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Kendriya Vidyalaya Port Trust, Kochi

English Words Of Indian Or Hindi Origin

Bandana
A bright yellow or red silk handkerchief with diamond shaped spots left white while dyeing. The word is derived from the Hindi word badhnu, which means to tie-dye.

Batik
A textile dyeing technique in which areas not to be dyed are coated with wax producing an irregular, mottled motif or pattern.

Bazaar
Indian and Middle Eastern term for a marketplace or a group of shops; in the West it refers to a charity sale of trinkets and other items.

Bungalow
Derived from the Bengali word for hut,bangala, it refers to an Anglo-Indian one-story house surrounded by a veranda.

Calico
A white or small-patterned cotton cloth first imported from Calicut, India. Fine cotton material was originally mentioned by Marco Poli in the 14th century.

Catamaran
A raft or float made from wood tied together, is derived from kattumaram, a Tamil term.

Charpoy
A lightweight cot or bed, common throughout India. Usually a simple structure, it can sometimes be an elaborate creation, carved and painted.

Chili
The pod of the red pepper (capsicum). The plant came to India from South America.

Chint or Chintz
The overall-patterned, often flower-covered, block-printed cotton fabric that has become synonymous with English-style decorating. Originally from the Sanksrit chitra, means variegated or speckled.

Chutney
A spicy relish often made from mangoes, chili peppers, or tomatoes. The word is derived from the Hindi catni.

Curry
A spicy dish or meat, fish or vegetables cooked with ground spices, red pepper and turmeric.

Dhoti
Fabric used for the long loincloth traditionally worn by Hindu men. It is wrapped around the body, with the end passed between the legs and tucked into the waist.

Durbar
Originally the court of an Indian prince, now a ceremonial audience chamber.

Dinghy
A rowing boat in East India, which is derived from the Bengali word dingi. Sometimes, a canoe carved from a tree trunk. Now, the term refers to small naval or civilian boats.

Dungaree
A coarse cotton fabric from East India that was traditionally worn by the poor. It is woven with two or more threads together in the warp and weft. The coarse varieties were used for sails for native boats and tents.

Dhal
Dried split peas and other dried beans or lentil, that are a mainstay of Indian cuisine.

Dhurrie
A flat woven cotton carpet which is one of the oldest and most common type made in India.

Dolly

Adapted by the English from the Hindi word dali. It refers to a gift or presentation of fruit, flowers, vegetables or sweets, sometimes arranged in a basket or tray. The garnder would offer his daily array of produce to the owner in this way.

Guru
Sanskrit means Teacher. Used in English as an expert in the field.

Hookah
Hubble-bubble or pipe for smoking water-filtered marijuana or a mixture of tobacco, spices, molasses and fruit.

Jodhpurs
Riding breeches that fit close to the leg from the knee to the ankle. These are worn with a low pair of boots. They are modelled after similar trousers worn in Jodhpur in Rajasthan.

Juggernaut
A tremendous force. The word is derived from the name of a Hindu deity Jagannath, Lord of the Universe, worshipped as Vishnu at the shrine of Puri in Orissa. The image, an amorphous idol, is annually taken in procession on a huge cart called a rath.

Kedgeree
In English parlance a dish of recooked fish, often served for breakfast. Although fist was originally served with it, in India kedgeree refers to a mixture of rice cooked with butter and dhal, spices and shredded onion.

Khaki
An adjective meaning dusty or dust-coloured. The word is derived from the Persian khak. In English, a brownish-yellow cotton cloth used for uniforms. Worm by some of the Punjab regiments at the Siege of Delhi; common in the British army generally during the campaigns of 1857-58, and subsequently in the American army.

Madras
A colourful plaid-patterned textile made of silk or cotton, or both, and coloured with vegetable dyes. It takes its name from the southern city of Madras.
Mantra Sanskrit, Shloka.

Mogul
A magnate or important person. The word comes from the Persian word: mughul, or Mongol. An Indian Muslim descended from one of the several conquering groups of Mongol, Turkish and Persian origins.

Muslin
The term now refers to the thin, semi-transparent cotton cloth that was once made in Mosul in Iraq for the European markets and referred to as musolins by Marco Polo in 1298.

Mulligatawny
The well-known soup is derived from the Tamil words: milaku tanni, meaning pepper-water, and originate in Madras.

