03/08/2002 - Test Victims like Emma, by Andrew Mosely
A top Government adviser on mobile phone mast safety has called for more research to be carried out on cancer victims living near them - like six-year-old Emma. Speaking exclusively to the Express & Echo, Sir William Stewart believes human studies are vital as some people may be more vulnerable to the effects of mast emissions than others. He said a blanket dismissal of possible health implications was wrong as further research was needed before the full effects of mobile phone masts were known. The biologist, who headed the independent group of experts which produced The Stewart Report in May 2000, believes individual studies could help explain why Emma and other people who live near masts are ill.
Emma, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1999 is one of four people living near the mast to suffer from cancer since the 15-metre Orange mast was installed in 1996. Emma's mother welcomed the words of Sir William, who told the Echo: "When we put together the report we said it was uncertain whether or not mobile phone technology was harming and having adverse effects on the general population on the UK. There is no evidence that this is the case, but the question is whether particular individuals might be more susceptible. I would like to see studies on real people, not animals and bits of tissue. Our current committee wants to get some volunteer studies carried out. Some people have already been chosen. The findings from these studies could help inform on what has gone on regarding this little girl. I am most interested to learn about this girl and the adverse health effects she has suffered. This is an area which has received worldwide attention, but the question as to whether mobile phone masts cause these effects is still unresolved I am afraid. In our report we recommendation of a precautionary approach. That is absolutely vital."
Orange maintain that the mast is safe, but have agreed to move it if they can find an alternative site. Sir William said mast safety was an important issue as many people did not have a choice as to whether or not they lived close to one. There are currently 26,000 in the UK, with 24,000 more planned for the next 18 months. He also said he was concerned about masts near schools. "Our recommendation was that masts should not be close to schools and you have to be very careful," he said.
Mid Devon District Council recently became the first in the country to make an exclusion zone around mobile phone masts as part of their planning policy. Councillors agreed that masts should not be erected within 500 metres of a home, school or hospital, if there was an alternative site.
Christine Mangat of lobby group Mast Action UK said Sir William's comments were "very encouraging".
What to do if you have microwave fields over a few volts per metre (or the much lower pulsing levels which are impacting on some peoples' lifestyles) in your house, office, or place of concern?
- Carefully measure the fields at different times, days, etc. Document it carefully and get it witnessed. (you can hire monitors from us)
- Purchase and install some suitable shielding materials (soon to be available through Powerwatch and from Perspective Scientific Ltd.)
- Measure/witness/document the reduced levels. Sworn affidavits are good for such witnessing
- Send an invoice for the shielding materials and any redecoration costs to the network operator.
- When they don't pay up take it to the small claims court.
(The original emailer said "If I had a mast in my back yard I would make it my life's work to sue them into boredom. (Powerwatch comment ... 'sue them into further inaction ... tie up their time so that future mast applications have to be properly thought through with effective consultation') Visual impairment, loss of light, reduction in property value .... in this case I wouldn't sue for the actual loss as this would take it outside of small claims jurisdiction - it would cost too much and you would need a lawyer. With the small claims court you can DIY. So I would invoice them just for the cost of a chartered surveyor's report into the potential loss of property value.")
Also, if you have a business e.g. a caravan site, where the presence of a mast is turning away customers, get the customers to put their objections in writing (necessary for the court), and sue the operator for loss of livelihood, using the specific evidence for a specific claim in a small claims court. If you have several examples, make different claims for each one - be careful of the compensation limit.
The US Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers is, like the UK IEE, a bastion of industry. It is good to see the US folk allow someone to use their journal to speak out their concerns.
Dr Raymond Kasevich, founder of KAI Technologies, Inc. has 30 years of corporate research and development experience in electromagnetic science and engineering applications. These applications cover a wide range of projects, from full-scale radiofrequency oil recovery and environmental remediation systems to medical catheter systems for microwave hyperthermia. Mr. Kasevich has 20 years of University teaching experience in Electrical Engineering. He holds more than 25 patents and has published numerous papers in professional journals. His education includes an ME degree from Yale University in 1963 with undergraduate studies in Electrical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Hartford. He received a Ford Foundation Grant for Ph.D. studies at the University of Michigan while working part-time at the Radiation Laboratory in Ann Arbor on network synthesis problems and continued Ph.D. studies at MIT in the Department of Physics as a special graduate student.
Tetra mast emits signals discernible by the brain
On 15th May 2002, Gower Residents Against Mobile Masts (GRAMM) met with Dr Gerard Hyland, various Police Forces and a representative from O2 to establish whether TETRA masts pulse. It was plain for all to see that the monitor was NOT showing a continuous signal as GRAMM had been assured by the operators that it would. Whilst the carrier signal was regarded in 'engineering terms' as constant and not pulsing, superimposed onto this was a 17.64 hz frequency, which according to the experts who specialise in this field, is discernable by the brain. The same principle applies to the frequencies emitted from a GSM mast. Whether one wants to call these frequencies, "pulses", "blips", whatever, they exist and were clearly seen at the test site. According to the 02 engineers at the time, these "blips" were "nothing to worry about".
