The masts are just the visible tip of the iceberg of microwave radiation

The brown envelope plopped on the mat one Saturday morning, as anything official tends to do. So I knew that it would be Monday before I could talk to anybody in the weekday world to help me make sense of this unwelcome intrusion.

The letter told me that a telecommunications company had applied to the council for planning permission to erect a 10.3 metre telephone mast, complete with equipment cabinet, on the pavement exactly opposite the entrance to my block of flats!

We've all heard rumblings of unease about phone masts. About people being worried about the effects on their health. Of residents watching their property value plunging.

My initial reaction was anger. How dare they? I've worked really hard to get a mortgage on my flat - am I now going to be threatened with ill health and the prospect of seeing the value of my property plunge? Estate agents reckon that a phone mast in proximity to one's home can decrease the price by 10-25%. If the value of my home is to plunge, should I not receive compensation from the super wealthy company that wishes to install it?

I search the web. Suddenly I am in a strange new world. I find a website for a charity called Mast Sanity. I discover that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of people up and down the country, fighting their own individual battles against the onslaught of the masts. More worrying still there is a plethora of data that our government will only recognise as anecdotal - sick people - and even a primary school where 98% of the children are unwell. Typical early symptoms appear to be nosebleeds, sleep disturbance and headaches. After a few years some studies suggest evidence of cancer clusters and other serious illnesses. According to Mast Sanity, the problem is the pulsed microwave radiation emitted by phone masts, as it interferes with brain messaging systems at certain frequencies.

I call the Mast Sanity phone line. I speak to a woman called Sandi who reassures me and promises to help. Sandi is a person who is 'electrosensitive', i.e. hypersensitive to masts and all kinds of microwave radiation. Grateful for a reprieve from ill health when a Tetra mast - allegedly the most harmful of all - was taken down in her area, she spends virtually all her spare time helping people with their fights against the telecom giants. Tetra - the system used by the police - somehow seems to evade going through the proper procedures for getting planning permission wherever possible.

Many people, both inside and outside the telecommunications industry, would dispute that phone masts are the cause of these ills. The UK government denies that phone masts and microwave radiation are dangerous. However, even the part telecom sponsored Stewart Report of 2002 recommends caution over the microwave technology used by mobile phones and phone masts where children are concerned. This is because with their thinner skulls they are most vulnerable.

Sandi helps me with a complex main objection letter. She explains to me that we can only object to the installation of this mast for good planning reasons, as even the fact that it will be less than five metres from people's bedroom windows cuts no ice. Councils are not allowed by law to accept danger to health as a reason to oppose the masts. Sandi warns me against petitions - council policy means that they are often counted as just a single letter. Numbers of objections are important, so I print out forms that people can sign in support of the main objection letter if they do not want to write individually.

As the only owner/occupier in my building I do my best to find contact details of owners to ask them to write letters to the council. I write to my MP and local counsellors.

But now the real battle commences. It is time to go out and meet my public. I steel myself - my first step is to canvas local shops and offices to collect signatures. It's emotionally hard, but I am spurred on by the prospect of the unwelcome alien threatening to arrive on my doorstep. A lot of people sign. Some won't, or even shout and get angry. Reactions can be unpredictable and you find that people can be difficult to gauge. The pleasant man from the dry cleaners with the Alsatian dog turns out not to be so pleasant. The scary looking men from the stretch limo company could not be more amenable or sympathetic.

Daunted by the prospect of another seemingly typical estate agent's response, i.e., "Not interested luv, another mast might improve my reception", I breathe deeply and enter a shop with a fancy awning. However, I swallow my preconceptions when I receive a warm greeting. But also a warning. The estate agent tells me to be wary even if the council doesn't give planning permission for this mast. This is because the telecommunications company could approach a local landlord, or even the freeholder of my building and offer a sum probably not less than £10,000 per year for the privilege of placing a mast on the roof! My eyes are opened by this piece of information. I now remember a news item I once heard that said that many churches have had masts installed on their roofs for a tidy sum of money. Some are disguised as steeples and angels. There is actually at least one company that earns its crust by inventing and implementing these disguises.

My eyes are due to be opened even further. If the application is successful, the mast will be directly opposite the largest window of a popular chain of coffee shops. I am convinced that the store will be my ally in this matter. Surely their customers will baulk at the idea of sipping their cappuccino and savouring their croissants whilst looking at a phone mast. I call head office. I ask to speak to the area manager or someone on a senior level. Days later, despite several attempts, there is still no response. Not one to be easily put off, I start another round of calls and a director finally rewards my persistence with a phone call. He tells me that the coffee chain is owned by a huge brewery and that they have 'telecommunications partners'. For this reason their stance on the arrival of the mast outside their window is 'neutral'.

