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India puts on hold approval of Vodafone Hutchison Essar bid, if it falls through where will the
India Created: 23 Mar 2007
A decision on approving Vodafone’s $11.1 billion (£5.7 billion) bid for control of Hutchison Essar was deferred yesterday by Indian regulatory authorities.
Sources in India had indicated that the Foreign Investment Promotion Board could give the go-ahead to the Vodafone deal after a meeting yesterday.
However, the board, whose clearance is necessary for Vodafone’s acquisition of Hutchison’s 67 per cent stake in the venture to proceed, has scheduled further talks next week instead.
Approval from the board marks the final hurdle for Vodafone in its ambitious bid to seize control of India’s fourth-largest mobile operator.
The British group, which has agreed to acquire companies that control 67 per cent of Hutchison Essar, has already overcome fierce competition for the stake and threatened legal action from Essar, which has now agreed to become its joint venture partner. Under Indian investment rules, foreign direct investment in the telecoms sector is capped at 74 per cent.
Hutchison, whose position in the venture Vodafone will take, directly holds 52 per cent. A further 15 per cent is held by two Indian partners — companies linked to Asim Ghosh, the managing director of Hutchison Essar, and Analjit Singh.
Hutchison secured approval from Indian authorities for its shareholding in the venture last summer. Parties involved in the Vodafone deal appear to be confident that it will get the go-ahead.
Last week Arun Sarin, the Vodafone chief executive, said that the company was in “compliance with the FDI [foreign direct investment] norms of India”.
He said that the group had supplied all necessary data to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. Accusations that Vodafone was the actual owner
of equity held by Mr Ghosh and Singh, were “preposterous”, Mr Sarin said.
The board is believed to have asked Vodafone, Hutchison and Essar to explain details of their holdings. It has also sought opinions from bodies including the Department of Telecoms over whether the shareholding structure of Hutchison Essar falls within the legal limit.
New markets are targeted
Flushed with the success of its India acquisition, Vodafone is eyeing further opportunities in other emerging markets.
Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia are target areas for the British mobile giant as it seeks to offset slowing growth in Western Europe.
Investors effectively gave the go-ahead for such deals with their positive reaction to the Hutchison Essar acquisition.
The mobile group is keen to secure a majority stake in Polkomtel, the Polish telecoms company. It already has a 20 per cent stake in Polkomtel.
Deals in the Middle East, where many cash-rich operators are fighting for assets, look unlikely.
22-03-07 Elizabeth Judge, Telecoms Correspondent
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Source: Agnes Ingvarsdottir from The Times Online

Cell phone tower radiation may be killing plants and animals
India Created: 13 Mar 2007
Chandigarh, March 12: Ever wondered where the butterflies, some insects and birds like sparrows have vanished? Well, your constantly ringing cell phones could be responsible for this.

A study conducted by three departments of Panjab University has found that cell phone towers are the dominating source of electromagnetic radiations in environment in the city and this could lead to diseases in plants and animals.

The study was conducted by Centre for Environment and Vocational Studies, Department of Botany and Department of Zoology from December 2005 to September 2006. Dr V P Sharma, Dr R K Kohli, Dr H P Singh, Dr D R Batish and Dr Upma Bagai were involved in the study.

It was found that there are 199 mobile towers in the 52 sectors and industrial areas in the city. Of these, 74 per cent are present in the Southern sectors and the remaining in the northern ones. The measurement of radiations was done at 100 metres, 200 metres and 300 metres with the help of RF Field Strength Meter at heights ground, 4 feet and 5-6 feet level.

Dr Kohli says the electromagnetic radiations generate heat. Due to this, the microorganisms present in the soil near it would be killed. This in turn harms those organisms which feed on them. It disturbs the ecological cycle.

The towers continuously transmit radiations even when nobody is using a cell phone. In the city, the maximum radiation content was found in Sector 46. It was 97,926 micro watt/square metre. The minimum of 564 micro watt/square metre was in Sector 1. Radiations were found to be maximum at 5-6 feet and minimum at ground level.

Prof Kohli says a petition has been filed by a Gujarat-based NGO in the Supreme Court, saying the maximum permissible limit should be less than 10 micro watt/square metre.

Another conclusion of the study is that though the power density of the electromagnetic radiations is less than the recommended safe levels, even at this level, diseases can be induced.

