How Real Are the Dangers?

In Association With Ideal Home

There has been a lot of media coverage recently about potential dangers in the environment that could affect you and your family. But how do you know which ones you should be taking seriously? These are the hazards that might lurk near your home and the effect they could have on your health.

Avoid Landfill Sites

Termed "toxic time bombs" by Friends of the Earth, around 80 per cent of us live within 2km of a landfill site. Reports suggest a link between waste dumps and serious birth defects, but the Government advocates further research to assess the long-term effects. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs reported that properties within a quarter of a mile of a landfill site were worth an average of £5,500 less than similar houses elsewhere.

Look Out for Mobile-Phone Masts

At least 45 million people in the UK use a mobile phone, and transmitting the signals requires 24,000 base stations. Pressure groups are concerned that electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) around base stations may cause serious illnesses. A higher than normal incidence of sickness in certain areas has led residents to blame their proximity to mobile-phone masts. The masts are also being held responsible for sleep disturbances, fatigue, nose bleeds and epilepsy.

Be Aware of Power Cables

There are fears that overhead power cables and electricity pylons can pose a health risk to people living nearby. It is believed that the cancer-causing particles in air pollution from traffic, industry and agricultural sprays are attracted by the electrical charge around power cables, and fall on the local area. Although the National Grid and electricity companies avoid siting cables over housing, developers often pick up such land cheaply and then use it to build new homes.

Living Dangerously

Watch for Floods

After the devastating floods of the past few years, insurers are becoming unwilling to pick up the bill. Some homeowners have seen steep increases in premiums, been set huge excesses, or have been unable to get cover at all. Without insurance, it is very difficult to sell your home or get a mortgage. Strict planning legislation on new housing was introduced in July 2001, requiring high flood-risk areas to be avoided and the provision of adequate flood defences.

From Mast Network


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März 2005

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