The penny is dropping. Wherever I look I see that the bright friendly face of the mighty telecom conglomerates is out there, interwoven with every facet of the establishment, sport, literature, film and television. Where they're not advertising, they are heavily involved in sponsorship. I realise that the support I will receive from my campaign will be at grass roots level, no big company will endorse it. I call the freeholder of my property, but now I am prepared for the response I receive, "We rent out space for phone masts, it would be hypocritical of us to object".

Next I contact the media. The story about how this ugly pole will blight our villagey hamlet of shops and cafes appears in two local papers. For the accompanying photograph local shopkeepers and even an understanding local counsellor are willing to strike a pose. Another photograph shows me delivering hundreds of forms and letters to the planning department of the Town Hall.

Despite the corporate response from the coffee shop I am not adverse to sipping the odd cup of coffee within its walls and attempting to chat up the locals in the hope of getting more signatures. Some people are wary. One woman with a family signs quietly because she is concerned about the future health of her children. Her husband angrily defends mobile technology and refuses to comply. One girl tells me that she believes that telephone masts are harmful, but refuses to sign a form because a mast has been placed without her approval on the roof of the building in which she lives. The implication is that if she's going to get ill, why shouldn't I!

I learn more and more about the potential hazards of microwave radiation. It seems that the experts who believe that masts are harmful feel there is evidence that the whole microwave spectrum is unsafe. Many studies, a lot of them compiled in Germany where doctors are not paid by the state, insist that the microwave technology that is being rolled out everywhere has not been properly tested for safety. Cordless phones, WIFI (wireless internet access), bluetooth, microwave ovens, baby monitors, even the new digital TVs which will be de rigeur from 2007 - all of these come with a danger warning. Frightening statistics emerge. Many microwave-conscious scientists believe that the guidelines set by the ICNIRP, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, are a minimum of 10,000 times too high.

I purchase a little machine called an 'Electrosmog Detector'. As I walk around my flat it makes sounds which apparently show where radiation is dangerously strong. On approaching the base station of my cordless phone it emits a deafening scream. That's enough to make me finally disconnect the phone and base from the wall and throw them into the bin. It's back to my old wired-in handset.

You may wonder why telephone masts seem to be going up everywhere at a rate of knots. Well, in the year 2,000, the telecoms giants paid the government the colossal sum of £22.5 billion for the required frequencies for the new-fangled 'third generation' phones that can send pictures and connect to the internet. The companies made a commitment that before the end of 2007 they would have achieved 80% coverage of the UK. The third generation, or 3G, phone masts have a very short range - perhaps as little as 150 metres - so the big telecoms corporations are racing to get them up.

Eventually decision day comes around. I am delighted when the mast and equipment cabinet are not given 'prior approval' because the Council have decided that they will be too close to the traffic lights and will cause unnecessary street clutter.

But is this a hollow victory? For one thing, the companies often appeal successfully, it seems typically around public holidays when people aren't paying attention. Even if the mast doesn't go up here, they will apply again somewhere in the vicinity. One hopes that they'll target a place that's not near to homes or schools. But the march of the masts seems relentless - newly proposed laws to give councils more power and reasons to object to their construction don't seem to get past first base in parliament.

Just as worrying - after fighting a battle like this, one feels one is armed with new knowledge. And this new knowledge can feel like a burden, rather than a liberation. We are creatures of the modern world, and the modern world loves its slick mobile phones, its convenient wireless technology. We don't want to discover that the science that all this is based on could be unsafe. The campaigns are not generally seen as a noble struggle by an individual against the will of the state - instead protesters are frequently seen as killjoys and zealots. People who demonstrate against phone masts and microwave radiation often feel very isolated, as the mainstream world, so influenced by the telecoms corporations, will not let them in and heed their warnings. After years of selfless and unremunerated work they sometimes burn out and give up the fight.

The fact is that the masts are just the visible tip of the iceberg of microwave radiation. It may be safer to use second generation mobile phones, i.e. phones that just text and make calls, but most experts in the field say that these are also damaging. So a serious anti-mast campaigner may well have ditched their mobile phone and thus feel alienated from the world of their peers. A recent survey - as ever part sponsored by the telecoms industry - found that there was no correlation between brain tumours and the use of mobile phones. This study was widely broadcast in the UK mass media. However, another analysis, by an eminent Swedish professor, found the opposite to be true. This study also was circulated to the media, but not one newspaper or TV station publicised it. It is up to you, dear reader, to draw your own conclusions.

Mast Sanity Advice Line 0870 322 377
Mast Sickness UK
e-mail: MastSicknessUK(at)aol.com
Call 01704 889 824 for Yoga Magazine discount on Electrosmog Detector and products


This article will be published in the November (issue 46) copy of Yoga Magazine.

