I was incensed to read more pernicious rubbish in todays (25th Aug) edition of The Argus (Sussex wide) by long term Vice Chair of Brighton & Hove City Council Planning Committee Roy Pennington (not sure if he still is) who whilst in that responsible position always waved mast applications through whenever he had a casting vote. He also recommended to me that I read Adam Burgess when I challenged him about his stance several months ago.
Below are choice gems from the article. I think as many of us as possible should write to their letters page which is firstname.lastname@example.org . Remember The Argus is pretty strict about not publishing anything over 250 words. Full name & address must be given.
Councillor seeks inquiry into mobile fears
Let's put an end to mast hysteria
A COUNCILLOR wants taxpayers money to be spent telling a sceptical public mobile phone masts are safe.
Labour Councillor Roy Pennington, who has outed himself as one of a small band of mast sympathisers on Brighton and Hove City Council, accused his colleagues of "low-level hypocrisy" for peddling hysteria about the unproven dangers of mobile phone masts to win votes. ...
..Coun Pennington said "We should look at why people have these concerns. Scientists have said there is no significant risk but people still feel there is and we should do something to allay fears"
"There is too much hysteria about mobile phone masts"
"Mobile phone masts are as safe as safe can be".
I sympathise Gary. My local counciller told me that at one of their council meetings a counciller got up at a meeting of planning and said 'I love my mobile 'phone and I want lots more masts'. Planning permission was given!!!!!!!!!!!!
If anyone could please send a letter as suggested it would be a huge relief to me as I have spent years writing letters to The Argus about phone masts and still nobody appears to be taking much notice. I've sent one today - if others do the same it'll increase the chances of publication enormously.
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2005 12:54:12 +0100 (BST) From: fergusson sue Subject: Cllr. Pennington To: email@example.com
I am shocked at Cllr. Pennington's comments. Public outcry is based on the research of many independant scientists around the world, not the biased government funded scientists who advise this government. As he is convinced masts are safe, I wonder if he would pay the considerable medical bills for those affected by masts, like myself, and the huge compensation payments which will inevitably result from the governments' refusal to regulate the Mobile Phone Companies and protect the public from the now proven health effects?
susan fergusson, Hazel Grove, Cheshire SK7 4ER
Quite a marathon of mails today over Cllr P!
So OK, I gave in and sent this letter, FYI:
So Cllr Roy Pennington is sure that "masts are as safe as can be" [Letters, 25 August]? For someone who sounds so sure, this a rather vague assertion. Certainly, those like him who feel that the chief task is to allay people's fears should engage a little more, not necessarily with campaigners, but with some of the specific scientific concerns. A lot of "allaying" went on over lead water pipes, tobacco, asbestos and BSE, and we should remember that. It is no good blaming the quality of observational epidemiological studies whilst not putting in the money and research effort to doing them better. A number of substantial studies, albeit imperfect, give real cause for concern, whilst there have been no comparable epidemiological studies to indicate that there is no cause for concern. When we are talking about cancer and motor neurone disease after ten years exposure, this is a matter for far greater precaution than simply assuming the early effects are a psychological response.
Masts are not so ugly they make people feel ill! But it is material that if a mobile phone gives you headaches you can avoid using one, whilst with masts you have no choice. And even if the mere worry is stressful, there are few circumstances where such harassment is legitimate. Where people experience side-effects from prescription medicines we don't allay their fears and tell them to keep taking the pills.
The most telling observations lie with people who exhibit a commonality of symptoms of microwave sickness, whilst being unaware of the status of mobile masts around them. Psychosomatic accusations in these circumstances, as with similar effects on animals are quite misplaced. But what is more interesting by far, and surely a wake-up call, is that there are clear research results that point towards the reasons why masts have this effect.
Laboratory studies have shown that low level microwave radiation with the characteristics of mobile phone transmissions can affect the enzymes that maintain nitric oxide levels in the body, for example. The cumulative effects of chronic exposure to masts in this regard, are not part of the protection afforded by current safety certificates, and indeed much of this research postdates the setting of those guidelines. But since the effects involve neurotransmission and the control of free radicals, they cannot be taken lightly. A small initial biological effect rapidly cascades into a chain reaction health effect. And what is particularly intriguing is that disturbance of this simple molecule, nitric oxide, unites all the symptoms we see, all the way to the long-latency diseases appearing in the 10-year epidemiological studies.
What does "masts are as safe as they can be" now mean? Under what circumstances? Those of ignorance, or those of informed investigation? I don't think what I have outlined above is at all "hysterical". It is worthy of very calm consideration, because the implications of our growing electromagnetic pollution are truly immense.
