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01/02/2000 - The Swiss Government has introduced very strict precautionary requirement for mobile phone base-station emissions

The Swiss Government has introduced very strict precautionary requirement for mobile phone base-station emissions

These came into force on 1st February 2000. New and existing mobile phone towers must meet a 4 volts /metre standard at 900 MHz. The federal Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape explained "Our task is to protect the public not only from agents that are known to be harmful, but also from agents that might prove to be harmful." The strict limits apply in all "areas with sensitive uses" - that is, where people are likely to be for extended periods of time, including homes, schools, playgrounds and hospitals. The ordinance restricts new constructions in "non-sensitive" areas, if exposure levels exceed the precautionary levels. The new limits are based on a literature review by an expert group, which cited effects reported in epidemiological studies showing increased cancer risks, as well as studies showing disruption of the immune, melatonin and calcium systems. The precautionary limits do not apply to private outdoor spaces, e.g. gardens.It was decided to go for a numerical restriction rather than one of distance, as the latter had not proved to be an adequate predictor of field strength levels. The full text of the Ordinance is available in German and French Source: Microwave News Jan/Feb 2000

Official launch of MAST ACTION U.K (M.A.U.K)

The launch took place at noon on Wednesday December 13th 2000,  in the Macmillan Room, Portcullis House, House of Commons, Westminster SW1 OAA. Earlier this year, M.A.U.K has undertaken with its Commons sponsor Mrs. Marion Roe MP (Cons/ Broxbourne) consultative and political lobbying with local and central government officials; inaugurated benchmark proceedings and more locally withdrawn children from schools affected by non-rational siting of mobile phone masts. Most recently the group was the central organizational hub for a National Day of Action, Westminster June 14th 2000.

The launch was chaired by Mrs. Christine Mangat (Joint Coordinator M.A.U.K).

Speakers included

Mr. Alan Meyer, (Halsey, Meyer, Higgins) has been legal counsel to M.A.U.K since 1996.
Mrs Ingrid Dickenson, for Dr Gerard Hyland, (Warwick University, Dept of Physics) a leader in Electromagnetic theory.
Mr. Alasdair Philips, (Director, Powerwatch), EMF bio-effects researcher and EMC Consultant.
Mrs. Marion Roe MP, (Chairman, Select Committee on Health 1992-1997 ;
               Chairman House of Commons Administration Committee 1997-).
Mr. Russ Lindsay, (Fowey Group) will present the Fowey, Cornwall case against non-rational mast positioning.
Mrs. Julie Matthew, (Joint Coordinator M.A.U.K) one of the original members of Mast Action U.K.

Based in Hertfordshire, M.A.U.K grew out of Mast Free Schools (M.F.S), a loose association of local groups facing problems of non-rational mast siting since 1995. The new organisation is the product of cooperation between over 100 regional community groups determined to bring governmental policy into line with considered and rational public health imperatives.

M.A.U.K is affiliated with Friends of the Earth and enjoys close links with Powerwatch, Greenpeace, the international scientific community as well as public health professionals and cross party parliamentary bodies. Although the telecoms industry is booming and many in Britain stand to benefit,in the current regulatory climate our children and communities face an unquantifiable risk. The unconstrained ability of mobile phone operators to place base stations in schools and local communities places intolerable strains on the physical and mental integrity of those units and makes a mockery of our parliamentary democracy. M.A.U.K is the leading national organisation working to secure legislative and regulatory assurances that these vulnerable groups will be protected from another potential public health disaster.

29th March 2000. The final report from the Transport and Environment Committee Inquiry into Telecommunications Developments (mobile phones and their base-stations), commissioned by the Scottish Parliament, is now complete. Copies of the report may be obtained from HMSO (outlets listed in Yellow Pages) or downloaded from the Scottish Parliament website.

Daily Telegraph March 14th 2000. A ruling by Martin Joyce, a Government Planning Inspector from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, on a Vodafone mast in Leeds, will be causing concern amongst mobile phone companies. This was made against Vodafone that one of their masts had breached planning regulations by being too tall. The inspector said the mast "materially harms living conditions". Martin Joyce says that the 15 metre high rule for a telecommunications mast to avoid the necessity of seeking full planning permission, has to include the plinth on which the mast stands. PPG8A, the appropriate Planning Policy Guideline document, clearly stipulates that the mast "apparatus" must not exceed a height of 15 metres above ground level. This has to include any part of the mast above ground level which forms the structure. The antenna(s) can extend above this level, if they are simple antennas and not part of a substantial gantry. Vodafone have been given six weeks to remove the mast or lodge an appeal in the High Court. Already residents fighting masts have been seen, tape measure in hand, calling on district councils to remove other masts which breach the regulations. If you are in doubt about a particular mast structure refer to page 12 in "Telecommunications Prior Approval Procedures as applied to Mast/Tower Development," available from the Department of the Environment, Publications Despatch Centre, Blackhorse Road, London SE99 6TT. Tel: 0181 691 9191 Fax: 0181 694 0099

Unfortunately, we may see as a result of protests about the height of masts, a proliferation of the 8 metre high masts which are being installed especially by Orange. These can often be very close to houses and schools, and can have the same power output as a mobile phone mast of twice the height or more. When the radiation is not focused high levels can be beamed into bedrooms or classrooms. Sometimes small is not beautiful. Still, while the phones are used in ever increasing numbers, and with ever increasing facilities, we will have ever increasing numbers of masts. You can't have one without the other!

The Express March 14th 2000. Jerry Hall is livid and campaigning actively about an 8 metre high mast near a primary school close to her house. Her twin sister, Terry, who has had treatment for breast cancer, was told by her Dallas oncologist to stay away from mobile phones and masts. Jerry is convinced that consumer power can make a difference as it did with genetically modified food.

Wireless Week reported in January 24th, that there are some 70,000 mobile phone towers in the US, about seven times the number that were in place five years ago. Currently there are about 26,000 base-stations in the UK, a number predicted to rise to over 150,000 in the next few years.