Omega-News Collection 21. October 2006



How Close Is Runaway Climate Change?

U.N. Says Number of Ocean "Dead Zones" Rising Fast

Refugees, Disease Big Risk From Global Warming

Climate Change 'Will Cause Refugee Crisis'

Imagine Earth Without People

Loss of Species that Pollinate is Cause for Global Alarm

Earth as a different planet

Global Warming: It's time for action

Climate Researchers Urge: Curb Cheap Flights

Pollution putting groundwater supplies at risk, warns agency

The Future of Food: Monopolizing The Seeds That Feed The World

FDA Is Set to Approve Milk, Meat From Clones

Forest Activists Call for an End to Deforestation & a Ban on GE Trees

Haze Distresses Orangutans in Indonesian Reserve

Stop Icelandic Whaling !

Experts call for North Sea cod fishing ban


Iraq War

Is Iran next?


EMF-Omega-News 21. October 2006

EMF-Omega-News 21. October 2006

Base-station emissions and health concerns

A higher risk of childhood leukemia, particularly of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), was linked to high magnetic field (MF) exposure

ALS an epidemic?

Bio-Systems as Super-Conductors

Melatonin reduces night blood pressure in patients with nocturnal hypertension

Fear and loathing on the school bus

Phone mast victory


Bringing the antennas closer to children

Anger voiced at Stanground phone mast plans

Anti-mobile phone mast campaigner and Belvedere resident Alan Eaton talks about battling

Delight at phone mast victory

Campaigners blast phone mast plan

Fears over mobile phone mast

Phone mast pressure group to run candidate

Scientists take step closer to making invisible cloak a reality

Martin Weatherall: Candidate for Mayor of the Township of Blandford-Blenheim, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada

Computer games stunt teen brains

Computer factory staff are ‘at greater risk of cancer’

Children Living Near High Voltage Power Lines Have Increased Risk of Leukemia

Dairy farmers win $1.1 million against utility

Plan still on for site

Téléphonie mobile France: Ecoles et antennes relais - Mobile telephony France: Schools and antennas relay

Téléphonie mobile Hollande: Ecoles et antennes relais - Mobile telephony Holland: Schools and antennas relay

Lawsuit of SFR against Annie Lobé journalist of investigation - Procès de SFR contre Annie Lobé journaliste d'investigation

News from Mast Sanity

Omega-News Collection 21. October 2006

Melatonin reduces night blood pressure in patients with nocturnal hypertension

A new study from Israel provides us more hints, indirectly, about the EMF and blood pressure connection - since electromagnetic pollution reduces human melatonin levels, and melatonin deficiency is related below to high blood pressure at night, then what does it say about blood pressure at night - in people who are exoposed to EMF-R? Very interesting new study.

Iris Atzmon.

Melatonin reduces night blood pressure in patients with nocturnal hypertension

Am J Med. 2006 Oct;119(10):898-902.

Grossman E, Laudon M, Yalcin R, Zengil H, Peleg E, Sharabi Y, Kamari Y, Shen-Orr Z, Zisapel N.

Department of Internal Medicine D and Hypertension Unit, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, affiliated with Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel. gross-e(at)zahav.net.il

PURPOSE: Nocturnal hypertension is associated with a high risk of morbidity and mortality. A blunted nocturnal surge in melatonin excretion has been described in nondipping hypertensive patients. We therefore studied the potency of melatonin to reduce nighttime blood pressure (BP) in treated hypertensive patients with nocturnal hypertension.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-eight treated hypertensive patients (22 males, mean age 64+/-11 years) with confirmed nocturnal hypertension (mean nighttime systolic BP >125 mm Hg), according to repeated 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), were randomized in a double-blind fashion to receive either controlled release (CR)-melatonin 2 mg or placebo 2 hours before bedtime for 4 weeks. A 24-hour ABPM was then performed. RESULTS: Melatonin treatment reduced nocturnal systolic BP significantly from 136+/-9 to 130+/-10 mm Hg (P=.011), and diastolic BP from 72+/-11 to 69+/-9 mm Hg (P=.002), whereas placebo had no effect on nocturnal BP. The reduction in nocturnal systolic BP was significantly greater with melatonin than with placebo (P=.01), and was most prominent between 2:00 AM and 5:00 AM (P=.002).

CONCLUSIONS: Evening CR-melatonin 2 mg treatment for 4 weeks significantly reduced nocturnal systolic BP in patients with nocturnal hypertension. Thus, an addition of melatonin 2 mg at night to stable antihypertensive treatment may improve nocturnal BP control in treated patients with nocturnal hypertension.

Publication Types:

* Randomized Controlled Trial

PMID: 17000226 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Children Living Near High Voltage Power Lines Have Increased Risk of Leukemia


[jcm note 10 20 06.....an Idaho organization....]




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