NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2005
1. "TONIGHT WITH TREVOR McDONALD"
Broadcast ITV1 on 7 th February 2005 at 8.00pm. Highlighted at prime viewing time many of the issues raised by the Trust with the programme makers on the problems of electromagnetic radiation and its impact on an unsuspecting public. Well done Gerard Hyland and Eileen O’Connor for their contributions and also to the producers. The links are undernoted with the Trust featuring highly.
2. SECOND DELOITTE REVIEW ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TEN COMMITMENTS
The Mobile Operators released their report of the code of best practice January 2005. You have to scroll down the page and the section is entitled “Second Deloitte Review on the Implementation of the Ten Commitments”.
3. STAKE-HOLDER ROUNDTABLE MEETING 9 TH DECEMBER 2004
Arranged by Mobile Operators Association (MOA).
The main issues raised by one or more of the key stakeholders present were as follows:-
Re-establish community representative/activist and industry dialogue
Predicted power density calculations to be made publicly available
TLM ratings for de minimis developments should be made publicly available
Sitefinder database should be externally audited
PPG8 should be reviewed and clarified
The All Party Mobile report should be acted upon by Central Government
A clear definition of consultation should be established, and a calibration system, outlining responsibilities for consultation, should be introduced
Operators should ‘consult on health’, by providing balanced information
The planning system should clarify how to address the health issue
Health information should be provided through a credible, independent body
All base stations should be certified, based on their emissions
There should be improved publicity for the Ofcom RF monitoring service
Use of a broadband meter in RF monitoring should be considered
Treasury money from the £G auction should be used to fund further research or a public information system
A MTHR web-based Q&A facility may offer a credible, trusted information source – but this should be tested first
MTHR should allocate research funds into effective communication of the science
A standardised set of cross-industry information should be developed and sent out with all planning permission
A communications audit should be held
A planning roundtable should be held
Central contact points for each operators should be provided to all LPAs
LPAs should advise operators if agents are not applying the Code of Best Practice
The outcome of pre-application consultation should be forwarded to the LPA
The full report including papers presented should be available shortly on line. The MOA have promised that this will be later this month.
Alasdair Philips and Trust Chairman Mike Bell contributed vociferously to the debate along with Mast Action. But where are the sanctions to keep the industry in check? Are they in the courts? See the next item - The Nunn’s Story.
4. NUNN’S STORY - ONE OF REJECTION – AGAIN – IN THE ENGLISH COURT OF APPEAL 9 TH FEBRUARY 2005 – YORKSHIRE POST REPORT
The fight by Dr Nunn to overcome Leeds City Council being time-barred on the 56 day rule from objecting to T Mobile’s new 40 foot mast, 130 yards from her home in Bardsey, has been sadly lost in the Court of Appeal. ‘Sue the Council’ was the judges message to Dr Nunn delivered by Lord Justice Wall. The 56 day rule upheld by the Planning Inspector and the High Court again stressed the need for Councils to act speedily within the time-limit and for individuals to see they do.
It is rough justice for Dr Nunn after spending £35k on legal fees to have to spend more in fees to pursue her case. Whose health is it anyway? Not T-Mobiles but Dr Nunn’s and her family…..
In the absence of real teeth to the so called 10 Commitments and an equivocal attitude towards masts from The Office of Deputy Prime Minister, think alternatives and please act within time-frames if you feel aggrieved at a new masts siting.
5. MASTS PLANNING CONTROL BILL – PROPOSED CHANGES LONG OVERDUE
SECOND READING 18 TH MARCH 2005
After renewed interest in the dangers of mobile phones and masts, Andrew Stunnell MP has presented to Parliament his private members bill, the Telecommunication Masts Planning Control Bill. If passed it will stop companies from putting up mobile masts without consulting local communities and gaining planning approval from the Local Authority. The Bill would bring in the so-called ‘precautionary principle’, giving planners more powers to refuse mast applications. It is due to have its second reading on the 18 th March (though may fail to be read as two other private members bills are scheduled for the same day). Said Andrew Stunnell, “The Government have backed out of repeated promises to change the planning laws. This Bill is long overdue and has cross-party support. It is a chance to make the Government take notice of the concerns of people all over the country.
The Bill would give extra protection to schools, medical facilities and homes from high radiation levels from all telecommunication masts.” (Andrew Stunnell MP, 18/01/05)
There is more than a whiff of General Election fever in the Westminster calendar with 5 th May being widely tipped as ‘E’ Day.
