Do EMF and mobile tower radiation are harmful? Here’s what experts say

The myths of EMF (electromagnetic field) and mobile tower radiation can be harmful to public health is widespread over the internet. There is no doubt mobile towers, as well as, cell phones emit radiation, however, the emission levels are under the limit according to the TRAI regulations. Do EMF and mobile tower radiation are harmful?


Radiation is emitted from the transmission of radio waves while a human body if exposed to a certain level of radiation can show adverse effects on the health. A radiation is generally of two types – ionizing and non-ionising. Ionizing radiation like gamma rays or X-rays can be extremely harmful to the health while the non-ionising radiation comes from the radio waves emitted from mobile towers and cell phones that tend to produce heat. Radiation that emits from mobile towers and cell phones can only generate thermal effects and they are low energy hence, safe.

In India, the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) limit for public exposure emitting from the mobile phones is at a maximum level of 1.6 W/kg. Any cell phone at or below this SAR level is entitled a safe phone. The international standards limit hasn’t been changed at all in a 15-year duration only because there aren’t any cases or research that have found any effects on public health. The SAR value of a cell phone is labeled on the box, as well as, on the phone.

Here’s a guide on how to find SAR values of your smartphone.

Addressing the participants at a joint conference on ‘Electromagnetic Emissions in Mobile Telephony and its Health Impact’ held on 7th April 2016 at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, said,

“As responsible citizens, it is our duty to understand the importance of this conference. Misplaced concerns of mobile tower radiation could seriously jeopardize India’s path to greatness as seamless mobility could be affected by such unfounded fears. Thousands of research has been done on the subject and so far there is no conclusive evidence to link mobile tower emissions to human health hazards.”.