Paisley
An irregular, tear shaped pattern derived from the stylised mango that decorated the Kashmiri shawls, which were later imitated by the Scottish town of Paisley.

Pajamas
“Leg clothing” in Hindi. A pair of loose trousers tied at the waist. Such clothing is worn by many people in India, including women of various classes, by Sikh men and by most Muslims of both sexes.

Papadum
A thin, flat, deep fried wafer usually made from split peas or potatoes. It can also be made from any kind of pulse or lentil flour, seasoned with asafetida. In Mumbai, it is called popper cake; in Madras, poppadam and in north India, it is called papad.

Pundit
A scholar or man of knowledge, from the Hindi pandit. Strictly, it refers to a man learned in Sanskrit lore.

Punkah
A large, portable fan or cloth-covered rectangular frame hung from the ceiling which was pulled by a rope to fan the room. The first versions were portable and made from the palmyra leaf.

Purdah
A Hindi word from the Persian parda, an area in the house reserved for women and screened from the sight of men by a curtain.

Polo
The game of hockey on horseback originated in Persia. It was played in the extreme west of the Himalayas till it was adopted in Calcutta around 1864, and quickly spread across the lower provinces, and to Kashmir, where summer visitors took it up. It soon made its way to England where it was first played in 1871, and later, to the US.

Sarong
An old Indian form of dress, later used only in the south. A body cloth or long kilt, tucked in at the waist and generally of coloured silk or cotton. It is the chief form of dress in Java and Malaya, today.

Sherbet
In Indian usage, a drink of sugar and water or syrup. It is also used for drinks made with a mixture of wine or liquor.

Shikara
A long shallow boat used for transporting passengers, or wares including fruits and flowers for sale to the houseboats on the lakes of Srinagar, Kashmir.

Verandah
An open, covered gallery that encircles bungalows and other Indian houses.

The following English words have roots in various Indian languages (with the majority derived from Sanskrit). anaconda, aryan, atoll, avatar, bandana, bangle, banyan, bazaar, brahmin, bungalow, calico, cashmere, catamaran, chai, cot, chintz, cheetah, cheroot, chutney, coolie, cummerbund, curry, cushy, dinghy, dungaree, fakir, ghat, ginger, grieve, guru, indigo, jodhpurs, juggernaut, jungle, jute, karma, khaki, loot, mandarin, mango, mantra, mogul, mongoose, mughal, mullah, musk, mulligatawny, mynah, nabob/nawab, nirvana, orange, pajamas, pariah, paisley, pepper, punch (the drink), pundit, seersucker, serendipity, shampoo, sugar, swami, swastika, teak, thug, verandah, -ware (the suffix), yoga, cheetah.

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What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a technology that uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with internet access. This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralizing storage, memory, processing and bandwidth.

A simple example of cloud computing is Yahoo email, Gmail, or Hotmail etc. You dont need a software or a server to use them. All a consumer would need is just an internet connection and you can start sending emails. The server and email management software is all on the cloud (internet) and is totally managed by the cloud service provider Yahoo, Google, etc. The consumer gets to use the software alone and enjoy the benefits. The analogy is, ‘If you need milk, would you buy a cow?’ All the users or consumers need is to get the benefits of using the software or hardware of the computer like sending emails etc. Just to get this benefit (milk) why should a consumer buy a (cow) software /hardware?

Cloud computing is broken down into three segments: “application” “storage” and “connectivity.” Each segment serves a different purpose and offers different products for businesses and individuals around the world. In June 2011, a study conducted by VersionOne found that 91% of senior IT professionals actually don’t know what cloud computing is and two-thirds of senior finance professionals are clear by the concept, highlighting the young nature of the technology. In Sept 2011, an Aberdeen Group study found that disciplined companies achieved on average an 68% increase in their IT expense because of cloud computing and only a 10% reduction in data center power costs.

[from Wikinvest.com]
[Image courtesy: http://www.computerservicesforlife.com/%5D

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What is Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)?

Evaluating the need for a functional and reliable system of School-Based Evaluation, CBSE introduced the CCE Scheme for doing a holistic assessment of a learner which also includes co-scholastic area of Life Skills, Attitudes and Values, Sports and Games as well as Co-Curricular activities. The CCE scheme aims at addressing this in a holistic manner. A number of National Committees and Commissions in the past have consistently made recommendations regarding reducing emphasis on external examination and encouraging internal assessment through School-Based Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation. Therefore, the CCE scheme brings about a paradigm shift from examination to effective pedagogy.

