9
Aug
2005

Masts and TETRA forum 19th July 05

Many of you are awaiting a report on Phone Mast and TETRA forum held on the 19th July 05. I found this on the Mast Action website, so that at least you have some idea of what happened.

Sandi



Mobile Phone Mast Forum Report

Lembit Opik MP and Dr Ian Gibson MP Chaired a ‘highly charged’ Telecommunications Mobile Phone Mast Forum held at Westminster on 19th July 2005.

Over 100 MP’s, campaigners and Industry representatives heard presentations from Dr Gerd Oberfeld, Salzburg Leading Public Health Specialist and Eileen O’Connor of the EM Radiation Research Trust challenged Dr Michael Clark of The Health Protection Agency and Stuart Eke of The Mobile Phone Operators Association on the total inadequacy of the present planning policy in England and Wales for mast siting and the lack of independent research into the possible adverse health effects of over exposure to microwave radiation from some 40,000 masts in the UK.

Amanda Westley of Mast Sanity and Andy Davidson of Tetra Watch put a strong argument forward on the panel debate against the Tetra system for the Police Force.

The end of a spirited but constructive debate, Dr Ian Gibson said -:

“This is an important public health issue following the advice of Sir William Stewart the meeting has supported the proposal that all masts should be subject to full planning applications with proper, not just token, local consultation, including a review of health concerns. The Government should fund peer reviewed independent research into areas where cancer clusters have arisen round GSM masts, with the office of National Statistics providing for information on actual cases of cancer and motor neurone disease. The Police Tetra system needs to be revisited on safety issues ahead of its rollout.



From Karen Barratt - see below notes compiled by Marre Dafforn. Also attendees can get electronic copies of powerpoint presentations made by Michael Clark, Gerd Oberfeld, Eileen O'Connor, Andy Davidson, from opikl@parliament.uk or staplesj@parliament.uk

--------

Notes (MD) on Telecommunications Mast Forum, 19-07-05, Houses of Parliament.

Co-chaired by Lempit Opik MP (Lib Dem), Ian Gibson MP(Lab), Nicolas Gibb MP (Con), and Jill Evans MEP(Plaid Cymru).

AGENDA:

Introduction: By Lembit Opik MP:

-Purpose today: issues of Masts.
-Debate a hearing from all sides
-Some decision where to go next/ clearer idea of next steps.
-See the differences and how to move forward.

Opening Address: Dr Michael Clark (Health Protection Agency =HPA).

Slide Show: scientific consensus of radio waves on human health: science is not about certainties – new technology- the issues are complicated- genuine uncertainties.

Majority will have a mobile phone, to be able to use it we need links/ masts.

Showed Map of radiation spectrum, explained ionising and non ionising radiation.

-No doubt ionising radiation breaks DNA strands
-microwave energy “vibrates”=biological effect and produces heat, safety standards based on heating
-Science is about dealing with uncertainties.
-TV/Radio have been around for years- no health effects.
-We measure Mobile phone masts- Radio mast higher exposure measured
-ICNIRP safety accepted by most countries.
- Not enough evidence for need to change, only need for more research.
-Epidemiological evidence- no chronic disease evident.
-Stewart Report = model of how to assess health concerns- conclusions ICNIRP guidelines do not cause adverse health effects. Biological effects do not have to be harm to health.

IEGMP – rapid assessment as independent as possible- gap in knowledge justify precaution at this time.

-Driving whilst speaking on a mobile is dangerous.
-Cancer risk: no evidence, but can not exclude a possibility of a link with (other) health effects.
-Precautionary advise for children= not 5o use mobile unless necessary etc.
-Stewart Report par: 1.36 – 6.57= revoke permitted development rights= often ignored.
- Further updates AGNIR, other countries etc no evidence of harm , need for more research.
-Precaution in a planning process- how?

Stewart Update 2004 again no association with established health risks etc, TNO, need for replication. ES- no Lab experiments that confirm ES- no casual relationship.

We need people with monitoring equipment on body to be able to measure people’s actual exposure levels.