6. RESEARCH - ISRAEL - APRIL 2004
The Wolf’s Paper on the “Increased Incidence of Cancer Near a Cell-phone Transmitter Station” published in the “International Journal of Cancer Prevention”, Volume 1, Number 2, April 2004 found an increased risk of women developing cancer when they lived within 350 metres of a 10 metre high mast – again seems to support the case for exclusion zones.
See latest research with Powerwatch’s comments:
7. IRISH DOCTORS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCAITION
Congratulations to the Irish Doctors Environmental Association for highlighting the problems of the 5% of the population that may be hypersensitive to electromagnetic radiation and advising people, especially children, to limit their use of phones, and if electro sensitive to try to stay away from mobile phones masts.
See articles by Mark Prigg Science Correspondent Evening Standard – 9 th February 2005
and Louise Prigg - Scotsman - 9 th February 2005
8. BRITISH COLUMBIA
A local ordinance has been introduced to prohibit the siting of cellular phone masts or antennae on school buildings and grounds:
TITLE: Prohibiting the siting of Cellular Phone Masts or Antennae on School buildings and School grounds.
BET IT RESOLVED THAT: BCCPAC urge school boards and municipal governments to prohibit the siting of cell or mobile phone masts aka antennae in any areas regularly used by students such as school buildings and school ground.
RATIONALE: Parents are concerned about potential health risks to youth and therefore will be concerned about allowing the siting of cell base stations at their schools. There is still much controversy regarding the effects of Radio Frequency Radiation, even at very low levels, on biological systems and scientific research has been unable to provide proven safe exposure limits. Exercising a practice of prudent avoidance and limiting exposures to known or suspected agents such as RFR would be expected especially where there may be additional health risks for children due to their smaller sizes, makeup and less developed bodies that are still undergoing significant physiological changes.
Health problems associated with exposures to RFR include: depression, irritability, headache, ringing in the ears, cardiovascular problems and sleep disruption (1); leukaemia (2); decreased reproductive function (3); motor function, memory and attention of school children affected (4).
Dr Henry Lai, a bioengineer at the University of Washington and leading expert in the bioeffects of electromagnetic radiation has studied this file for 2 decades. He is quoted ”Exposure of RFR from mobile telephones is of a short term, repeated nature at relatively high intensity, whereas exposure to RFR emitted from cell masts is of long duration but at a very low intensity. The biological and health consequences of these exposure conditions need further understanding.” He is also quoted, “I have come to the conclusion that exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) from use of mobile phones and possibly from chronic exposure to phone masts and transmission towers, has not been proven to be safe. To deny any possible health effects from RFR emitted from wireless communication devices is scientifically not defensible given the growing evidence of RFR bioeffects.”
A report from the Royal Society of Canada, “A Review of the Potential Health Risks of Radio Frequency Fields from Wireless Telecommunication Devices”, March 1999 has comments and conclusions found within it that indicate there is more research to be done regarding bioeffects of RFR. For example, on page 9, Health Effects, Toxicological Studies they comment “Because DNA damage can result in serious health consequences, the possibly that low energy non-thermal RF filed exposures can cause DNA damage remains a concern. Further research is needed to clarify this possibility.” In the conclusion of this document by an expert panel, on page 109, we find “The panel also believes that many of the studies in humans and animals addressing the potential for adverse health effects do not have sufficient power to rule out completely any possibility of such effects existing. The panel supports additional research in this area.”
Preliminary Study of Symptoms Experienced by People Living in Vicinity of Cellular Phone Base Stations, Santini, R. et al, 2002 Hocking, 1996, Dolk 1997 Magras and Xenos, 1997 Kolodynski, 1996 Two books from journalist B. Blake Levitt are recommended reading:
Cell Towers Wireless Convenience? Or Environmental Hazard? Proceedings of the “ Cell Towers Forum” State of the Science/State of the Law December 2, 2000. Electromagnetic Fields A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves. (1995). DESTINATION: B.C. ministry of Education, B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development, B.C. School Trustees Association, B.C. Association of Municipalities.
9. FORMBY MEETING 17 TH JANUARY 2005
Our Formby meeting filmed by "Trevor McDonald’ was extremely well-attended (around 200 people) and lively. Further meetings in Lancashire have been requested.
10. THE STEWART REPORT MARK II - PUBLISHED 11 TH JANUARY 2005
NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2005:
Following the Stewart Report Mark II, our response is being framed along with that of other pressure groups.
We anticipate this will incorporate some of the views expressed on our website along with those of the Trustees and we will look to Government action to implement a planning regulatory regime more in keeping with its publicly stated adherence to the “Precautionary Principles.”
Michael J Bell
Informant: Don Maisch