Highlights of the CCE Scheme

1. Scheme of the Board

1.1 Senior Secondary Schools

a) There will be no Class X Board Examination w.e.f. 2011 for students studying in CBSE’s Senior Secondary schools and who do not wish to move out of the CBSE system after Class X.

b) However, such students of Senior Secondary Schools who wish to move out of the CBSE system after Class X (Pre-University, Vocational course, Change of Board, etc.) will be required to take the Board’s External (pen and paper written/online) Examination.

c) Further, those students who wish to assess themselves via-à-vis their peers or for self assessment will be allowed to appear in an On Demand (pen and paper/ online) Proficiency test.

Secondary Schools

The students studying in CBSE’s Secondary schools will however be required to appear in Board’s External (pen and paper written/online) Examination because they will be leaving the secondary school after Class X.

1.3 All Schools

1.3.1 The Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) will be strengthened in all affiliated schools with effect from October, 2009 in Class IX.

1.3.2 An Optional Aptitude Test developed by the CBSE will also be available to the students. The Aptitude Test along with other school records and CCE would help students, parents and teachers in deciding the choice of subjects in Class XI.All students of Class X in the current academic year will be taking the CBSE Board’s Class X 2010 Examination. The CBSE will be conducting this Examination. The weightage of the school based assessment will remain the same as per past practice, i.e. 20% each in the subjects of Science, Social Science and Mathematics.

1.3.3 The new Grading system will be introduced at Secondary School level (for Classes IX & X) effective from 2009-10 Academic Session. The details of grading scheme are being circulated in a separate advisory to schools.
How would the CCE Scheme help?

The above steps would help the learners and parents, who are the primary stakeholders of school education, in the following manner:-

a) It will reduce stress and anxiety which often builds up during and after the examination which could have an adverse impact on young students especially in the age group of 13-15 years.

b) It will reduce the dropout rate as there will be less fear and anxiety related to performance.

c) In the past there was practice to often finish the entire syllabus much before time and follow it up with Pre-Board(s) and study leave. Now there will be greater focus on learning rather than teaching to the test.

d) The emphasis on conceptual clarification through experiential learning in the classroom will increase since there will be more time available for transaction of curriculum.

e) It will help the learners to develop holistically in terms of personality by also focusing on the co-scholastic aspects which will be assessed as part of the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation scheme.

f) It is expected to prepare the students for life by making students physically fit, mentally alert and emotionally balanced.

g) The students will have more time on their hands to develop their interests, hobbies and personalities.

h) It will enable the students, parents and teachers to make an informed choice about subjects in Class XI.

i) It will motivate learning in a friendly environment rather than in a fearful situation.

j) It will equip students with Life Skills especially Creative and Critical thinking skills, social skills and coping skills which will keep them in a good stead when they enter into a highly competitive environment later on.

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50 frequently mispronounced words

Fred Astaire drew laughs back in the Thirties with his song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” in which the lovers can’t agree on the pronunciation of words like either, neither, and tomato.

On a personal level, I cringe when I hear someone sound the “t” in often or pronounce pecan with a short “a,” but I have to acknowledge that both these pronunciations are widely accepted alternate pronunciations that can be justified by the spelling.

Alternate pronunciations, however, are a different matter from out-and-out mispronunciations. The latter, no matter how common, are incorrect, either because of the spelling that indicates another pronunciation, or because of what is widely agreed upon to be conventional usage. Word of caution: I’m writing from an American perspective.

Here are 50 frequently mispronounced words. The list is by no means exhaustive, but provides a good start.

1. aegis – The ae in this word is pronounced /ee/. Say EE-JIS/, not /ay-jis/. In mythology the “aegis” is associated especially with the goddess Athene. It is her shield with the Gorgon’s head on it.

2. anyway – The problem with this word is not so much pronunciation as the addition of an unnecessary sound. Don’t add an s to make it “anyways.” The word is ANYWAY.

3. archipelago – Because the word is from Greek, the ch is pronounced with a /k/ sound. Say /AR-KI-PEL-A-GO/, not /arch-i-pel-a-go/.

