There are many adverse effects on well-being that have been repeatedly reported in populations living around mobile phone base stations (especially sleep disturbance, fatigue, depression, irritability, headaches, frequent infections, general body discomfort especially at night, allergies, etc – reported in detail elsewhere in these Powerwatch pages – see the our science section for a list of References). These are the things that should be being studied – but the MTHR has not funded any such studies.
Nor has the MTHR funded, despite requests, a study on the some 2000 low-height high-power base stations that the NRPB identified in the earlier MTHR funded study of base stations with antennas under 10 metres high. These are almost certainly the base stations that expose people most highly. At the time the NRPB report (W62) commented: “It was noted that some 2000 of the 32,837 base stations, or around 6%, were radiating more than 5 watts at heights up to 10m. In conjunction with the MTHR project monitors, it was considered whether these transmitters should be included. It was decided that they should not be and that this project should concentrate on the low power sites in order to stay true to its original aim of considering microcells as low-height / low-power transmitters.” The base stations that were ignored had transmitter powers up to 100 watts and the antennas are often mounted on the walls of residential buildings. The original study cost the MTHR £66,000. To extend it, as requested, to include another 2000 base stations would cost less that half this. The MTHR chose not to pay for this important further work. Instead it paid £247,000 for this Elliott study which has told us nothing useful. We question the basis of the MTHR’s priorities.
MTHR childhood cancer – mobile phone base station mast study “is useless”
Posted by inthesenewtimes on June 26, 2010
The Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Committee MTHRhave spent £247,000 on a meaningless study published, four years after it was planned to be complete, in the BMJ today apparently to “reassure parents” that living near a mobile phone base station will not put their child’s life at risk.
Should we be concerned about RF exposure and childhood leukaemia?
Given the recent time trends in incidence rates, it seems unlikely that chronic low-level RF exposure will increase the incidence of childhood leukaemia and other cancers. It seems an extraordinary choice to fund a study that just considered child cancers and calculated RF/microwave exposure only from cellular network base stations – it could tell you nothing at all about any possible association between RF and childhood cancer.
There are studies showing elevated incidence of adult leukaemias in proximity to powerful TV and radio masts and to elevated occupation exposures. Also some on reduced academic and behavioural performance of children chronically exposed to RF. These certainly do not prove there is a problem, but they do suggest that a precautionary approach that reduces unnecessary exposure is sensible.
This study provides no justification for any assertion of safety to people living near mobile phone base station antennas