Currently The National Radiation Protection Board (NRPB) produce guidelines (set in 1993) which provide us with supposedly safe levels of radiation – levels, however, which are considerably higher than other countries where research into this subject has led to a number of scientists and scientific bodies significantly reducing their exposure levels. The magnitude of the gulf in thinking between the NRPB and other scientific bodies/governments is alarming. It is difficult to imagine how the NRPB can continue to maintain that an investigative exposure level of 10000mW/cm2 (100W/m2) is safe when in 1995 the New Zealand Environment Court (as the Planning Tribunal) in the case of MacIntyre vs. BellSouth set a level of 2mW/cm2 as a precautionary approach – a level 5000 times less than that set by the NRPB!
I understand that Council’s, when faced with these planning applications, are in a difficult position, between a rock and a hard place so to speak, but they may be leaving themselves wide-open to litigation in the future. However, over 50% of councils in Scotland are now operating precautionary policies to prevent masts from being sited near schools, hospitals and residential areas. In Australia many councils have introduced policies on the siting of mobile phone masts, designed to provide some protection for the public by avoiding sensitive areas. The New South Wales Minister for Education in 1997, stated “The Department of School Education objects to installation of mobile phone towers near schools, and that normally means within a radius of 500 metres. This objection is based on a policy of prudent avoidance”. Since children spend more time at home than at school, it follows that this same prudent avoidance should apply to residential areas. http://www.equilibrauk.com/emfnewinfo.shtml
Evidence has started to emerge suggesting there could be some very serious health implications, most notably an increased incidence of cancer for people working or residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base station transmitter masts. In other countries, most notably the US, Australia and New Zealand, the governments have all taken this issue sufficiently seriously, at both national and local level, to adopt the precautionary principle and introduce policies of prudent avoidance which have effectively banned the erection of these masts from school buildings and residential areas and in other densely populated locations.
Hialeah, Florida, USA
Cotonou (de facto capital)
City of Lismore, Australia,
San Antonio, Texas, USA
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