Chandigarh, Oct 29 (IANS) A 39-year-old acoustic engineer who worked in a television studio for eight hours a day and six days a week for eight years went to see an ENT doctor after he felt the ground turn under his feet. He was also constantly ill at ease.
The symptoms did not have a pattern and the doctor was not able to pinpoint a diagnosis. The engineer was asked to go on a month-long vacation in the countryside -- sans most of the technology around him. When he returned, the symptoms had disappeared.
"In my area (of work), I see a lot of patients, especially young ones, who come up with complex symptoms. These symptoms were not so common earlier. I have been in the medicine field since 1985. I am talking about things (symptoms) of the last 10 years, which I did not see in my last 20 years before that," Dr Vikas Nehru, an ENT (ear, nose, throat) surgeon by profession and training, told IANS in an interview here.
Nehru, who is now a Dubai-based specialist and worked as an Associate Professor at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here, has highlighted the growing instances of health issues related to the use of technology -- especially the electro-magnetic (EM) radiation coming from the devices -- in his recently released book 'Global Wireless Spiderweb'.
"There are certain medical problems which we ourselves had also not seen earlier. We had no diagnosis and treatment. I researched a lot in this field. These problems are related to things that happened particularly in the last 10 years, though it started in the later part of the 20th century," Nehru said.
"We are increasingly exposed to an invisible web of radiation all around us through the wireless devices we love so much. With the advent of cloud computing and the Internet of Things set to launch more than a trillion smart devices, the radiation is only going to get worse," he warned.
In his book, Nehru breaks down the implications of a paradigm shift that has changed "invention from a child of necessity to a mother of greed".
Explaining what science tells us about the web of radiation, Nehru said: "We are seeing more brain tumors, higher incidences of infertility, more cases of electro-hypersensitivity, and numerous other disorders. Even more concerning, radiation is damaging the human DNA."
"Huge corporations continue to fund their own studies offering a false counter-narrative to make people feel safe. They also employ lobbyists to deflect attention from public health to what's in their own best interests. The governments are letting the usage of wireless technology to be implemented without realizing the health consequences of it," he said.
Many institutions have looked at EMF and have not painted the dire predictions that the doctor says could be the outcome. A UN body cautioned against too much use of mobile phones, but definitive studies on adverse effect of EMF are not available.
Nehru says the "invisible waves are becoming denser and denser by the day. This is not good. Nobody is even talking about the bad effects of this radiation. People only talk about air pollution. There is not even a mention of electro-magnetic pollution.
Actor Juhi Chawla, who has read Nehru's research and recently launched his book in Mumbai, is involved with a NGO that is creating awareness about the harmful effects of EM radiation.
Nehru pointed out that to strengthen the network of mobiles and WiFi, mobile towers are being increased and boosters are being installed to ensure that signals reach all corners.
"A new layer has been added to our atmosphere by human activity. Starting from 1G and 2G which mostly used wired technology, we are now using 3G and 4G technologies which carry signals into space. The 5G technology, which we are looking forward to, can be very harmful," he said.
Mobile phones have come under attack from many NGOs and activists, but several studies have pointed to only mild effects.
(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at email@example.com)