limit.


3)        Based on the conclusions of the extensive independent research by ICNIRP,   

 there is no convincing scientific evidence of a health risk associated

 with either   the proper use of mobile phones or with living near a base station.


4)       Public safety can be ensured if following conditions are complied;

                                 i.            All the mobile companies follow ICNIRP standards for

                                               base stations as recommended by World Health


                                 ii.           Cooperative approach is adopted to respond public



                                 iii.          Policy guidelines and standard framed.


5)        As per the recommendations of World Health Organization countries have to

          adopt international standards already laid down by (ICNIRP).

         International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has developed compliance standards

         for mobile devices and base station antennas which are as under;





Typical Max. Level

Average urban, base stations

41 to 61 V/m

0.1-0.3 V/m

Average urban, TV and radio

28 V/m

0.4-0.7 V/m

WiFi access point (20 cm)

61 V/m

3.9 V/m

DECT cordless phone (20 cm)

58 to 61 V/m

11.5 V/m

Baby monitors (20 cm)

28 to 61 V/m

8.5 V/m


6)         As per the recommendations by WHO international standards (ICNIRP) are being followed around the world. Countries like Australia, UK, USA, Germany has established their own standards in light of WHO as well as ICNIR standards.


7)         Socially responsible companies in this industry must recognize the need to address peopleâ??s misperceptions of mobile phone towers or mobile phones being health hazards. The industry and the community must base its decisions on robust and internationally accepted scientific research. The myths must go, since they donâ??t help anyone.


8)         Government may initiate dialogue involving all the stakeholders formulate Policy Guidelines and set standards in the light of WHO and ICNIRP covering all the aspects of mobile infrastructure. As informed by the Minister IT, the Ministry of IT has conducted through study on the possible hazardous effects of the base stations. The report is being finalized and will be presented to the Cabinet soon.


9)         Based on the deliberation it is safely said that there is no convincing scientific evidence of health risk associated with either the proper use of mobile phones or with living near a base station. Current scientific research concluded that general public exposure of mobile phones and base station in normal circumstances does not cause adverse health effect and all regulation in this regard should be based on international standards