New tests for mast

Norwich Evening News

17 September 2005 12:32

Mobile phone mast campaigners in Norwich and Norfolk could be offered the chance to discover the effects of radiation from base stations through a new test.

Families who believe they are suffering ill-effects from phone mast emissions will be able to ask for a blood test to find out the effect of radiation.

LaboTech, the German laboratory, which has pioneered the process, will for the first time accept samples from British patients for analysis.

Ingrid Dickenson, director of scientific studies for national phone mast charity Mast Sanity, is responsible for the initiative.

“It seemed quite wrong to me that people in this country were being denied the chance to have this test,” she said.

“Although they will have to pay, we hope in time it will be included as one of the routine tests available on the NHS.”

The blood samples will be taken by the London based Biolab Medical Unit at a cost of £25 and sent to Germany for analysis.

This will cost a further £125 but is still cheaper than routine blood tests carried out privately.

Patients will then be given an individual programme of supplements, certified by the German Department of Health.

It is hoped that these supplements will be available from a British pharmacy at a future date.

Norwich North MP Dr Ian Gibson, a prominent campaigner against phone masts, said: “I think it's great. Anything that gives us evidence has to be welcomed.

“The struggle goes on and anything is worth doing - this kind of sampling has to be welcomed.”

Dr Gibson, who has been a long-time supporter of the Evening News's campaign against the installation of mobile phone masts near homes and schools until it is proved they are safe, urged city people to put themselves forward.

David Shailer, of Montcalm Road, Thorpe Hamlet, who successfully fought against an application for yet another antenna on the Mousehold water tower, said he would be interested in taking part.

“That sounds very good,” he said. “I think it's positive, and it might calm down a lot of the uncertainty.”

But while he admitted he was interested in taking part in the study, the cost would be the stumbling block.

“I'm in favour of it,” he said. “But when you say £25 and £125 your talking about £150 by the time you've finished.

“I would say that the companies who operate the masts near residents should be forthcoming in paying for the tests or the Government should pay for the tests for people who live near masts.”

Graham Barker, of Lloyd Road, Taverham, lives near to a controversial replacement Vodafone mast on Fakenham Road, said: “It's interesting, some people might welcome it, but I would want to know more about it.

“It's something some people might view as commercial exploitation but others might see that there's something in it.”

Mr Barker said it is something he would have to know a lot more about before he was prepared to commit himself too.

“I wouldn't rush in head first,” he said. “I would want to learn much more about the background.”

Pressure group Mast Sanity said the blood test was just the beginning in a campaign to make the public aware that mobile phone technology and health is a worldwide issue and that other countries are already taking steps to protect the public.

If you are interested in finding out more about the tests contact Biolab medical unit, 9 Weymouth Street, London, W1W 6DB; or call 02076365959; log onto http://www.biolab.uk , or e-mail info@biolab.co.uk .

Are you fighting plans to site a phone mast in your neighbourhood? Call Peter Walsh at the Evening News on (01603) 772443 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk


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