“EMF”: A Priority for Public Health” – Dr. Gerd Oberfeld (Public Health Department, Salzburg Government)

- EMF a priority for Public Health
- Showed slide: natural and artificial electromagnetic spectrum
Ionising radiation – high energy, known to break DNA bond
Non-ionising radiation- maybe there are other mechanism- increased chromosome damage with microwaves shown in 1959.
-Catania Resolution- Sept 02- evidence induced effects- some harm to health below ICNIRP guidelines
-ELF magnetic fields- Pylons- IARC 01 classification as possible carcinogenic.
-California EMF Project 02- 40% of all miscarriages associated with magnetic fields .1600nT

Microwave Radiation:

1 -High/Short Term Exposure – Mobile phone/ Dect phone- REFLEX report-chromosome damage with 24hrs mobile phone with SAR 1.3W/kg, ICNIRP/ WHO safety SAR limit= 2W/kg. Acoustic Nuroma associated with Mobile phone use (Hardell and Lonn 2004)

2 –Less High/ Long Term Exposure – Masts- back in 1932 Schliephake already study showing tiredness, sleep disturbance etc, Santini study 2002-reduced quality of life in France, Kundi study- Masts associated with reduced quality of life Austria (not published yet), Oberfeld study- reduced quality of life, Spain 2004 etc. Suspected Cancer clusters- (7) UK Dr Walker, 2005, Germany: Nailia Study etc.

EMF – Public Health:

-Advisory group of experts and NGO’s.
-Promote research into health incidences, cancer.
-EMF education plan.
-EMF prevention plan.


Panel Debate: Tetra

-Paul Lewis (Police Fed. Of England and Wales)
-Amanda Westley (Mast Sanity)
-Andy Davidson (Tetra Watch)

Paul Lewis: intro:-More effective police system needed-as result 1996 project airwave, to be completed by end of this year. We have concerns but have to use the equipment.

-Mixed messages, we are left in an awkward situation,
-The system has helped the Police.
-Concerns from officers on health effects, no one will give us assurance that the system is 100% safe, but we have to use the system.

Amanda Westley:

-TETRA – increased epileptic fits, Gov= no statistic significant effects?

Andy Davidson:

-To little exploratory science- epidemiological studies- Tetra- greater caution needed- We need to listen to what people say, re asbestos- Human body is a living organism- under threat.
-ES- dismissed as nameless- it can be severely disabling- we need to be more open-minded about this, our thinking is far to narrow.

Karen Barret:

-Political issues- officers concerned but are being bullied to use this system- if not they will lose their job.

Paul Lewis:

Answers more or less yes if you do not like it you will lose your job.

Andy:

-Police officers can not express fears

Amanda:

-Police officers have been threatened with disciplinary procedures.

Paul Lewis:

- Too much money has already been spent, how do we deal with this?

Andy:

- Cost very high Tetra- Tetrapol is alternative

Amanda:

The cost on NHS could be even greater in the future.

Alan Meyer (MAUK):

- On behalf of Police Fed- as employer should you not be responsible for your staff?

Chris Nunn (I think)

- When is evidence not about money? Planning system in favour of Airwave 02, although no guarantee of safety of this technology = charade.

Andy:

Police Officers having to use the equipment TETRA- we need record of symptoms to be able to take speedy action when required.

Amanda:

Stewart Report – remove PDR, apply precaution, this is not happening, Gov not listening to its own advisors.

Rebecca:

- 2 Tetra masts near school, great concern, ignored by Gov = unacceptable.

Amanda:

Mast on primary school against recommendation, how many deaths before Gov will listen?

Paul Lewis:

- We have to deal with what we have (??)

Andy:

Once we admit Mobile phone technology is harmful= enormous consequences.

Break

Panel Debate: Mobile Phone Masts:

-Dr. M Clark (HPA)
-Stuart Eke (Mobile Operators Association= MOA)
-Dr. Gerd Oberfield
-Eileen O’Connor (Radiation Research Trust)

Ian Gibson:

-What about the mast you do not see or know about?

Stuart (MOA) :

- 60 mill mobile phone users- need for masts- consumer demand, mobile phone transformed life, but understand concern. Code of Best Practise- we believe in consultation- annual rollout plans, all to support opportunity for consultation.

Eileen (SCRAM):

- Cancer- I believe my cancer was result of mast-
- We need independent research funding.
- We need radiation levels reduced

M Clark (HPA)

- I personally think health effects need to be separated from planning issues.

Gerd Oberfeld:

-Stating practical standards, Salzburg resolution etc, reduction of use of mobile phones= reduction of masts. Antennas high up (10m above roof tops). Reduction of power. EMF epidemiological- risk to high with current standards.

