Are mobile phones cancerous?

The laws of physics are immutable

"Are mobile phones cancerous?" is the headline on one of todays letters (March 29).

Any electro-magnetic radiation radiation is potentially harmful.

As a CB-radio user in the Eighties, it was not unknown to get an occasional burn from holding the aerial while transmitting at 4 watts.

But, then, you don't hold mobile phone aerials. So, how far away from them is safe?

A typical phone mast broadcasts in the tens of watts, so let's say it is transmitting at 100 watts as a worst case, which is measured at one metre from the mast.

The inverse square law applies here, so, at ten times the distance, you'll only get a hundredth of the power.

So, roughly speaking, at the bottom of the 20m pole on which the aerial stands, you'll receive about half a watt of power, or, roughly speaking, about the same power as you receive from a mobile phone held to the side of your head.

Compare this with standing at the bottom of a mast transmitting TV signals. The Whitehawk transmitter broadcasts at 2000 watts. Assumming it is also about 20m high, at the bottom you would receive about five watts.

So, 20m from the worst phone mast transmitter should give you the same power through you as yoiur own mobile phone.

Another 20m away and the power received from the pole is only a four-hundredth of what you receive from your mobile phone.

You get more EM radiation from watching your TV.

Rod Main


Dear Editor

Here is my response to a letter in todays Argus Letters for your letters page.

Yours Sincerely

Gary K.

Rod Main (Argus March 31) applies almost totally irrelevant criteria to assess the safety of phone masts and mobile phones - and omits to include the now huge range of microwave wireless devices on the market.

The ICNIRP (International Commission on Non Ionising Radiation Protection) Guidelines which are supposed to ensure phone mast safety ONLY cover the thermal (heating) effects of phone mast emissions. Hence all that an ICNIRP certificate means is that the mast won’t cook you!

When the guidelines were made in 1998 it was generally thought that the only effects of mobile phone mast emissions would be thermal, hence the ICNIRP Guidelines as they currently stand.

However, it is now widely accepted that NON-Thermal effects do occur but these guidelines have NOT been updated to include NON-Thermal effects.

The Thermal effects are accepted to be negligible - however, NON-Thermal effects are now known to affect the make-up of our bodies and how our bodies work, posing real risks to our health and to our lives.

Hence ICNIRP Guidelines are not protecting people at all. The Regional Government in Salzburg, Austria have set the acceptable limit for emissions in homes, under advice from Independent scientists, to just under 0.1 V/m – also referred to as “the suggested 0.1 V/m precautionary maximum”, or P.Max.

"GRAM" (Goldsworth Residents Against Masts) state in their very well researched and comprehensive leaflet on microwave communications that "20 to 40 times P.Max - ‘Medium and ‘High’ may ‘have serious health consequences for those exposed". These levels are those absorbed by people using any current microwave devices such as cell and DECT phones, baby monitors, WiFi, WiMax, cordless computers, interactive whiteboards in schools, bluetooth headsets as well as masts at close range.

The ICNIRP Guidelines also ignore long-term low-level exposure to microwaves. There are now thousands of formal and informal studies worldwide by independent scientists which conclude that there are many and serious adverse health effects from such exposure.

Gary K.
BHFOE Mast Campaigner


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