4. arctic – Note the C after the R. Say /ARK-TIK/, not /ar-tik/.

5. accessory – the first C has a “hard” sound. Say /AK-SESS-OR-Y/, not /ass-ess-or-y/.

6. ask – The S comes before the K. Say /ASK/ not /aks/.

7. asterisk – Notice the second S. Say /AS-TER-ISK/, not /as-ter-ik/.

8. athlete – The word has two syllables, not three. Say /ATH-LETE/, not /ath-uh-lete/.

9. barbed wire- Notice the AR in the first syllable. Say /BARBD/, not /bob/.

10. cache – The word is of French origin, but it does not end with an accented syllable. A cache is a hiding place or something that is being hidden: a cache of supplies; a cache of money; a cache of drugs. Say /KASH/, not /ka-shay/.

11. candidate – Notice the first d. Say /KAN-DI-DATE/, not /kan-i-date/.

12. cavalry – This word refers to troops that fight on horseback. Say /KAV-UL-RY/, not /kal-vuh-ry/. NOTE: Calvary refers the place where Jesus was crucified and IS pronounced /kal-vuh-ry/.)

13. chaos – The spelling ch can represent three different sounds in English: /tch/ as in church, /k/ as in Christmas, and /sh/ as in chef. The first sound is heard in words of English origin and is the most common. The second sound of ch, /k/, is heard in words of Greek origin. The third and least common of the three ch sounds is heard in words adopted from modern French. Chaos is a Greek word. Say /KAY-OS/, not /tchay-os/.

14. clothes – Notice the TH spelling and sound. Say /KLOTHZ/, not /kloz/.

15. daïs – A daïs is a raised platform. The pronunciation fault is to reverse the vowel sounds. The word is often misspelled as well as mispronounced. Say /DAY-IS/ not /dī-is/.

16. dilate – The word has two syllables, not three. Say /DI-LATE/, not /di-a-late/.

17. drowned – This is the past participle form of the verb drown. Notice that there is no D on drown. Don’t add one when using the word in its past form. Say /DROWND/, not /drown-ded/.

18. et cetera – This Latin term is often mispronounced and its abbreviation is frequently misspelled. Say /ET CET-ER-A/, not /ex cet-er-a/. For the abbreviation, write ETC., not ect.

19. February – Just about everyone I know drops the first r in February. The spelling calls for /FEB-ROO-AR-Y/, not /feb-u-ar-y/.

20. foliage – The word has three syllables. Say /FO-LI-UJ/, not /fol-uj/.

21. forte – English has two words spelled this way. One comes from Italian and the other from French. The Italian word, a musical term meaning “loud,” is pronounced with two syllables: /FOR-TAY/. The French word, an adjective meaning “strength” or “strong point,” is pronounced with one syllable: /FORT/.

22. Halloween – The word for the holiday Americans celebrate with such enthusiasm on October 31 derives from “Hallowed Evening,” meaning “evening that has been made holy.” The word “hallow” comes from Old English halig, meaning “holy.” Notice the a in the first syllable and say /HAL-O-WEEN/, not /hol-lo-ween/.

23. height – The word ends in a /T/ sound, not a /TH/ sound. Say /HITE/, not /hith/.

24. heinous – People unfamiliar with the TV show Law and Order: S.V.U. may not know that heinous has two syllables. (The show begins with this sentence: “In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous.”) Say /HAY-NUS/, not /heen-i-us/.

25. hierarchy – The word has four syllables. Say /HI -ER-AR-KY,/ not /hi-ar-ky/.

26. Illinois – As with Arkansas, the final “s” in Illinois is not pronounced. Say /IL-I-NOY/ (and /Ar-kan-saw/, not /il-li-noiz/ or /ar-kan-sas/). NOTE: Some unknowledgeable folks may still be trying to pronounce Arkansas as if it had something to do with Kansas. The pronunciation /ar-kan-zuz/ is waaay off base.

27. interpret – The word has three syllables. Don’t add one! Say /IN-TER-PRET/, not /in-ter-pre-tate/.

28. incident – Something that happens is an “incident.” Don’t say “incidence” when you mean a specific event. There IS a word “incidence,” but it has a different meaning.

29. “irregardless” – See the real word, regardless.