There are very few emails over Councillor Pennington - the title bar contains his name but the emails are on a different strand.
If only this was the end of Pennington - he's a very dangerous man.
Andy it's a great letter but I have sent many letters to The Argus and they NEVER publish anything over about 300 words. You may want to leave it as it is and risk it but if you have the time and patience I think it would be prudent to chop it down to 300 words max and resend it.
So far that's you, myself and Sue G. Could be in The Argus letters page any day next week.
sorry for the delay – but here's one more to add to the list. Would like to know if it gets printed! Good luck and lots of best wishes!
To the Editor of the Argus,
Is Cllr Pennington a spokesperson for the mobile phone giants? His views that the technology is 'as safe as safe can be', are certainly not shared by eminent independent scientists worldwide, whose peer reviewed research shows that there are very grave risks, and we ignore them at our peril.
Phone users may accept the necessity for masts, but they should be in no doubt as to the potential risks involved with the technology (see the Mast Sanity website). Safety has never been proven, and Cllr Pennington’s remarks should reflect that fact, not cover it up. His personal view is irrelevant. The Government's own Chief Scientist, Sir William Stewart advises that children should not use mobiles at all, and no masts should be built near schools. If the country’s leading expert admits there are potential dangers, Cllr Pennington is failing in his public duty not to acknowledge that fact.
Despite this, Cllr Penninton seems to be doing the Operators' job for them. One assumes he is not being paid for doing so - but he is being paid to act responsibly on behalf of Brighton citizens. If he has a problem with that, perhaps he should consider his position.
Jennifer Godschall Johnson
You don't know about the Russian findings in the 1930s? Their bombarding the office of the Ambassador, Walter J Stoessel in the American Embassy with radar in Tchaikovsky Street, Moscow for years ('60s - '70s) causing blood anomalies in children of staff, 40% raised white bloodcell count amongst many staff and the death of Stoessel and another member of staff of a 'leukaemia-like disease' after years of exposure to EMR
You haven't heard of the suffering of people in Schwarzenburg, Switzerland for years caused by the transmitter there form the 1930s until scientific tests proved that when the mast was ON, the levels of night time hormone melatonin was too low in both three herds of cows and the residents of Schwarzenburg and when it was OFF the levels were normal.
Melatonin takes over from the daytime ruling hormone serotonin which keeps us awake, whilst without melatonin we cannot go to sleep - this explains the usual symptom of chronic insomnia. Secondly, melatonin is responsible for triggering T-cells to kill off any cells which have mutated during the night - common sense says that if this does not happen, those who have a genetic tendecy to get cancer or benign tumours may possible suffer from this, and also some people without the genetic tendency.
Several pets near the mast in my village (14 - 140 metresdeveloped small growths on their paws (all dogs), one had this, and also growths on his neck - he died about a year after the mast was activated and also suffered vomiting and appetite loss (30m away). A dog 100 metres away has the growths removed regularly, I don't know if he has any other symptoms; another has the growths. A cat developed a tumour in its throat, vomiting, appetite loss; had the tumour removed; was never able to eat normally again and died last year.
Needless to say all the residents in the houses up to 100 metres from the mast have had symptoms e.g. chronic insomnia and headaches; vertigo and nausea; bloodshot sore eyes ( Walter Stoessel had 'bleeding' eyes); earache tinnnitus and hearing loss; those within 40m from the mast also suffered ulcerated mouths and throats with extreme thirst. 100 metres from the mast there are two cases of raised white bloodcell count (a symptom of Leukaemia) for which doctors can find no cause. I have asked residents here to have there blood checked, but only one has tried. She has been so ill that the hospital said she was not fit enough to have a bloodtest!
Here is a copy of the letter I sent to the Argus when I saw your first request - I hope it helps.
Cllr Pennington is wrong
Datum: Sat, 27 Aug 2005 12:17:40 EDT
This councillor is wrong. There is incontrovertible proof from the 1930s, 50s to 70s and the 1990s that ElectroMagnetic Radiofrequency (EMR) emissions and microwaves do cause damage to health.
The Soviets found damage to health amongst workers in the industry in the 30s from both microwaves and EMR. They also bombarded the office of the Ambassador in the Moscow American Embassy with low level emissions (1 to 4 microtesla, the American 'safe' level being 10 microtesla!) from 1960s to 70s, causing blood anomalies amongst the children of embassy staff; 40% raised white bloodcell count amongst many embassy staff including the Ambassador, Walter J.Stoessel who eventually died of a 'leukaemia-like' disease (he also suffered from bleeding eyes). See book: 'The Zapping of America@ by Paul Brodeur, Published in New York by W.W. Norton and co.
