* Cost 281 does not seemed
to agree with this study...? - Tory tycoon in phone mast protest (14/12/02)
Tramès per Klaus Rudolph (Citizens'
Cost 281 does
not seemed to agree with this study...?
COST 281, a network of leading European research groups in the field of
biologic effects of electromagnetic fields has published the first Watchdog-Report
to give a comprehensive overview on the progress of research on the field
or potential health implications form mobile communication systems made
during the last year.
Also published is a "Scientific Comment on Epidemiologic Studies
on the Health Impact of Mobile Communcation Basestations". This comment
is the response of COST 281 to a joint request by the Swiss Federal Office
of Public Health and the Swiss Research Co-operation Sustainable Mobile
Communication asking for "an assessment of the chances and risks
of epidemiological research on mobile phone basestations and human health
and the best practice in this field".
Documents can be downloaded from http://www.cost281.org
From the archives:
Independent on Sunday
28 November 1999
Tory tycoon in
phone mast protest
Archie Norman, Tory MP and founder of the Asda supermarket chain, is the
latest recruit to the anti-mobile phone mast campaign, joining 200 action
groups in raising concern over the safety of the structures' radiation
emissions and over their presence, often labelled a blight, in the countryside.
Campaigners recently successfully stopped an attempt by Orange to install
three masts in Bidborough and Southborough near Tunbridge Wells, Kent,
Mr Norman's constituency. Residents feared radiation would be emitted
just a few feet from the nearest home. After supporting the Bidborough
residents, Mr Norman said he would raise the issue in the Commons. "It
is clear that the Government must give a stronger lead in answering people's
legitimate health concerns about mobile phone masts and in forcing the
companies to act responsibly as they expand their networks," he said.
The campaigners are mobilising for action but know it will be a rearguard
effort; 19.6 million people already rely on mobile phones and, as the
market continues to expand, many more masts will be installed on suitably
The mobile phone companies deny any link between the masts and damage
to public health. "There is no conclusive evidence that makes a link
between exposure to transmitter masts and long-term public health risks,"
said a spokesman for the mobile phone firm, Orange.
But there is growing concern among scientists about the health risk. Studies
in the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden and Canada, suggest that
masts emit pulsed radiation, which has been shown to cause memory loss,
damage to the eye and immune system, and cell damage of a type linked
to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
Anya Wood, who led the Bidborough and Southborough campaign, said she
had been seriously concerned for her two young children. "The mast
antenna would have been just a few feet from their bedroom window. Children
are most at risk from these masts and it is appalling that these companies
should try to erect them near homes and schools."
More than 500 schools in Britain have been paid up to £10,000 each to
let mobile phone companies set up masts on their property.
Gerard Hyland, a physicist at Warwick University said the potential for
damage to health was real. "Human beings are vulnerable to being
interfered with by external electrical fields. Microwave pulses of the
kind used in masts are recognised by a part of the brain which is not
stable in children until they reach the age of 12. That puts them more
at risk than adults."
Similar concerns last week prompted parents in Wakefield, West Yorkshire,
to withdraw 100 children, 11 permanently, from a school in protest at
a mast. In Torbay, Devon, campaigners are protesting against a mast on
the roof of a maternity unit, citing research in France which found that
mobile phone radiation increases the mortality rate of chick embryos.
Clive Hickling, a campaigner in touch with action groups around the country,
says he has details of 124 "legitimate" cases where people have
genuine reason to be concerned. "Where it is practical masts should
be at least 500 metres from schools, hospitals, old people's homes and
dwellings," he said.
Helene Irvine, a consultant in environmental health with Great Glasgow
Health Board, last week advised the Scottish Parliament to ban any further
masts in schools and residential areas until more was known about the
long-term health risk. Drawing parallels with the assumptions that tobacco
and asbestos were once thought safe, she said: "The technology has
been released for use by the general population without the kind of experiments
that would enable scientists to confirm that it is entirely safe."
Local councils, which can refuse planning permission for masts on grounds
of potential public health risk, are beginning to listen. Wyre Borough
in Lancashire was the first local authority to refuse permission on such
However, councils can only oppose masts smaller than 15 metres on grounds
of siting and appearance, and the companies are pushing ahead to provide
a network. "To enable Orange to provide the best coverage we have
to erect a network of telecommunications transmitters across the country,"
said the Orange spokesman.
Other protest groups are fighting on aesthetics grounds. The National
Trust voted to oppose masts causing a blight on the countryside, and in
Guildford, Surrey, and in Maidstone, Kent, residents have been fighting
to stop the erection of masts, which they fear will affect the tone of
Companies say they have addressed the aesthetic concerns, by designing
masts that resemble trees and which blend with church steeples and windmills.
Informant: Robert Riedlinger