New Delhi, July 2: A new mobile phone accessory called Green8 has opened a can of worms after its promoters claimed it could reduce the hazard of radiation from cellphones.
The Indian Cellular Association, which represents cellphone makers, said it would sue German firm Bauer Biotec and its Indian associates for attempting to malign the cellular industry.
Radiation hazards through prolonged cellphone use is a controversial subject and every now and then, there are so-called definitive studies that claim to either substantiate or debunk the risk. But this is the first time anyone has come up with a product that claims to neutralise it.
Bauer Biotec’s product — a tiny sliver of plastic with a Green8 hologram embossed on it — has to be placed below the battery in the cellphone. There are no electronic wires or copper strips like in a smart card.
The company claimed that the product, which will retail in India at Rs 750, can “harmonise and neutralise” electromagnetic radiation around cellphones. It, however, refused to divulge how the device works, saying it was “a total secret”.
The unsubstantiated claim immediately drew a volley of charges that claimed this was an ingenious scam to rip off unsuspecting cellphone users.
Detractors alleged that the company had tried to deceive reporters covering the launch by claiming that it worked on the principle of ionisation using mathematical calculation that helps balance the various electromagnetic waves radiated by phones. The charade, they said, continued with a mobile user, who was paraded at the briefing, saying he had lost an eye due to radiation and claiming to possess medical records from a well-known hospital in Delhi.
“It is absolutely untrue. I have been using mobile phones for 15 hours a day. We will sue them if they fail to show us that there has been a medical casualty due to the use of mobile phones,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, president of Indian Cellular Association, the apex body of mobile handset companies like Nokia and Motorola in India.
The product has no accreditation from the World Health Organisation or other any medical association. The company also refused to get the device patented since it believes the commercial life of such products is much longer than the 10 years of exclusive use that patenting ensures.
Friedrich J. Bauer, the chairman of the Bauer Biotec Systems of Germany, said: “Why do we need any accreditation from a scientist or a medical association' We can prove that it neutralises the negative electrical waves to make them positive. The system of education undertaken by a scientist cannot help them understand it. It cannot be physically demonstrated but has to be realised the way we feel rejuvenated in mountains.”
“I have been told of cows giving birth to deformed calves in Australia because of radiation from mobile antennas. The radiation from mobile devices not only damages the cells in the human body but also vegetation,” he added.
Bauer has not been able to draw support from cellular operators, manufacturers of mobile devices or telecom regulators in India or anywhere in the world. Companies like Nokia, Motorola and Siemens have refused to comment on their finding. Company executives, however, claimed that negotiations would continue.
The Cellular Operators Association of India, which represents cellular service providers like Airtel and Hutch, and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) have also refused to recognise it as a health product.
“These manufacturers and service providers will never admit the risk. But we have evidence that mobile phones and the antennas emit radiation that are harmful to the human body. But we are confident that a few years hence, they will accept it,” said Siddharth Sardana, director of Green8 India.
The company claims to have sold 3.1 million units worldwide and now aims to capture the Indian market, which has 15 million cellphone users.
“We want to sell it as an accessory and not as a medical product. People will realise the benefit later,” Sardana said.
The company claimed to have joined hands with outlets of Bharat Petroleum to distribute the product. “We have started this in Delhi and Maharashtra and will take it to all parts of the country,” said Suneel Sardana, chairman of Green8 India.