Yes, we are exposed to similar emissions from radio, TV, computer s etc, but these emissions are not pulsed and those from masts are pulsed at a rate close to our brain-waves and this is the problem.
Wherever masts have effects, these are the main symptoms found; chronic insomnia and headaches; earache, tinnitus and hearing loss; sore bloodshot eyes. Residents in my village, Kensworth, Beds. have suffered insomnia for almost 4 years since an Orange mast was erected 14 metres from their homes. Until recently Orange had the worst reputation, but 3G is now taking over. Tetra is also being devastating causing health problems amongst police officers using handsets in conjunction with the mast an also amongst residents livinf.near police stations.
No one will investigate in the homes where this is happening. Money is thrown away on tests in the laboratory when it is impossible to replicate the effects there due to the capricious nature of emissions with changes in wind direction, the differing terrain and the difference amongst positioning of homes to masts; bedooms to masts; differences in individuals (we all have different weaknesses) etc.
I attach a small quantity of the information I have found since being asked to represent people in Kensworth:
EMR Reduces Melatonin in Animals and People
Open letter to Edmund Stoiber, Prime Minister, Germany
Parish Cllr. Mrs. G. Lyden.
172 Common Road, Kensworth, Dunstable, Beds LU6 2PH
I forgot to say that I regard moblie phone technologe as a wonderful means of communication and enjoyment. I have used one since the 1980s and found it very reassuring to have a phone with me when on long journeys alone in my car (in case I became stranded if my car breaks down).
Since I have found out about the dangers, I never keep my phone turned on and only use it in emergencies. I used to get pains in my ear and neck when I spoke for hours to my friends and never hold long conversations now. I am reduced to short messages e.g. saying where I am and what the problem is (puncture or locked keys in car and where I am - 'Please help!).
I want to be able to use my phone in safety, but the government and Phone companies will not do anything about the health problems except talk about our 'concerns' and to concentrate on making as much money as possible before everyone realises the truth - that some people are being slowly killed by emissions from masts and that our childrens' health is in dire danger of being ruined.
Clllr. Mrs. G. Lyden
Another excellent letter - that makes five. I never expected so many! However as I say The Argus is pretty crap re supporting peoples campaigns. Nothing today but it usually takes 3 - 5 working days for letters to go in. Do remember though that they usually won't publish over 250 words.
Councillor Pennington is dangerous - he should not be in the position he is saying the things he does.
If The Argus don't publish at least one of these I intend to do a piece including Councillor Penningtons remarks and extracts from everyones responses for a local radical newsletter with a comment that the Argus didn't publish any of them.
You might remember that a few months ago T Mobile planned to roll out the first 16 of some estimated 90 3G masts in Brighton & Hove. As a result I went into overdrive copying my own leaflets and posting them through hundreds of letterboxes and found that several others had already started petitionning in the areas concerned. A few weeks later I read that several anti mast petitions had been submitted to B & H Council. The last few weeks appear to have gone quiet but I was pleased to learn that one of the masts near me had been rejected due to a petition. I don't know about the others but would guess at least some have also been rejected on the same grounds.
So that's good news. However as a Green Councillor on the planning committee told me recently, whenever the Council rejects a mast it risks an Inspector overturning the decision and fining the Council £17,000 and the Council is already bankrupt...
I think we need to be very sure about this.
Firstly, a council can suffer a reduction in central government funding allocation as a result of 'losing' an excessive number of planning appeals. This reduction applies to all allowed appeals within a specified period and not merely those dealing with masts (which in fact will generally constitute only a small proportion of the total).
Secondly, the powers for an Inspector to levy a fine on a council simply do not exist. In the event of a refusal going to appeal and the appeal being dealt with via Public Inquiry (rather than Written Representation or Informal Hearing), either side, council or appellant, are at liberty to apply for a cost order to be made against the other on the grounds of 'unreasonable behaviour'. The operator will almost invariably submit such an application at the end of an Inquiry. If the Inspector finds that the council has behaved unreasonably (one example being that councillors refused an application against the professional advice of their planning officers) a cost order might well be awarded against the council. The operator then forwards a detailed account - if the council disputes the amount, the matter goes to independent arbitration for resolution. Cost orders of circa £100,000 are not uncommon.
I hope this explains things.