Specialists in biophysics, which is the science required here, are convinced that these "blips" pose a potential danger. It seems that interested parties have been playing with words at our expense, with the public being used as "guinea pigs". All those attending this test saw quite clearly that there was a repetitive signal that our very delicate brains can easily detect, and which may damage some of the more vulnerable members of society. Put simply, from an engineering point of view it could be argued that this mast did not pulse, from a biological point of view it certainly did. There can be no question as to which is more important! GRAMM calls on the Government to take steps to ensure that no further masts are erected in their present form and funding is directed to develop or purchase safe technology, to satisfy the needs of the mobile phone industry, their customers and the emergency services.
Planning authorities should have better information
Certain information should be available to members of Planning Authorities and the general public, in order to help make a decision as to whether an application for a new mast, or added equipment to an existing mast, should be allowed to go ahead. For some reason, some of the operators or their agents, do not produce the full information on which a decision can easily be reached. We suggest the following are very useful in ensuring the sort of community involvement and consultation that is part of the Federation of Electronic Industries (FEI) ten commitments, that all operators signed up for. It should also be clear that no upgrade work (trenches for electricity supply, etc. should be undertaken prior to a decision being reached.
Have you, the Operator, written to all residents living close to the (proposed) mast site individually before (the original application and) the current application was (were) submitted?
Has the Parish Council, as well as the District Council been given all the information regarding this mast?
Do the Councils have very large scale, clear, accurate coverage plans showing clearly (road by road) how much of the area would definitely receive (an enhanced) signal from this mast and those who would not?
Do the Councils have an accurate, clear, large scale map of the whole District showing the other Operator's existing masts and their coverage so the overlap on cells is observable and the intended roll-out plans for other masts in the area can be seen and understood by the whole community?
What is the angle of the masthead tilt of all antennas to be placed on this mast?
Have the Councils got an accurate large-scale plan of the whole area where the paths of the main beams from all the antennas lie?
Have the Councils got a large-scale map showing the exact paths from the sources to the receiver dishes?
What equipment will be installed inside the equipment cabins and what are the expected emissions levels from this please?
What is the number of frequencies in each direction?
Has the operator signed a lease with the landowner yet for this mast site? What is the length of the lease? Have you made the landowner aware of the clause in the Telecommunications Act that gives the operator powers to take him to court should he decide not to renew any lease with them?
Either now, or in the future, do you intend mast sharing with the emergency services or other phone operators?
Either now, or in the future, do you intend enlarging this site, or adding extra equipment?
Who will be responsible for the emissions audit, to monitor signal levels? How often will the audit take place?
If site enclosures are secure, how will measurements be taken that are really independent, if permission is needed to gain access?
There are letters of objection from residents on file at the District Council offices; how has the presence of these affected the application process? In terms of the FEI ten commitments, what procedures have you implemented in the consideration of these views? You need to be specific.
The Stewart Report, PPG8, the T & I Select Committee and the Human Rights Act make clear that it is up to the operator to show proven need for this particular mast in this particular place, therefore:
"Have you provided full documentary evidence proving need for this additional mast / additional equipment? This will include in a small rural area a need more call-carrying capacity."
"Have you provided full documentary evidence that other sites have been considered and that this is the only site that can meet your network need? All the sites considered and rejected by you, the operator, should have clear reasons for rejection, substantiated by appropriate evidence."
"What arrangements has the operator made to compensate those whose homes will devalued by the mast or whose business (es) will be damaged by the mast (e.g by caravan sites, whose pitches are not used by people who do not want to holiday near a mast)?"
"Church of England signs antenna deal with Quintel S4"
Quintel S4 and the Church of England have signed a deal giving S4 direct access to some 5,000 Church of England churches within a national agreement and a "stock" of some 16,000 other churches. The Archbishop's Council has confirmed that Tetra is included in the multi-user base stations in the spires and suitable parish churches. Each antenna is capable of simultaneously receiving and transmitting all five 3G operators' radio signals, combining services for all of the licence holders. There are concerns that once the operators are on site they have right of access for maintenance (and emergency) and could be on site any day of the week. Also in one case the West Country, in St John's church, Orange, apparently, had veto over the reverend about who could come into the church and when.
Parent company QinetiQ (pronounced "Kinetic" - and they paid loads of tax-payers dosh for that great(?) naming fiasco!) was spun out of the UK Ministery of Defence DERA organisation in summer 2001, claims to be the largest private science and technology organisation in Europe and, among many other areas of expertise, designs and manufacturs advanced electronic weaponry systems. www.seirc.org.uk Parent The creation of Quintel was announced within the first week of QinetiQ's existence.