Health Considerations and Cell Towers

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In August 2001 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister under John Prescott issued planning guidance to Councils which included PPG8 -Telecommunications. Regarding the health aspect of masts, this guidance contained three paragraphs:
Health Considerations & Cell Towers

29. Health considerations and public concern can in principle be material considerations in determining applications for planning permission and prior approval. Whether such matters are material in a particular case is ultimately a matter for the courts. It is for the decision-maker (usually the local planning authority) to determine what weight to attach to such considerations in any particular case.

30. However, it is the Governments firm view that the planning system is not the place for determining health safeguards. It remains central Governments responsibility to decide what measures are necessary to protect public health. In the Governments view, if a proposed mobile phone base station meets the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure it should not be necessary for a local planning authority, in processing an application for planning permission or prior approval, to consider further the health aspects and concerns about them.

31. The Governments acceptance of the precautionary approach recommended by the Stewart Groups report “mobile phones and health”1 is limited to the specific recommendations in the Groups report and the Governments response to them. The report does not provide any basis for precautionary actions beyond those already proposed. In the Governments view, local planning authorities should not implement their own precautionary policies e.g. by way of imposing a ban or moratorium on new telecommunications development or insisting on minimum distances between new telecommunications development and existing development.

Paragraphs 29 and 30 practically contradict each other. This piece of Government advice has been the subject of two court battles:

The first, on the 26th of September 2003 -Yasmin Skelt -v- The First Secretary of State and Three Bridges District Council and Orange PCS Limited: The First Secretary of State conceded the case which allowed a mast to be removed from Grove Way, Chorleywood on the basis that being within the ICNIRP guidelines did not stop the council from considering other scientific evidence with regard to the possible future health effects on the population close to the mast.

Then in November 2004 – T-Mobile UK Ltd v First Secretary of State: The First Secretary of State also lost the case, however this time the solicitors for The First Secretary of State were in The Court of Appeal fighting against a mobile phone operator. The ruling, which dismissed the appeal, effectively said that other than in exceptional circumstances, the council must accept being within ICNIRP guidelines as being safe, and cannot consider any further health evidence when deciding whether or not to give planning approval to a base station (mast). Observers have said that the case made by The First Secretary of State was very weak and did not offer any evidence that showed the limitations of the ICNIRP guidelines. “It was if they wanted to lose the case”. The First Secretary of State declined to the appeal the decision. And as the previous case was settled before judgement, this became the case that is now cited in similar situations.

There is much evidence that the ICNIRP guidelines are not adequate for determining the health risk of mobile phones, masts or other wireless technology. The ICNIRP guidelines only take into account the heating effects of the radiation while many new studies show that health effects are caused through non thermal mechanisms, at levels far lower than the ICNIRP guidelines (See the Bioinitiative report, Reflex report and others). There are epidemiological studies that show that health problems increase proportionally the closer people (and animals) live to a mast. This would not be the case if the ICNIRP guidelines were ‘safe’.

Given that such evidence exists, it is farcical that the law can say that the ICNIRP guidelines = safe. It is like having a law that states “Bristol is on the moon”. Sadly it is not only farcical, it is also harmful to those people, such as my own family, who are adversely affected by this.

Argentina, Buenos Aires City
Seychelles, Victoria
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
Somalia, Mogadishu
Romania, Bucharest
Cote d’Ivoire, Yamoussoukro
Guatemala, Guatemala City
Latvia, Riga
Gold Coast, Queensland
City of Lismore, Australia

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Smart Meter Dangers or Blessings Part 2

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One might reasonably ask “where’s the money to investigate these risks FIRST’? The public doesn’t want smart meters forced on them. At least not before the US National Toxicology Program finishes up the study on RF that is not due out until 2014 (and, yes, we ARE wondering why if this program started in 1999, its taking 15 years to complete).

The early evidence points to multiple and serious impacts ranging from health effects (sleep disruption, heart arrhythmias and chest pain, headache, extreme fatigue, memory and concentration problems, disorientation and dizziness, etc.) to hacking of personal information, to interference with critical care equipment and medical implants to electrical fires.
And, it especially rankles when you consider that the CPUC has for decades ignored the health risks from transmission line EMF, even in the face of WHO IARC’s decision in 2001 that EMF is classifiable as a Group 2B (Possible) Carcinogen, right there with DDT and lead.

The bulk of the $3.4 billion in federal stimulus dollars for ’smart metering’ will do nothing more than supercharge the building of more transmission lines and add a layer of radiofrequency radiation (RF) to the system for monitoring and reporting. And, not a penny for or a single word about potential health effects. Now, your electrical power lines can bring you two potential carcinogens, instead of one. The CPUC has had sufficient scientific evidence since 1993 that EMF from power lines poses health risks, but has done essentially nothing to modify the way utilities are allowed to site, construct and operate power lines in communities. The CPUC should be out in front of the public safety questions about blanket wireless before it launches a universal assault on communities with it.

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Kiribati, South Tarawa
Greece, Athens
Luxembourg, Luxembourg,
Shepparton, Victoria
Spain, Madrid
Port Lincoln, South Australia

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