30. jewelry – The word has three syllables. Say /JEW-EL-RY/, not /jew-el-er-y/. The pronunciation /jewl-ry/ is common but not correct, as it removes one syllable from the word.

31. library – Notice where the R comes in the word. Say /LI-BRAR-Y/, not /li-ber-ry/.

32. medieval – The word has four syllables. The first E may be pronounced either short [med] or long [meed]. Say /MED-EE-EEVAL/ or /MEE-DEE-EEVAL/, not /meed-eval/.

33. miniature – The word has four syllables. Say /MIN-I-A-TURE/, not /min-a-ture/.

34. Mischievous – This is the adjective form of mischief whose meaning is “calamity” or “harm.” Mischievous is now associated with harmless fun so that the expression “malicious mischief” has been coined as another term for vandalism. Mischievous has three syllables with the accent on the first syllable: /MIS-CHI-VUS/. Don’t say /mis-chee-vee-us/.

35. niche – The word is from the French and, though many words of French origin have been anglicized in standard usage, this is one that cries out to retain a long “e” sound and a /SH/ sound for the che. Say /NEESH/, not /nitch/.

36. orient – This word has three syllables. As a verb it means to place something in its proper position in relation to something else. It comes from a word meaning “east” and originally meant positioning something in relation to the east. Now it is used with a more general meaning. Say /OR-I-ENT/, not /or-i-en-tate/.

37. old-fashioned – This adjective is formed from a past-participle: “fashioned.” Don’t leave off the ED. Say /OLD-FASHIOND/, not /old-fashion/.

38. picture – There’s a K sound in picture. Don’t confuse picture with pitcher. Say /PIK-TURE/, not /pitch-er/. Pitcher is a different word. A pitcher is a serving vessel with a handle.

39. precipitation – This is a noun that refers to rain or snow, or anything else that normally falls from the sky. As with prescription (below), the prefix is PRE-. Say /PRE-CIP-I-TA-TION/, not /per-cip–i-ta-tion/.

40. prescription – Note the prefix PRE- in this word. Say /PRE-SCRIP-TION/, not /per- scrip-tion/ or /pro-scrip-tion/.

41. preventive – The word has three syllables. A common fault is to add a syllable. Say PRE-VEN-TIVE/, not /pre-ven-ta-tive.

42. pronunciation – This word is a noun. It comes from the verb pronounce, BUT it is not pronounced like the verb. Say /PRO-NUN-CI-A-TION/, not /pro-nounce-i-a-tion/.

43. prostate – This word for a male gland is often mispronounced. There is an adjective prostrate which means to be stretched out facedown on the ground. When speaking of the gland, however, say /PROS-TATE/, not /pros-trate/.

44. Realtor – The word has three syllables. Say /RE-AL-TOR/, not /re-a-la-tor/.

45. regardless – The word has three syllables. Please don’t add an IR to make it into the abomination “irregardless”.

46. sherbet – The word has only one r in it. Say /SHER-BET/ not /sher-bert/.

47. spayed – This is a one-syllable word, the past participle form of the verb to spay, meaning to remove the ovaries from an animal. Like the verb drown (above) the verb spay does not have a D in its infinitive form. Don’t add one to the past participle. Say /SPADE/, not /spay-ded/.

48. ticklish – The word has two syllables. Say /TIK-LISH/, not /tik-i-lish/.

49. tract – Religious evangelists often hand out long printed statements of belief called “tracts.” That’s one kind of “tract.” Houses are built on “tracts.” Then there’s the word “track.” Athletes run on “tracks.” Animals leave “tracks.” Don’t say /TRAKT/ when you mean /TRAK/, and vice-versa.

50. vehicle – Although there is an H in the word, to pronounce it is to sound hicky. Say /VEE-IKL/, not /vee-Hikl/.

51. wintry – Here’s another weather word often mispronounced, even by the weather person. The word has two syllables. Say /WIN-TRY/, not /win-ter-y/.

[From http://www.dailywritingtips.com/%5D
[Image courtesy: http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/cartoon.htm%5D

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Can cellphone towers cause cancer?

Cellular (cell) phones first became widely available in the United States in the 1990s, but their use has increased dramatically since then. The widespread use of cell phones has led to the placement of cell phone towers in many communities. These towers, also called base stations, consist of electronic equipment and antennas that receive and transmit radiofrequency (RF) signals.

