Study to assess mobile mast risks

Firms may be asked to share masts

New research is to be carried out into mobile phone technology, and the location and use of mobile phone masts, the government has announced.

A study will examine whether the number of cell phone "relay stations" can be reduced by firms having to share them.

Ministers are already reviewing the planning procedure for the masts.

The announcement follows several reports suggesting the masts may represent a health risk and a number of protests in areas where they are built.

Ofcom probe

In January scientists from the National Radiological Protection Board warned that young people were at greatest risk from the potentially-harmful health effects of mobile phone emissions.

Professor Sir William Stewart, who headed the study, said children under eight should not use mobile telephones at all.

The board also said more research could be done into mobile phone masts and suggested the location of the masts could be subject to independent review.

"It is important to identify the future direction of mobile phone technology in order to inform policy development and to respond to public interest in this area," Planning Minister Yvette Cooper said.

The study will assess whether Ofcom provides adequate information about current mast locations.

Other studies have highlighted the possible dangers of using mobile telephones.

A study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden published last year concluded that long-term mobile phone users had nearly double the risk of getting a tumour on a nerve connecting the ear to the brain.

EU-funded research has found mobile phone radiation could damage DNA cells.


Informant: Sylvie


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