Mast families renew calls for research

Norwich Evening News 24
13 August 2005 11:27

Families who claim their street has higher than average rates of cancer because of a mobile phone mast looming over their homes today renewed calls for proper research into health risks from the technology.

Three years ago the Evening News reported how at least six people living in the shadow of a mobile phone mast had developed cancer.

The victims' homes in Furze Road, Thorpe St Andrew were several hundred metres away from the 120ft mast in St Williams Way, and they had all developed tumours in the previous six years.

Out of the six people featured in our story two have died from the disease and the others called for more research to be carried out into a possible link between their illnesses and radiation emissions from the antenna.

Three years down the line and families are once again urging more work to be done.

In 2002 Norwich North MP Ian Gibson added his voice to the calls for more research, but today he said that without any more cases, any further research into the links would be unlikely.

He said: “There has been no new research done but there have been no new cases that we know of.

“As the people concerned were all suffering from different types of cancer, it would make it hard to link them all to living near to the mast.”

Ivan Bond, 77, of nearby Churchfield Green, was one of the people who called for research three years ago.

He has lived only feet away from the 120ft structure since 1987. When his wife Olive died shortly after the Evening News investigation three years ago, there were concerns that her death could have been linked to the mast, but they were never investigated.

“More research definitely needs to be done,” he said today.

“I know Mr Gibson said it needs more new cases, but these masts are going up all the over the country. I think research should be done anyway, and it's very frustrating that it hasn't.”

The Evening News's Keep Masts On Hold campaign has called for no more masts to be put up near homes or schools until proper research into the health risks is completed.

In 2001 Norwich families quizzed one of the world's leading experts on the risks of mobile phone masts Sir William Stewart after he was invited to the city.

The Stewart report published in May 2000 recommended planners take into account the possibility of risks to health when allowing new masts to go up.

The mast is owned by Arqiva, formerly NTL, and leased to mobile phone companies. Arqiva did not wish to comment yesterday (fri).

Three of the four surviving victims were Betty Chaplin and Vera and Leonard Lamb. The fourth did not want to be identified but is still alive.



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