An “Expert Committee to Study the possible Impacts of Communication Towers on Wildlife including Birds and Bees” was constituted on 30th August, 2010 by Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India.
The review of existing literature shows that the EMRs are interfering with the biological systems in more ways than one and there had already been some warning bells sounded in the case on bees and birds, which probably heralds the seriousness of this issue and indicates the vulnerability of other species as well. Despite a few reassuring reports, a vast majority of published literature indicate deleterious effects of EMFs in various species. The window of frequency range and exposure time required to make measurable impacts would vary widely among species and unfortunately we do not have any such data available for most of our free-living floral and faunal species in India. There is an urgent need to focus more scientific attention to this area before it would be too late.
Microwave and radiofrequency pollution appears to constitute a potential cause for the decline of animal populations and deterioration of health of plants and humans living near radiation sources such as phone masts. Studies have indicated the significant non-thermal long-term impacts of EMFs on species, especially at genetic level which can lead to various health complications including brain tumours (glioma), reduction in sperm counts and sperm mobility, congenital deformities, Psychiatric problems (stress, ‘ringxity’, sleep disorders, memory loss etc.) and endocrine disruptions. However similar aspects are yet to be studied among animal populations. Pollution from EMRs being a relatively new environmental issue, there is a lack of established standard procedures and protocols to study and monitor the EMF impacts especially among wildlife, which often make the comparative evaluations between studies difficult.
Moreover, there are no long-term data available on the environmental impacts of EMRs as of now. Well-designed long-term impact assessment studies would be required to monitor the impact of ever-increasing intensities of EMRs on our biological environment. Meanwhile the precautionary principle should prevail and we need to better our standards on EMF to match the best in the world. Studies on impact of Cell phone tower radiation on Birds and wildlife are almost nonexistent from India. There is an urgent need for taking up well designed studies to look into this aspect. Available information from the country on the subject of EMF impacts is restricted to few reports from honey-bees. However, these studies are not representative of the real life situations or natural levels of EMF exposure. More studies need to be taken up to scientifically establish if any, the link between the observed abnormalities and disorders in bee hives such as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).