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Times of India
11 June 2008
New Delhi, India.
By Kounteya Sinha

The Union health ministry has commissioned India’s first large–scale study on the effects of radio frequency radiation (RFR) from mobile phones on humans.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) deputy director general and lead investigator Dr R.S. Sharma, the study will also see whether excessive mobile use can cause cancer or increase the spread of cancerous cells in those already affected.

Dr J. Behari from JNU’s School of Environmental Sciences recently conducted a pilot study on 20 rats, who were subjected to two hours of radio frequency radiation (RFR) for 35 days in a sample chamber. “We found significant double strand DNA break in sperm cells that could mutate and cause cancer, significant lowering of sperm count and reduction in testis size. The human study would be pathbreaking”, Dr Behari told TOI.

The study will recruit 4,000 subjects, who will be divided into five groups heavy exposure male group (1,000 men who talk on the mobile phone for more than four hours a day), moderate exposure male group (1,000 men who speak for more than two hours but less than four), control group (1,000 men who don’t use a cellphone), 500 heavily exposed women and a 500–strong female control group.

Dr Sharma said, “We will also calculate the specific absorption rate (SAR) (how much RFD is absorbed by our body when we speak on the mobile) and the power density (power generated by the phone both inside and outside our head when we talk). This will help quantify the magnitude of damage caused by mobile radiation”.

The 4,000 subjects will undergo a series of clinical tests, blood and semen analysis, polysomnography, MRI, ECG, blood chemistry, gynecological and infertility examinations and DNA tests.

At present, India has 250 million cellphone users. By the end of 2010, this figure is estimated to rise to 500 million.

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