Mobile phones no threat to people's health?

Mobile phones no threat to people's health, Oireachtas told

I'm sending you this report published in yesterday's IRISH EXAMINER of last Tuesday's meeting between Irish Department of Communication's representatives and the Joint Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, chaired by Deputy Noel O'Flynn.

Torbjorn Lindblom of FEB forwarded the Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee--Deputy Noel O'Flynn--a most helpful up-to-date bibliography (Professor Olle Johansson's) and other leads to research that supports adverse bioeffects from cellphones. I am sending you this bibliography for posting (with Olle's permission) as it could be a great help for all others who wish to make similar submissions:


A few words about Deputy Noel O'Flynn http://www.noeloflynn.ie and his previous involvement with Irish government sponsored investigations into mast health issues: In the late 1990's he served on a nineteen member joint committee on this issue. The full published proceedings of the committee, "Joint Committee on Public Enterprise and Transport Report on Non-Ionizing Microwave Radiation Emissions from Communications Masts" (Publ. in late 1998, publication number PN6439) can be purchased from [Irish] Government Publications Postal Trade Section, 4-5 Harcourt Road, Dublin 2. Tel: + 1 6613111-ext. 4040/4045; Fax: + 1-4752760 or through any bookseller. Among the recommendations on health issues made by the Joint Committee, in this 1998 report are these:

" 9.16 The Department of [Irish] Health and Children should set up a panel of medical experts from which individuals, who consider their health is affected by masts, may select three to carry out medical examinations on payment by the individual of an appropriate fee. This fee will be refunded to the individual in a case where the medical experts agree that health problems are attributable to masts.

9.17 The Department of Health and Children should include a statement in its forthcoming national environmental action plan setting out clearly the up-to-date position in relation to microwave radiation and human health.

9.18 The Department of Health and Children should supply the Director of Telecommunications Regulation with the latest public informaiton in relation to health risks for inclusion in her annual report." (Page 19)

Last night, looking again through this report, I noted Deputy Noel O'Flynn concern for the cellphone health issue even back then in 1998. At one meeting he posed these questions to Dr. Tom McManus who was at that time Chief Technical Adviser, Department of Public Enterprise.

"Dr. McManus: Negative effects were reported in Crossmaglen, which health authorities on both sides of the Border [N. Ireland and the Republic of Ireland] could not prove.

Deputy O'Flynn: I was interested in the last answer because I intended to mention that. How serious are the Department of Public Enterprise and the Department of Health and Children taking the risk to personal health from hand held mobile 'phones. I read about the Australian experiments and my first Parliamentary Question related to the dangers of mobile 'phones. How conclusive were those tests? The Australians said that radiation was transmitted by mobile 'phones to the rats in the experiment. Has Dr. McManus followed the US case in which a surgeon died, allegedly as a result of the use of a mobile 'phone, radiation from which caused a brain tumour? His family is taking a test case in the US courts. What medical tests have we carried out to ascertain whether mobile 'phones are injurious to health? Have we established an expert group to examine, investigate, evaluate and come to conclusions about the danger of mobile phones?" (page 28)

Best, Imelda, Cork

IRISH EXAMINER, Wednesday, 26.01.2005. Page 4

"Mobile phones no threat to people's health, Oireachtas told"

[by] Juno McEnroe

There is no concern about Irish people's health from mobile phones, an Oireachtas committee was told yesterday.

Department of Communications chief technical advisor Bob Hanna told the Joint Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources that initial test results from 400 mobile phone bases nationwide indicated levels of radiation were acceptable, but more research was needed. Meetings were being held with department of health and environmental officials to keep them up to date.

However, Labour TD Tommy Broughan highlighted that no planning permission was needed for phone masts, even though studies were necessary.

Mr Hanna said all guidelines were in practice with international groups such as the World Health Organisation and EU research. Out of 25,000 studies, only eight suggested adverse effects on mobile phone users' health and, in a worse case scenario, this meant that one person would die from cancer every 10 years in Ireland, he said. He was also aware of studies which claimed benign tumours close to the brain and DNA skin tissue damage were side effects from the technology. These were not conclusive though, he stressed. It was not possible to replicate these tests in Ireland, and furthermore the country had no medical facilities for such studies, the Oireachtas committee heard.

At present, all phone groups verified their levels, which were checked by the Communications Regulator. The heating effect is the only known effect to tissue which agitates molecules, like food in a microwave. However, a mobile phone user would need to use a handset for 24 hours a day to feel adverse effects. "If anything was proven, it would change our position overnight," Mr Hanna concluded.

Omega: the statement from Mr Hanna is plain and simple not true. There are a lot of studies which suggest adverse effects on mobile phone users' health. See:


The committee yesterday also heard from the Irish Doctors Environmental Association (IDEA), which is expected to present the first Irish 'snapshot' study on electromagnetic sensitivity in Sligo over the next week.

IDEA member Dr Elizabeth Cullen said mobile phone effects was a growing issue. "We know smoking was harmful for many years, but the ban only came in last year." It was at least necessary to discourage young children using handsets", she said.

The Oireachtas Committee is expected to make a number of recommendations on further mobile phone research."

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