How do cellular phone towers work?

Cell phone base stations may be free standing towers or mounted on existing structures, such as trees, water tanks, or tall buildings. The antennas need to be located high enough so they can adequately cover the area. Base stations usually range in height from 50-200 feet.

Cell phones communicate with nearby cell towers mainly through radiofrequency (RF) waves, a form of energy in the electromagnetic spectrum between FM radio waves and microwaves. Like FM radio waves, microwaves, visible light, and heat, they are forms of non-ionizing radiation. This means they cannot cause cancer by directly damaging DNA. RF waves are different from stronger types of radiation such as x-rays, gamma rays, and ultraviolet (UV) light, which can break the chemical bonds in DNA.

At very high levels, RF waves can heat up body tissues. (This is the basis for how microwave ovens work.) But the levels of energy used by cell phones and towers are much lower.

When a person makes a cell phone call, a signal is sent from the phone’s antenna to the nearest base station antenna. The base station responds to this signal by assigning it an available radiofrequency channel. RF waves transfer the voice information to the base station. The voice signals are then sent to a switching center, which transfers the call to its destination. Voice signals are then relayed back and forth during the call.

How are people exposed to the energy from cellular phone towers?

As people use cell phones to make calls, signals are transmitted back and forth to the base station. The RF waves produced at the base station are given off into the environment, where people can be exposed to them.

The energy from a cellular phone tower antenna, like that of other telecommunication antennas, is directed toward the horizon (parallel to the ground), with some downward scatter. Base station antennas use higher power levels than other types of land-mobile antennas, but much lower levels than those from radio and television broadcast stations. The amount of energy decreases rapidly with increasing distance from the antenna. As a result, the level of exposure to radio waves at ground level is very low compared to the level close to the antenna.

Public exposure to radio waves from cell phone tower antennas is slight for several reasons. The power levels are relatively low, the antennas are mounted at high above ground level, and the signals are transmitted intermittently, rather than constantly.

At ground level near typical cellular base stations, the amount of RF energy is thousands of times less than the limits for safe exposure set by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and other regulatory authorities. It is very unlikely that a person could be exposed to RF levels in excess of these limits just by being near a cell phone tower.

When cellular antennas are mounted on rooftops, it is possible that a person on the roof could be exposed to RF levels greater than those typically encountered on the ground. But even then, exposure levels approaching or exceeding the FCC safety guidelines are only likely to be found very close to and directly in front of the antennas. If this is the case, access to these areas should be limited.

The level of RF energy inside buildings where a base station is mounted is typically much lower than the level outside depending on the construction materials of the building. Wood or cement block reduces the exposure level of RF radiation by a factor of about 10. The energy level behind an antenna is hundreds to thousands of times lower than in front. Therefore, if an antenna is mounted on the side of a building, the exposure level in the room directly behind the wall is typically well below the recommended exposure limits.

Do cellular phone towers cause cancer?

Some people have expressed concern that living, working, or going to school near a cell phone tower might increase the risk of cancer or other health problems. At this time, there is very little evidence to support this idea. In theory, there are some important points that would argue against cellular phone towers being able to cause cancer.

First, the energy level of radiofrequency (RF) waves is relatively low, especially when compared with the types of radiation that are known to increase cancer risk, such as gamma rays, x-rays, and ultraviolet (UV) light. The energy of RF waves given off by cell phone towers is not enough to break chemical bonds in DNA molecules, which is how these stronger forms of radiation may lead to cancer.

A second issue has to do with wavelength. RF waves have long wavelengths, which can only be concentrated to about an inch or two in size. This makes it unlikely that the energy from RF waves could be concentrated enough to affect individual cells in the body.

Third, even if RF waves were somehow able to affect cells in the body at higher doses, the level of RF waves present at ground level is very low — well below the recommended limits. Levels of energy from RF waves near cell phone towers are not significantly different than the background levels of RF radiation in urban areas from other sources, such as radio and television broadcast stations.

For these reasons, most scientists agree that cell phone antennas or towers are unlikely to cause cancer.

