Increased concern that mobile phone masts could be causing cancer has prompted one politician in Jersey to call for closer monitoring of disease levels near the signal towers.
There are over 100 masts in Jersey alone, but Health officials say we should be more concerned about the risk posed by using mobile phones.
Twenty-odd years since the birth of the mobile phone and there are over 130 masts or base stations across Jersey – and some locals are worried they may pose a health risk.
However, there is not enough evidence to prove they are dangerous.
Senator Ben Shenton said: “You cannot prove that they’re safe but cannot necessarily prove that if someone does develop cancer that lives near a phone mast that they wouldn’t have got that cancer anyway. The only way that we can keep a tight control of this is to make sure we don’t see higher incidences of cancer around phone masts than there would be otherwise.
But health professionals say it is not the masts we should worry about but the mobile phone itself – because electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone masts is thousands of times lower than that of the phone.
The World Health Organisation has now published a study of heavy mobile phone users.
It found there is a possible link to brain cancer.
Dr Susan Turnball, Acting Medical Officer of Health, said: “They’ve shown that people who were the heavier users, and they define that as 30 minutes a day over a period of ten years, were at 40 percent higher risk of certain type of brain tumours called gliomas, so that means that somebody in that category had a risk of almost one and a half times as high of having a brain tumour.”
But more research does need to be done and it will take many years before we have a true picture of the health risks – until then the official advice is to not over-use your phone.
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