Related news:
National Geographic: "Buzz Kill: Wild Bees and Flowers Disappearing, Study Says"
State: "Scientists ask: Where are all the bees?":
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Source: Ludhiana Newsline ,Khushboo Sandhu, 12 Mar 2007

Cell users throw safety measures to the winds
India Created: 5 Mar 2007
AROUND 4,000 Kanpurites are suffering from various ailments because of injudicious use of cell phones, claimed ENT specialist Dr Devendra Lalchandani. Despite repeated horror stories about mobile phones in the media, many locals avoid safety instructions for using cell phones.

According to doctors, cell phones are low power radio devices that transmit and receive radio frequency radiation (at frequencies in the microwave range of 900-1800 MHz) through an antenna which is quite close to the user’s head. Digital systems have recently replaced analogue.

“We have treated number of cases like deafness, ear pain, insomnia, nausea and headache due to excessive use of cell phones. Medically, we cannot prove that these symptoms were due to mobile phone use, but excessive cell phone use is certainly one of the reasons behind the ailments,” said Dr Lalchandani.

Experts were of the view microwaves might induce or promote cancer and the symptoms associated with their use included sleep disorder, memory loss, headache, nausea and dizziness.

Change in the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, electroencephalographic activity and blood pressure have also been reported. The validity of many of these findings is uncertain, as are the mechanisms for such actions.

Even so, experts said there was sufficient anecdotal evidence to justify further research and taking a precautionary approach to the use of cell phones.

According to director of JK Cancer Institute Dr RK Katiyar, today’s cell phones, with a total power output of about 1 W, are estimated to produce insignificant local heating (equivalent to about a 0.1 degree Celsius in the brain). Although the recommended limits of exposure was similar in the United States, India and western Europe, there was no global consensus. But microwave radiation as negligible as 0.1degree Celsius still posed risk to living systems, he said.
According to Dr Katiyar, limits on exposure for workers had been suggested by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

Dr Katiyar says, “ It is difficult to establish that cancer is caused by the excessive use of mobile phone but it could be one of the reasons. In vitro experiments on cell proliferation, membrane properties, and ion channels are difficult to extrapolate to humans. Although some studies have claimed to show an increase in DNA strand breaks in rats, others have failed to replicate this finding.
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Source: Hindustan Times, 19 Feb 2007

Centre wakes up to radiation hazards
India Created: 23 Oct 2006
NEW DELHI: The government has finally woken up to the health hazards due to mobile telephony. Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC), under the department of telecommunications (DoT), is formulating guidelines on installation of cellular mobile towers and use of mobile phones.

“A lot of reports have come on the adverse impact of electromagnatic waves in microwave range on human health. Therefore, we are formulating guidelines on mobile towers and phones,” said Maya Saxena, a deputy director general of TEC. Mobile towers continuously emit radiation. Some studies have that these radiations cause fatigue, headache, sleep disruption and loss of memory. Mobile telephone industry, however, says that there is no evidence of health hazards due to mobile phones.

“At present, there are no guidelines on mobile handsets and erection of mobile towers. This is a serious issue and the health ministry and the communications ministry should formulate some guidelines,” said B C das, director of Institute of Cytology and Presentive Oncology under the government of India. He explained that when the technologies come to India there are lot of manipulations. Therefore, we do not know whether the final product arriving in India is based on the same guideliens that are stipulated in the US and Europe.

Health hazards of mobile telephony is of interest due to growth in the consumer base. A large number of studies have not found any indication of short or medium term impact on human beings. However, there are some studies that suggest that the microwave radiations cause effect biological tissues in animals resulting in the growth of certain tumors, cell death and increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, there is an indication that microwave radiations may have adverse impact on human health.

“Some studies suggest that radiations can even cause cancer. However, it is not yet confirmed. Such studies are less in number. Most of these studies are conducted in the US and Europe. No laboratory has done any study in India,” said Mr Das.

“Some reports suggest that there are certain neurological effects of radiations if human bodies are exposed to it for a long period. They may also damage DNA. Only long-term studies can confirm this,” said Mr Das.
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Source: The Economic Times, MANOJ GAIROLA, 18 Oct. 2006

Genetic damage in mobile phone users: some preliminary findings
India Created: 23 Jun 2006
A recent study from the department of Human Genetics, Guru Nanak Dev University in India has found a large increase in DNA damage and micronucleated cells in long term users of mobile phones. This is research that should be readily replicatable, as the exposure frequencies and length of exposure are matchable in most European countries.
At the end of the study, involving 24 mobile phone users and 20 controls, 40% of the cells were found to be damaged in the mobile phone users and only 10% were damaged in the control group. Further to this there were 5 times as many micronucleated cells found in the mobile phone users' blood.