Many thanks to everyone who sent letters to The Argus. I have reproduced the letters as published below (only mine, Andys and Sue F's unfortunately though occasionally The Argus publishes letters on the same theme 2 or 3 days later).
I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing that the letters editors would cease their unnecessary meddling with our letters. Not only has the Argus editor cut out most of Andys excellent letter (and a lot of Sues and a little bit of mine), but also taken the liberty of changing the wording and grammar - in my view in most cases unnecessarily and incorrectly. This it seems to me has resulted in all three letters losing a lot of their potential impact.
Anyway, as they appear..
BW Gary Brighton
Where is the proof that phone masts are safe?
Councillor Roy Penningtons assertions that mobile phone masts are safe (The Argus August 25) are extremely irresponsible.
There are now thousands of independent studies showing huge cumulative damage to health.
The recent four year Reflex study, conducted in seven EU countries, found irrefutable and widespread double strand DNA damage of the sort which causes cancer.
The long term Freiburger (40,000 signatories), IDEA, Lichtenfelser, Hofer, Bamberger, Santini, Helsinki, and Californian studies all detail widespread DNA damage, cancers, tumours, epilepsy, sleep disorders, increased cholesterol and blood pressure, blood clots and strokes from intensive exposure to masts and cell and DECT cordless phones.
They are pleading for the health effects of this technology to be taken very seriously.
Government and industry constantly quote ICNIRP compliance as assurance of safety for any mast, yet these International guidelines were formulated in 1998 solely by observing the immediate thermal effects on rats brains from twenty minutes of exposure.
They completely ignore the longer term pulsed microwaves, which independent researchers agree cause the damage. Eminent researcher Dr Neil Cherry said the safe level for microwave exposure was nil.
The currently unfurling 3G system is according to researcher Glynn Hughes, 30 times more powerful than the conventional network which is itself responsible for massive health damage.
Then you have microwave burglar alarms, baby monitors, and wireless laptop and local computer networks.
I have measured emissions throughout central Brighton and am extremely concerned.
As long term Vice Chair of Brighton & Hove City Council's planning committee, Councillor Pennington should be recommending a Committee to investigate the health effects of this technology.
Research has shown there is a risk (feature letter)
Councillor Roy Pennington is sure that "masts are as safe as can be" [Letters, 25 August].
For someone who sounds so sure, this a rather vague assertion.
Those like him who feel that the chief task is to allay people's fears should engage a little more with some of the specific scientific concerns.
A lot of "allaying" went on over lead water pipes, tobacco, asbestos and BSE, and we should remember that. It is no good blaming the quality of observational epidemiological studies whilst not investing the money and effort to carry them out better.
A number of substantial studies, albeit imperfect, give real cause for concern, whilst there have been no comparable epidemiological studies to indicate that there is no cause for concern.
What does "masts are as safe as they can be" now mean? Under what circumstances? Those of ignorance, or those of informed investigation?
Big price to pay
I am shocked at Cllr. Pennington's comments. Public outcry is based on the research of many independant scientists around the world, not government funded ones.
As he is convinced masts are safe, I wonder if he would pay the considerable medical bills for those affected by masts, including myself, and the huge compensation payments which will inevitably result from the governments' refusal to regulate the mobile phone companies?
Just to let you know that the Argus contacted me and I think my letter will be printed - perhaps next week. Do let me know if it is. I thought mine might not have been used for the obvious reason that it puts Pennington personally and directly in a very in a bad light. I think it's important to do this, because when councillors come out with these things they cause a lot of damage and they must take personal responsibility for their actions. If this was the case there would be far fewer of them coming out with these appalling statements.
By the way, Les and I went down to Brighton yesterday (I was born and brought up there). What a fabulous place it is - if only it wasn't so terribly polluted with electrosmog. Almost everyone we saw was umbilically connected to their mobile. Even small children. I could have wept. As for me - I had a headache all day and couldn't eat. Couldn't wait to leave, which was so sad. Anyway, lots of best wishes - you're doing a great job down there.
PS: As they seem to be printing most of our letters, do you think the Argus might be a having a change of heart? Nice thought!
You bet I'll let you (and Gill) know if your letter gets published - I read the letters page every day.
They also cut my call for Pennington to lose his position. They always cut statements attacking Councillors & MPs whilst publicising their support for community projects etrc - nauseating.
The Argus just quotes news from the dailies. I think the editor is scared to make a firm stance on anything however obvious.
Interesting you felt ill all day - I never get this even in the most central areas of Brighton although I avoid them as much as possible nowadays because of the EMF pollution. I'm like an exile to the outskirts.
All the best