Monday, October 24, 2011
Cell towers killing sparrows, bees, says MoEF study
Himanshu Kaushik, TNN | Oct 25, 2011, 03.51AM IST
AHMEDABAD: An environment and forests' ministry study has blamed
electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from communication towers for the
declining numbers of sparrows and bees. The study titled 'A possible
impact of communication tower on wildlife birds and bees' said the
radiation decreases egg production in the bees.
A 10-member expert panel headed by Bombay Natural History Society
director Dr Asad Rahmani was asked to study the radiation impact after
the issue was raised in the Lok Sabha in August last year. "We have
suggested that EMR should be recognized as a pollutant given its effect
on wildlife and should be audited regularly," said Wildlife Institute of
India's Dr B C Choudhary, who was part of the panel.
The experts noted a Punjab University's study that said embryos of 50
ggs of house sparrows were damaged after being exposed to mobile
tower radiation for five to 30 minutes. Sparrows exposed to the
radiation suffered from reproductive and co-ordination problems.
They also became aggressive.
In the case of honey bees, the group observed that high radiation
resulted in an unusual phenomenon known as 'colony collapse
disorder' which is characterized by sudden disappearance of a hive's
inhabitants, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers
behind. The vanished bees were never found. Also, the navigational
skills of the bees were affected by high-tension lines.
The panel also took note of a recent study that showed that the worker
bees stopped coming to the hives after 10 days and egg production in
queen bees dropped drastically to 100 eggs per day compared to 350
eggs when a mobile phone with frequency of 900 MHz was kept for
10 minutes in the beehives.