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6. None of these situations appears to relate to thermal heating of any kind. These effects could not be ascribed to thermal heating because the distances involved are far too great. However, they may relate to biological effects from low intensity microwave radiation over prolonged periods.

However, the research has not been carried out into cumulative effects.
• It is necessary to ask why?
• Perhaps in the light of the Industry’s approach over the years to the mobiles themselves, the answer may be fairly obvious?
In the absence of conclusive evidence that mobiles themselves and mobile networks are safe – something the scientists agreed they can not prove without substantial additional properly structured research – it is necessary now to use common sense and prudent avoidance. The European Treaties relating to the Environment described common sense as the Precautionary Principle and preventative action – see Article 130r.

7. What does prudent avoidance, preventative action, precautionary approach mean in practice? No-one wants to prevent the advance of telecommunications. It is a great new boon to living when used sensibly. However, common sense needs to prevail over the economics of the Industry’s proliferation.

There is no need these days to place Telecommunications Masts and Base Stations too close to permanently occupied residences and children’s schools. The only reason that Masts are placed too close, i.e. the near side rather than the far side of a farmers field is because it is cheaper. Cheaper because it is nearer the electricity supply, cheaper because it is easier for maintenance and access from an adjoining road or track.

However, the requirements are not that spot specific and there is absolutely no reason why a properly erected and located Mast should be closer than a minimum of 200 to 250 meters from any inhabited property, using a ground based Mast and Ground Based Station. Unfortunately the Industry ignores the obvious because it is easier and cheaper, and usually regrettably there is no-one to take them on or to challenge their planning application with the Planning Authorities.

8. Recently groups all over the United Kingdom, including Scotland and Northern Ireland have been successful in showing planning authorities that there is a better way to interpret the outmoded Telecommunications Legislation (1984) the outmoded planning circulars and the general ignorance of the fact that European Union Treaties advocated the Precautionary Principle (1993 Maastricht) to safeguard the public’s health.

Governments are there to be wise and knowledgeable. Governments are not there to be led by the Industry in pursuit of progress and financial gain at the expense of the public at large. Governments are there to be able to interpret properly scientific guidance or advice.

This proliferation of’ Network Masts may turn out to be the next BSE for ignoring the warnings and acting without any common sense or prudent avoidance.

9. Reverting to the mobiles themselves, it is not common sense to put a mobile against your head for four or five hours a day at the incidence of your employer. In law, almost certainly that Employer is not providing a safe system of work.

Equally, under the Consumer Protection Act it seems probable now that the manufacturers ought to display some form of health warning on their products to protect themselves from product liability claims – and of course the users to whom then sell the huge number of phones from internal danger to enable such consumers to make an informed choice or consent.

Possibly (update 2000), in due course, it will be shown scientifically that living in too close proximity to a Mast is damaging to health, and possibly then there will under provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 be legal remedies available, which allow people to seek compensation from the mobile phone network providers, and also against those who allow the Masts to be on their land.

This may include eventually even some Local Education Authorities who seem to be prepared to allow Masts to be erected regardless of possible risks to the children on school property for whom they are in loco parentis in return for an annual rental.

This aspect is currently now under investigation by the Secretary of the State for Education following the meeting of the House of Commons Select Committee in June 1999 with Representatives of NRPB as mentioned below.

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by Halsey Meyer Higgins Solicitors
1. More than a year ago at Dublin Castle on 6th March 1998, the Irish Minister of Public Enterprise, Mrs. Mary O’Rourke, stated this is an issue which will grow and grow and will not go away. Subsequent events have proved her correct in that Public concern worldwide is growing and not diminishing as the Public grows more conversant with possible effects from mobile phone usage.

2. The issue breaks down into two different parts, firstly the safety of using mobiles themselves and secondly and perhaps long-term more importantly, the question of living close to a ground based Telecommunications Mast and Base Station.

3. On the issue of mobiles themselves, it is of course the users choice as to whether they have a mobile in the first place and then secondly how much they choose to use it. However that choice or consent is entitled to be a properly informed choice or consent.

Recent disclosures seem to show that prolonged use of a mobile may not be that safe despite assurances made by the Industry over the last ten years to that effect. On 24th May, Dr. George Carlo of the Industry’s established WTR in America stated that the Industry’s continuing statements that there was no conclusive evidence against mobiles was not a realistic position to take.

4. The main public concern however does not relate to the use of the mobile phones themselves where there is that choice. The problem as perceived by large sections of the public and particularly communities whose privacy has been invaded by the erection of a Mast and Ground Base Station is whether long-term chronic exposure to the low intensity radiation from such facilities is indeed now safe.

Bearing in mind that the assurances about the safety of the mobiles themselves when used close to the brain seem now to be somewhat suspect, the question arises as to whether similar assurances relating to the safety of living close to a Ground Based Station and Mast are also realistic. The problem is that such research as has been carried out relates to the mobiles themselves. Little or no published research has been carried out relating to chronic long-term exposure month after month, year after year to living close to a Telecoms Mast.

5. The only indicators, which might tend to provide some evidence relate to other types of masts, i.e. TV Masts, short-wave radio Masts and radar installations. There the North Sydney Australia study showed a significant statistical increase in cancer cases within the triangle of those three Masts in North Sydney.

Here the Sutton Coldfield BBC Mast study showed increased radiation levels around the Mast and its near vicinity. In Switzerland, the Schwarzenberg short-wave Mast was thought to be having adverse health effects on the local community for years. When a study was carried out in the mid 1990s by the University of Bern, it was found that the emissions from that mast did have an effect on the people in the vicinity.

This was discovered because during the period of the study there was a significant drop in the symptoms in many people over a three day period within that prolonged study. It was then discovered, which was not known at the time, that the transmitter had failed for those three days and there were no short-wave transmissions.

The Swiss government has now closed the Mast down. Incidentally, the Swiss health and environmental officials have proposed strict rules for public exposures from new sources of radio frequency and microwave radiation. If the ordinance is adopted, which appears likely, Switzerland will have the most stringent exposure levels in the world – based on the precautionary principle – guideline levels much lower than those recommended by the NRPB.

There is also the evidence of the Soviets irradiation of the US Embassy in Moscow, which produced serious adverse health effects.

There is the Skrunda study in Finland with regard to populations living many kilometers behind the radar installation and those living a similar distance in front of the radar installation. There the health conditions of those living in front of that installation were found to be markedly different, and this has been put down to the effect of the radar transmissions.

Finally there was recently a study funded by the Bavarian State Government in Germany following reported adverse health effects in dairy cattle only after a Telecoms Mast had been erected. It was discovered after a period that the cause of the significant drop in the yield of that herd of cattle and Extraordinary Behavior Disorders in some of the cows related to the microwave transmissions from that Mast. When the cattle was moved away from its vicinity after a period the milk yield and the behavior of that herd was totally restored to normal.

However when the cattle were returned to the mast environs their symptoms returned. This was not an isolated incident – see Loscher and Kas of Universities of Hannover Veterinary School and University of the German Army in Munich 1998.

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