Question Rob Fellow(??) MP:

- Mobile phone operators fulfilling an individual choice/ need. Issues masts – if motorway suggested near your home- detailed planning requirements, but not with masts. My constituents- show maps of beam intensity and ill health/ deaths/ disease.
- How come no data collection of all the above by HPA? Need for data to make informed decisions.

Alan Meyer (MAUK):

We had meeting with Gov asked 5 questions (PPG8 pa 29/30, GPDO encourages low masts, should be avoided, all mast should be full planning, Code of Best Practise, what does consult mean; do you take results intop account, operators ignore results consultation exercise, what is planning Inspectorates roll in Telecom, Jody Phillips case.

Gov gave no decision on PPG8, said it would listen..

Karen Barrat:

Intro Mast Sanity, told of Byron mast campaign, fighting planning application for 5 years, we have costs, LPA have costs – political decision- Gov gets in bed with the telcom industry.

M Clark:

- Public health problems, have to work with what we got, how to do epidemiological studies?
- Particular frequencies effecting people, 2 extreme views:
1 We are sensitive orgs, 2 we are tough/ evolution.
Issues democracy = planning- should be choice. Science has to be separated from this.

Eileen O’Connor:

Shows graphs of hotspots in which cancers- health survey- cancer in main beam of radiation- gone to all the homes of people who are suffering. We need education program, mouth cancers in children on rise/ mobile phone.

Operators not following own guidelines- use of emergency powers.

Stuart Eke (MOA):

- We need masts, buy a phone means you are signing a contract that needs a mast. Consultation.

Michael Bell:

All new masts should go for full planning- all masts should be on a register. PPG 8 should take local concerns into account. NRPBshould be a new independent body. See radiation research trust website. Need for more research.

Public:

-Multiple mast outside my home – no precaution, look at our health concerns etc, LPA hands tied. No precautionary approach.

Mike Davidson Comm Affair Officer H3G:

Breast cancer; my mother had it, survived= benefited from science

? – from Wales:
- How to educate the public, particularly kids?
- What comes from this conference?

Alan Meyer (MAUK) question to M Clark (HPA):

-1999 Nicola Palmer (child) was cured from having epileptic fits, then mast next to her home, resulting in her having numerous fits again.
-Why does HPA not investigate conditions such as increased fits when mast built ?

Public:

- Consultation 14 days not enough- MM02 invited for meeting did not turn up.
- What is the purpose of today?

M Clark (HPA):

- How to apply precaution = not a matter for science= matter for politics.
- Everything is blamed on a mast nearby, not all of it can be caused by a mast.

Gerd Oberfeld:

- Not all symptoms are from masts but one can see from old literature emf causes symptoms. These symptoms are occurring every-were = picture emerging = anecdotal evidence.

Eileen:

- Shielding/ screening, helped against her son’s nose bleeds, sleepless nights etc. (basically some advertising for powerwatch stuff)
- “I want the Mobile Phone Industry to proof the opposite: namely that my cancer is/was not caused by their mast”.

MOA:

- NRPB- saying lack of evidence that this technology causes health effects, refers to Deloid T report etc, LPA’s are telling them they are getting better at consultation etc.

Mast Voice UK:

- We the public have lost our trust in democratic process, discrepancy of funding for research, tried communicating with operator but basically got no were.

Public:

- Self-regulation? Current Planning regulations need to be scrapped.

Jill Evans MEP:

- MM02- no info from site finder for TETRA masts, new EU Law on information and consultation- Better health statistics needed.
- What to do now?

Gerd Oberfeld:

- Take urgent action, not wait until public health deteriorates.
- Propose standards to reduce exposure-Research health complaints.

M Clark:

- Remind (Gov?) Stewart recommended precautions.
- Health statistics, for use to do epiderm. Study is very difficult, need money, needs to be peer reviewed.

Eileen:

- ICNIRP scrapped.
- Self regulation should be scrapped
- Safer guidelines.
- Get health surveys done now etc.

MOA:

- Need for additional funding, operators respond possessively to need for more funds for research.
- There is no public health problem now, we can debate that all day but we respond to what the HPA recommends (WHO) etc.

Gill Evans concludes:

Should listen to members of community- local people. Thanks public, Lembit Opik etc for organising this event.

Lembit Opik:

Concludes in thanking all people for attending/ organising etc, hopes to form a steering group.

(Present about 70? people when I did a quick count, Marre)
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