Are phone masts safe, or not?
While the government and industry assure us (but with less and less assurance as evidence emerges) that there is little risk from masts and mobiles, you might be surprised to learn that there are only about a dozen studies of health effects of phone masts on people. All reported ill effects – ranging from headaches, sleep disturbance, memory and concentration problems, to cardiovascular problems and increases in explicit illnesses like cancer. Anecdotal evidence is enormous – the effects found in these studies relect similar health complaints to those that have been widely reported where masts have been placed near people. (See the website http://www.mast-victims.org/ for examples) The official view on mobile/mast safety is based on the Stewart report. The Stewart report was supposed to give mobiles a clean bill of health. It said “Overall the balance of evidence to date suggests that exposure to RF emissions below the national guidelines do not cause adverse health effects to the general population”. This was widely taken (spun) to mean that masts and mobiles were safe. However, he later explained to Parliament that “this is a carefully constructed phrase” and “There is a sub-group in the general population who cannot eat nuts because they are allergic to them. That is why we refer to the general population.” http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200001/cmselect/cmtrdind/330/01031302.htm, tacitly admitting that some people might be affected. Sir William said he would not let his grandchildren use a mobile.
[Parents should read: 20 expert warnings on mobiles/child safety http://www.emfacts.com/papers/children_mobiles.pdf]
He affirmed the principle of ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Practicable):- “…planning authorities should have the power to ensure that the RF fields to which the public will be exposed will be kept to the lowest practical levels that will be ommensurate with the telecommunications system operating effectively” – this principle is surely broken in placing masts in streetlamps where exposures to those living opposite will be greater than the exposures from tall masts. Complaints reported by mobile users are often similar to those reported by people forced to live near masts. Some light may be shed on the issue of mobile health effects by considering established biological conditions that lead to illnesses.
Irrespective of mobiles and masts, these general biological conditions are known causes of serious illness:-
1) Oxidative stress – This is a well-known cause of serious illnesses. Here is one quote from a researcher who wasn’t
talking about masts or mobiles. “It is now clear that oxidative stresses caused by reactive oxygen species, free radicals
originating in them, and lipid peroxides can be factors to cause over 90% of lifestyle-related diseases including cancer, heart
diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus.”[Mimura 2007, PubMed 17319488]
2) Melatonin reduction. Melatonin is a body hormone that regulates sleep, scavenges free radicals + protects against cancer.
3) Weakening of the Blood-brain barrier (BBB) The BBB restricts the passage of unwanted toxins from the bloodstream. Damage to the BBB is found after strokes. It has also been linked to Alzheimers disease and headaches, the latter being the most frequent mobile health complaint..
4) Damage to DNA – Damage to DNA is seen as a known cancer risk. Usually the body’s repair mechanisms prevent cancer from developing.
Effects from Mobile studies. These effects above are also, evidently, being found to be caused by mobile radiation:-
1) EMF seem to cause various kinds of oxidative stress – reported in many studies. There are a dozen that found this effect from mobiles, one from a mast type signal. While most were on rats, at least five involve tests on human blood/cells.
2) Many studies have shown that EMF (electro-magnetic fields) reduce melatonin. [EMF can include magnetic fields like from pylons and mains electricity (eg if you are too close to a source like the mains) as well as mobile radiation, which is microwaves.] At least two studies report this effect from mobiles.
3) Many studies have found that EMF weaken the blood-brain barrier, some involving mobiles. Salford showed mobile radiation damages the BBB in rats, and predicted brain damage from long term mobile use, including Alzheimers. He also found that two hours mobile exposure damaged neurones [Picture, http://pages.britishlibrary.net/orange/biologeffects.htm].
4) Many studies have now reported mobile-induced DNA/genetic damages.
A layman might ask – if mobiles are safe, then why do researchers appear to freely acknowledge these biological effects?
Are safety limits a con? How is this situation possible – are there no safety limits for microwave radiation?
Yes and no. There are ‘safety’ limits but they are only based on thermal (heat) effects. ICNIRP as they are called, are based on effects that are short term and thermal, like shocks and burns, and take no account of cancers or other illnesses that may arise from exposures below the level of thermal effects. As hundreds of studies have found biological effects at levels hundreds of times lower than this, the ICNIRP safety levels are irrelevant to these effects and any consequent illnesses..
If you believe you are affected by a phone mast, or would just like further information or references etc, email email@example.com (and/or come along to the meeting).
Attention! 9 applications for phone masts-in-streetlamps in the Byres Road area
1 University Av. and Byres Road Ref. 07/00334/DC
2 Cresswell St and Cranworth St. Ref. 07/00335/DC
3 University Av and Southpark Av. Ref. 07/00336/DC
4 Hyndland St and Highburgh Rd. Ref. 07/00337/DC
5 Great Western Rd and Byres Rd. Ref. 07/00338/DC
6 University Place and Byres Rd. Ref. 07/00339/DC
7 Woodlands Road and Park Av. Ref. 07/00340/DC
8 University Place and University Av. Ref. 07/00341/DC
9 Napiershall St and Great Western Rd. Ref. 07/00342/DC
Applications published 23 Feb. Objections by 16 Mar, to Development and Regeneration Services, Development
Management, 229 George St, Glasgow G1 1QU, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Meeting–Hillhead Library, 348 Byres Rd, Sun 11 Mar, 7.30 pm
- Are phone masts safe, or not – is mounting evidence of risk just being ignored?
- Understanding Government and Industry spin
- Do national so-called ‘safety levels’ for microwaves mean anything? (Mobile phones and masts use microwaves)
- Can anything be done about this?
– – –
The proposed 9 locations
[X = junction proposed for mast; precise corner not available. Map not to scale]
[Glasgow Residents Network writes, see also the Evening Times article on this issue: http://tinyurl.com/create.php%5D