The summary was as follows:
"These results highlight a correlation between mobile phone use (exposure to RFR) and genetic damage and require interim public health actions in the wake of widespread use of mobile telephony."
It is a shame that sample size was so small, as whilst the results are undeniably strong it should now be possible to collect a larger number of cases
and controls in the UK to repeat the study. If replicated, this will be a startling addition to the case that mobile phones are causing genuine and measurable negative health effects to the general population.

Gandhi Gursatej, Anita
Department of Human Genetics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar 143 005, India
Correspondence Address:
Gandhi Gursatej
Dept. of Human Genetics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar 143 005
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Source: Powerwatch UK

Genetic damage in mobile phone users: some preliminary findings
India Created: 15 May 2006
.. "These results highlight a correlation between mobile phone use (exposure to RFR) and genetic damage and require interim public health actions in the wake
of widespread use of mobile telephony."
Genetic damage in mobile phone users: some preliminary findings


The impact of microwave (MW)/radio frequency radiation (RFR) on important biological parameters is probably more than a simply thermal one.
Exposure to radio frequency (RF) signals generated by the use of cellular telephones have increased dramatically and reported to affect physiological, neurological, cognitive and behavioural changes and to induce, initiate and promote carcinogenesis. Genotoxicity of RFR has also been reported in various test systems after in vitro and/or in vivo exposure but none in mobile phone users. AIMS: In the present study, DNA and chromosomal damage investigations were carried out on the peripheral blood lymphocytes of individuals using mobile phones, being exposed to MW frequency ranging from 800 to 2000 MHz.

METHODS: DNA damage was assessed using the single cell gel electrophoresis assay and aneugenic and clastogenic damage by the in vivo capillary blood micronucleus test (MNT) in a total of 24 mobile phone users. RESULTS: Mean comet tail length (26.76 ± 0.054 mm; 39.75% of cells damaged) in mobile phone users was highly significant from that in the control group. The in vivo capillary blood MNT also revealed highly significant (0.25) frequency of micronucleated (MNd) cells. CONCLUSIONS: These results highlight a correlation between mobile phone use (exposure to RFR) and genetic damage and require interim public health actions in the wake of widespread use of mobile telephony.

How to cite this article:
Gandhi G, A. Genetic damage in mobile phone users: some preliminary findings. Indian J Hum Genet 2005;11:99-104
Indian Journal of Human Genetics
Gandhi Gursatej, Anita
Department of Human Genetics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar 143 005, India

Correspondence Address:
Gandhi Gursatej
Dept. of Human Genetics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar 143 005
Source: Frans van Velden

High Court admits petition against company
India Created: 14 Jan 2006
Opposition to cell phone towers mounting in Kerala - Kochi

High Court admits petition against company

• Plea against tower on health grounds
• Says electromagnetic radiation from towers poses health hazards
• Says the business group has not cared to inform the general public
• Says no guideline on erection of telecommunication towers

Kochi : Opposition to installing huge cell phone towers near residential areas seems to be mounting if one go by the two writ petitions filed before the Kerala High Court.
In their petition, M.K. Sabu, a doctor, and two others opposed the move of Bharti Televenture Limited to set up a huge telecommunication tower near their residence on health grounds.
According to them, the business group had not cared to inform the general public about the hazardous consequences of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) on their health.
The petitioner said that recent studies held in the country and abroad pointed out the highly dangerous consequence of electromagnetic radiation on human life.
The radiation emanating from large telecommunication towers would expose human beings living within the magnetic field to fatal diseases like cancer, embryo-disruption and changes in DNA structure.
The petitioner said that the people living near power lines and telecommunication towers showed non-significant but elevated rate of diseases or mortality. Larger occupational groups and military personnel who were exposed to radar showed significantly elevated rates of disease and death.
The petitioner said that the gravity of dangers of EMR was widely discussed in view of the mobile phone proliferation. While mobile phones had come to stay as part of the modern way of life, the scientific community had warned against the negative effects of radiation.
The petitioner submitted that internationally acknowledged experts in the field of radiation field (RF) research had shown that RF of the type used in digital cellular antennas and phones could have critical effects on cell culture, animals and people working in laboratories and had found epidemiological evidence of serious health effects at non-thermal levels, where intensity of the radiation was too low to cause heating.
The petitioners said that the technological inputs used to achieve development should not be allowed to undermine the safety and security of human lives.
Even in the United States, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) had rejected the claims of the telecommunication industry that there was no danger to human life from electromagnetic radiation.
According to the petitioners, they were not against the progress in the telecommunication industry. However, the authorities concerned must bear in mind the philosophy of sustainable development elucidated by the Supreme Court and the constitutional guarantees of the citizen.
Unlike other pollutants, radiation ill effects could not be seen, or heard or smelt. The respondents owed a duty to residents in the locality to inform them about the possible hazards of electromagnetic radiation caused by the tower. The petitioner said that there were no guidelines on the erection of telecommunication towers. The petition was admitted by the High Court.
Kerala - Kochi
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Source: Staff Reporter The Hindu 130106