Studies in people

Very few human studies have focused specifically on cellular phone towers and cancer risk. In the largest study published to date, British researchers compared a group of more than 1,000 families of young children with cancer against a similar group of families of children without cancer. They found no link between a mother’s exposure to the towers during pregnancy (based on the distance from the home to the nearest tower and on the amount of energy given off by nearby towers) and the risk of early childhood cancer.

The amount of exposure from living near a cell phone tower is typically many times lower than the exposure from using a cell phone. About 30 studies have looked at possible links between cell phone use and tumors in people. Most studies to date have not found a link between cell phone use and the development of tumors, although these studies have had some important limitations. This is an area of active research. For more information, see the document, Cellular Phones.

Studies done in the lab

Laboratory studies have looked at whether the types of RF waves used in cell phone communication can cause DNA damage. Most of these studies have supported the idea that the RF waves given off by cell phones and towers don’t have enough energy to damage DNA directly.

Some scientists have reported that the RF waves may produce other effects in human cells (in lab dishes) that might possibly help tumors grow. However, these studies have not been verified. Several studies in rats and mice have looked at whether RF energy might promote the development of tumors caused by other known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents). These studies did not find evidence of tumor promotion. Research in this area continues.

What expert agencies say

The 3 expert agencies that usually classify cancer-causing exposures (carcinogens) — the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — have not classified cell phone towers as to their cancer-causing potential.

According to the World Health Organization:

Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects.

In commenting on cell phone towers near homes or schools, the Federal Communications Commission states:

Radiofrequency emissions from antennas used for cellular and PCS [personal communications service] transmissions result in exposure levels on the ground that are typically thousands of times below safety limits. These safety limits were adopted by the FCC based on the recommendations of expert organizations and endorsed by agencies of the Federal Government responsible for health and safety. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that such towers could constitute a potential health hazard to nearby residents or students.

Do cellular phone towers cause any other health problems?

While high levels of RF waves can cause a warming of body tissues, the energy levels on the ground near a cell phone tower are far below the levels needed to cause this effect. Thus far, there is no evidence in published scientific reports that cell phone towers cause any other health problems.

Can I limit my exposure?

Cell phone towers are not known to cause any health effects. But if you are concerned about possible exposure from a cell phone tower near your home or office, you can ask a government agency or private firm to measure the RF field strength near the tower to ensure that it is within the acceptable range.

What should I do if I’ve been exposed to cellular phone towers?

There is no test to measure whether you have been exposed to RF radiation from cellular phone towers. But as noted above, most researchers and regulatory authorities do not believe that cell phone towers pose health risks under ordinary conditions. If you have additional health concerns, please consult your doctor.

[From the American Cancer Society website]

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Did You Know?

Shampoo was invented in India, not the commercial liquid ones but the method by use of herbs. The word 'shampoo' itself has been derived from the Sanskrit word champu, which means to massage.

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Photo Gallery

Celebrating Azadi 70 yaad karo kurbaani. View more photos here...

Commencement of Sanksrit Week celebration. View more photos here...

Independence Day celebration. View more photos here...

Social Science exhibition. View more photos here...

The student leaders posing with Dr.Uma Sivaraman, Hon'ble Deputy Commissioner, KVS Regional Office, Ernakulam and other dignitaries after the Investiture Ceremony. View more photos here...

Book Highlight



Told in diary form by an irresistible heroine, this playful and perceptive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the May Bird trilogy sparkles with science, myth, magic, and the strange beauty of the everyday marvels we sometimes forget to notice.

Spirited, restless Gracie Lockwood has lived in Cliffden, Maine, her whole life. She’s a typical girl in an atypical world: one where sasquatches helped to win the Civil War, where dragons glide over Route 1 on their way south for the winter (sometimes burning down a T.J. Maxx or an Applebee’s along the way), where giants hide in caves near LA and mermaids hunt along the beaches, and where Dark Clouds come for people when they die.

To Gracie it’s all pretty ho-hum…until a Cloud comes looking for her little brother Sam, turning her small-town life upside down. Determined to protect Sam against all odds, her parents pack the family into a used Winnebago and set out on an epic search for a safe place that most people say doesn’t exist: The Extraordinary World. It’s rumored to lie at the ends of the earth, and no one has ever made it there and lived to tell the tale. To reach it, the Lockwoods will have to learn to believe in each other—and to trust that the world holds more possibilities than they’ve ever imagined.

Book info & cover courtesy: goodreads.com