With smartphones becoming more and more popular every day, and more people jumping to the bandwagon of owning phones, we have seen an aggressive expansion by telecom players in the world in order to serve usable connectivity options to these phones. This generally has resulted in more telecom players and partnerships in order to set up mobile towers to fight: a) a growing population b) a proportionately patterned growth in the number of phones and smart peripherals that require cellular connectivity.
With more mobile towers coming up, the fear of radiation from these towers have lead to plenty of NOCs being rejected which are required before the towers can be set up. The fear that the radiation emitted by these cell phone towers is potentially harmful has lead to several debates on numerous occasions and at numerous sites. Several times courts have been moved, there have been numerous reports published around the topic and the outcome or conclusion has always been the same, that radiation from these telecom towers is too diminutive to cause any sort of a significant medical damage.
Radiation from any given body is measured in terms of eV or electronvolts. An eV is the energy gained or lost by an electron moving across a potential difference of 1 volt. In fact, if you convert it to joules, one eV comes to be about 1.602176565(35)×10−19 of 1 Joule. Every single body that exists transmits some radiation. Some radiations have a higher frequency, which generally means they have a higher penetrating power and therefore may potentially be harmful. Such radiation is called ionising radiation and is commonly seen in UV Rays, gamma Rays, microwaves, x-rays etc. X-Rays for example, have their frequencies of around 100-1000eV while UV rays are in the region of about 40-50eV. RF waves that originate from these mobile towers, for instance, are about one millionth of 1eV, which is the visible light in itself. This implies that you are more likely to damage cells in your body by exposing yourself to light that staying close to a mobile tower. Numerous researches have been carried out in order to establish the harmful effects if any to mobile tower radiation, but it turns out your smartphones, where radiation is measured in SAR value, is potentially more damaging.
As for the international standards, the FCC has listed 580-1,000 microwatts per square cm as a safe limit. As a convention, India has permitted only one tenth of the maximum safe radiation limit for the cellular towers and a strict penalty is levied if they go beyond. So far, the only case where a defaulter was punished was at Siliguri’s Prakesh Nagar, where increasing the height of the tower solved the problem.
So, if you are worried about radiations from cellular towers, you should definitely read up more on the subject, because the only way to quench thirst is to drink more and more water. But, what eventually you will find out by reading a lot of judgement orders and studies is that there are plenty of other things that are more harmful, including the sunshine itself. So, if you have time, please go ahead but if you are someone for a quick summation, then no, there is nothing to worry here.