Hazards of Electromagnetic Fields for children
India Created: 19 Oct 2005
Hazards of Electromagnetic Fields for children

Though technologic developments bring social and economic benefits to the society, the health consequences of these are difficult to predict and
manage. With rapid advances in electromagnetic field (EMF) technologies and communications, children are increasingly exposed to EMFs at an earlier age.
Due to an association between childhood leukemia and exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields they are classified as a "possible human carcinogen." Concerns about the potential vulnerability of children to radio frequency (RF) fields have been raised, as their developing nervous systems are
more susceptible. In addition, their brain tissue is more conductive, RF penetration is greater relative to head size, and they will have a longer lifetime of
exposure than adults.

To evaluate information relevant to children's sensitivity to ELF and RF EMFs, the World Health Organization held an expert workshop in Istanbul,
Turkey, in June 2004. A recent article, published in the August issue of Pediatrics, is based on discussions from the workshop, and suggests that the
exposure to toxic agents with mutagenic and carcinogenic potential, such as ionizing radiation, cancer chemotherapeutic drugs, and some chemicals,
poses risks for the induction or progression of cancer during embryonic and childhood development. Ionizing radiation given at large doses is one of the
few known risk factors for childhood leukemia and brain cancer.
Radio and television broadcasts, mobile phones and base stations, and other communications infrastructure produce RF fields.
The evidence that induced electric fields might affect development of the nervous system and other tissue was discussed at the workshop in some
detail. On the other hand, exposure to RF radiation induces heating in body tissues and imposes a heat load on the whole body.
Hyperthermia during pregnancy can cause embryonic death, abortion, growth retardation, and developmental defects; animal studies
indicate that the development of the CNS is especially susceptible.

Regarding the long-term health effects of mobile-phone use, it is suggested that low-cost precautionary measures are appropriate, especially because some
of the exposures are close to guideline limits. Children’s RF exposure can be reduced by restricting the length of calls or by using hands-free devices to
keep mobile phones away from the head and body.

Because of widespread use of mobile phones and relatively high exposures to the brain among children and adolescents, investigation of the potential
effects of RF fields on cognition and the development of childhood brain tumors was considered particularly urgent.
The article concludes with a recommendation for additional research and the development of precautionary policies in the face of scientific uncertainty.
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Apex court seeks explanation from mobile operators
India Created: 29 Sep 2005
Apex court seeks explanation from mobile operators
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday sought an explanation from major mobile phone operators over the construction of mobile phone towers in the country after an NGO pointed out the health hazards they could pose.

The apex court directed all the parties concerned to submit their explanations within the next four weeks.

The direction came in the wake of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Karma Jyot Seva Trust, an NGO, over the possible health hazards arising out of the mobile phone towers.

"These towers are a direct threat to people due to electromagnetic radiation (EMR), from them, which cause diseases like cancer.
And we are happy that the court took note of our concern and passed the direction," said Sheetal Agarwal, the lawyer for the NGO.

"The PIL was filed after comprehensive research on its effect on the human body and had sought the intervention of the court for laying down certain guidelines or an appropriate scientific mechanism governing the installation of these towers," Agarwal added.

All leading mobile phone operators in the country, including state-run players like Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, have to file their explanation. The PIL was filed Aug 16.

Electromagnetic radiation poses health problems like sleep disturbance, dizziness, heart palpitations, headache, blurry sight, nausea, pressure on the breast, cramps, high blood pressure and cancer.
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Source: Posted on 26 Sep 2005 # IANS

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