Manuel de Falla school in the town of Vega del Guadalquivir, in Spain, has a mobile phone mast in the school grounds and 2 others nearby.
Three of the children at the school have developed cancer and one has died. One pupil has lost the sight of one eye because of a retinoblastoma; five others have had an operation to remove part of the thyroid and ganglial tumours in different parts of the body.
There are also about a hundred other cases of cancer and degenerative diseases among the teachers, the domestic staff and the residents living nearby.
An unusually high number of thyroid conditions have been diagnosed, and as thyroid problems have been linked to radio frequency exposure, this may be a further pointer to a link with the phone masts.
The phone mast was put up in the playground in 2001. Until not very long ago the children could get close to it, touch it and even climb up it! Recently a wall was built to shield it, but depends on the dimensions of the wall as to whether this is adequate, or whether it just gives the appearance of protection. There has been no mention of whether the exposure levels have been measured.
The Town council has no power to order the removal of the mast, though in 2002 an attempt to prohibit masts in residential areas was made. An 8-year court battle is ongoing.
Local residents are talking about taking further action, such as picketing Telefónica, one of the mobile phone companies concerned.
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