31
Mai
2005

MP welcomes phone mast health risk study

Norwich Evening News

31 May 2005 11:43

A Norwich MP is demanding tighter regulations for the siting of mobile phone masts after new research claimed people living close to them are exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.

Norwich North MP and cancer expert Ian Gibson today welcomed the latest study by Dr Gerd Oberfeld, an Austrian environmental medicine expert from Salzburg.

It found that radiation levels increased dramatically when people were in rooms close to mobile phone masts.

The study was carried out among 12 volunteers, aged 20 to 78.

It recorded brain waves using an electroencephalogram and when the volunteers were unknowingly exposed to mobile phone masts the levels of radiation increased from 26 microwatts to 3,327 microwatts.

The study found this had a dangerous effect on brainwaves and severely damaged health.

Dr Gibson, who has supported the Evening News's campaign to stop siting masts near schools and homes until it is conclusively proved they are safe, said today: "This is dramatic news. We will need to repeat it with a bigger number of individuals. But I do not find it surprising. The net is closing in on this industry which claims complete safety. I am sure the public will welcome this news and will increase the demands for government intervention on the siting of these masts."

He said he wanted the Government to take notice of the study by Sir William Stewart, which expressed the need to adopt a precautionary principle with regards to the siting.

"In two weeks time I will be meeting Yvette Cooper, the minister with responsibility for this industry and I will be urging her to give a public response to this research," Dr Gibson said.

"The Government has got to give the planning authorities the authority to ban these masts on health grounds," he added.

Karen Barratt, spokeswoman for Mast Sanity, the campaign group for more sensitive siting of phone masts, said: "There are many studies like this which indicate people do suffer ill effects when they are living near phone masts.

"The industry and the Government keep pretending that the evidence is anecdotal or people are suffering psychosomatic effects but nothing could be further from the truth. We have lots of evidence of people suffering ill effects when they don't even know there is a mobile phone mast in the area."

She said there was evidence of cancer clusters around mobile phone masts and the Government was ignoring the matter.

"At the moment there is total planning chaos. The mast phone operators can put them up where they like and local authorities are being bullied into submission to put them up in sensitive areas near to school's and people's homes."

Meanwhile, families in North Walsham are trying to bring legal action against mobile phone operator O2 over the siting of a mast on top of the police station in Yarmouth Road , which they say has caused people's health to deteriorate.

The Put Masts on Hold campaign was launched by the Evening News in December 2000 to stop the installation of mobile phone masts close to homes and schools until their safety was proved.

In September 2003 the Evening News published a map showing the location of every mast in Norwich .

The mobile phone industry has dismissed the findings of the latest study, saying an independent body did not certify the experiment.
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