Brain damage fears over plan to erect 700 police radio masts
and environmental concerns over £2.5bn system
By Rob Edwards, Environment Editor
Plans to erect 700 police radio transmitters across Scotland
into fierce opposition from local residents and environmental
alarmed about the dangers to human health and damage to the
The mobile phone company O2 wants to install new aerial transmitters
every region of the country over the next two years in order
to give the
emergency services a comprehensive new digital communications
It has already submitted 200 planning applications, predominantly
south of Scotland.
Between 90 and 100 transmitters are planned in each of seven
force areas: Strathclyde, Lothian and Borders, Dumfries and
Tayside, Grampian and Northern. A further 30 have been proposed
Fife, the police force smallest area.
O2, which used to be part of BT, says that for at least 40%
of the new
transmitters it will have to erect masts. The company is hoping
remaining 60% can be fitted on existing masts or buildings.
But there are growing fears about the health risks of the
trans-mitters, which some experts regard as more dangerous
conventional mobile phone masts. The new £2.5 billion
introduced throughout the UK is known as Tetra -- Terrestrial
Radio -- and transmits a signal with a frequency of 17.6Hz.
This is very close to the frequency which the government's
Expert Group on Mobile Phones warned might affect brain activity.
2000, it said: 'As a precautionary measure, amplitude modulation
16Hz should be avoided, if possible, in future developments.'
Some studies have suggested that radio waves around this
cause calcium to leak from the brain and other tissue. This
could trigger damage to the nervous and immune systems.
According to Gerald Hyland, a biophysicist from the University
Warwick, the electromagnetic radiation may also cause mood
headaches, sleep disruption and short-term memory loss. It
retard the academic development of children.
Some people would be more susceptible than others, he argued.
'Is there an established potential risk to human health from
Tetra radiation? The answer is undoubtedly yes.'
Alison Mackay lives just 200 metres from the site of a proposed
Tetra radio mast on Tarvit Hill near Cupar in Fife. She is
campaign to oppose it, and other masts planned for the area.
'It is a techno-nightmare. This system has not been tried
which means that anyone living close to one of these masts
effect be a human guinea pig,' she said.
'O2 should be required to prove conclusively that there will
long-term impact on human health before permission is given
system to be installed.' She accused the company of trying
masts with as few people as possible knowing about them.
Other local residents are worried that the masts will be
an eyesore in
an attractive landscape. 'We will take the campaign to the
Executive,' Mackay promised. 'And, if necessary, we will take
it to the
Police officers in England, where the Tetra system has already
introduced to 10 forces, have complained of ill-health after
mobile handsets. According to one report, more than 170 officers
Lancashire claimed to suffer from migraines, sleeplessness
and lack of
concentration after using the system.
Tetra radio waves could also interfere with life-saving equipment
hospitals. A government regulator, the Medical Devices Agency,
that the operation of heart pacemakers, defibrillators and
could be affected.
An expert group set up by the government's National Radiological
Protection Board was equivocal about the health risks. It
'current evidence suggests that it is unlikely that the special
of the signals from Tetra mobile terminals and repeaters pose
But it added: 'Although, when viewed as a whole, the epidemiological
research that has been carried out does not give cause for
has too many limitations to provide assurance that there is
Although the Scottish Executive insisted that it was not
about the risks, it welcomed Tetra as 'the cutting edge of
The system will, a spokeswoman said, 'improve police effectiveness
through a range of new features available to officers, including
clarity of voice communications, improved security and the
officers to be linked to the public telephone network'.
O2 also stressed the benefits to police effectiveness and
of the Tetra system, which it has branded Airwave. 'Airwave
secure the level of service requested by police forces, whilst
into account local views and concerns about the siting of
said a spokeswoman for the company.
'Health and safety issues are very important to us. Science
categorically prove anything to be absolutely safe, but the
Organisation holds a database of over 450 studies on the biological
effects of radio frequency emissions and no risk to health
The company's reassurances were dismissed, however, by a
Mast Sanity which is campaigning across the UK against the
'There has been no significant research into the effects of
Tetra and it
is a totally unproven system,' said the group's director,
'It is becoming an increasing problem for many campaign groups
corner of the country as the government tries to force this
system on us and on the police.'
Informant: Volker Hartenstein, Member of the Bavarian
pupil of 3rd grade of Zoran died from brain cancer
The dread of the antennas in the village is not ending: In
to the death case, cancer was found in 1st grade pupil. Breast
was found in 2 women. A 39 years old woman from Zoran died
Tomorrow the residents will protest.
A girl of 3rd grade from the school in the village Zoran died
weekend from brain cancer. Several days ago it was found that
a girl in
first grade at the same school, got cancer. Several days ago
cancer a village resident, 39 years old, mother of three.
say that her cancer was found while she was living in the
addition two women were found with breast cancer.
These numbers are added to cancer cases and misscarriage
cases in the
village. Michael Akerman chair of battle told Maariv:
"Everything that surrounds our children is radiation
from the antennas
of Bezeq which cause grave diseases. We are going to remove
We will block the crossroad, will strike the school and village.
village is going with the head in the ground. People die here
cancer, and nobody does anything to close here the radiation
Remember the critisicm committee decision to remove the non
antennas by now? Remember the "good news"? Nothing.
Nothing was done.
Informant and translation in English: Iris Atzmon
In your response to the residents of Berkeley, California
fighting a proposed cellular base station, you state that
fought 'hundreds of these battles all over the U.S.' Can you
such case where the local government used health considerations
an antenna proposal, was sued in Federal court by the wireless
and won its case on the basis of the distinction you make
'environmental' and 'health' effects of the RFR from these
Such information would be helpful, not only in Berkeley,
but to others
around the country.
Doug Loranger, San Francisco, CA
Tom Bearden Website
The correspondence section has been brought up to date with
a number of
There is also a new Technical Paper at
Also new Reference Papers at
Cheniere Press/ The Tom Bearden Website