Sensitive people, and there are those who are sensitive to electrical and magnetic fields, need protection

A letter about objecting to masts, Mast Sanity help line, and health effects of microwave radiation was printed in the Bognor Regis Observer 24th August 06 and in the West Sussex Gazette today, with a colour photo of Sidlesham TETRA mast.

On the 31st August edition of the Bognor Regis Observer there was a long letter ridiculing my letter of the 24th from supposedly a local resident who had all his facts wrong i.e. calling all phone masts TETRA masts; saying that the likelyhood is that we are all being cooked alive; saying TETRA has been around for years; that cordless phones do not use microwaves, but lower frequency radio waves - as does WiFi; that people could join my club and be given a free foil hat; and describes me as a frightened resident with too much time on her hands. (I wish!) I had emails and phone calls from the local sensitives who were livid.

This could hold the letters page for a while if the Bog Ob prints mine and another I had sent to me to say she was backing me - so is this worth thinking about for letters to the editor?


See 2 replies to this below.

I am used to responses such as that of Alex Murphy to my letter of 24th August 06 (Letters 31st August edition of Bognor Observer) but I acknowledge that he is as much entitled to his viewpoint as I am to mine.

I have also learnt from experience that you just can’t have a sensible debate with people who scorn what they do not understand and have not researched properly – and Mr Murphy clearly has not researched this issue. If he had, he would have known that TETRA is a communications system and not a mobile phone network. Even Sir William Stewart, the Government’s own independent advisor acknowledged that TETRA was not in his remit.

TETRA was introduced in the UK about 4/5 years ago and only came to the Bognor area in January 2004.

No one in this country will be ‘slowly cooked alive’ as the ICNIRP guidelines are set to avoid going over the threshold of what is safe for the thermal effects of microwave radiation, and this includes TETRA and mobile phone masts, TETRA handsets and mobile phones.

However, Sir William Stewart in his 2005 report for the National Radiological Protection Board (now Health Protection Agency) did clearly state at:

“1.18 There is now scientific evidence, however, which suggests that there may be biological effects occurring at exposures below these guidelines. (paragraphs 5.176-5.194. 6.38). This does not necessarily mean that these effects lead to disease or injury, but it is potentially important information and we consider the implications below.

1.19 There are additional factors that need to be taken into account in assessing any possible health effects. Populations as a whole are not genetically homogeneous and people can vary in their susceptibility to environmental hazards. There are some well-established examples in the literature of the genetic predisposition of some groups, which could influence sensitivity to disease. There could also be dependence on age.

We conclude therefore that it is not possible at present to say that exposure to RF radiation, even at levels below national guidelines, is totally without potential adverse health effects, and that the gaps in the knowledge are sufficient to justify a precautionary approach. (Chapter 5, paragraphs 6.35-6.42)”

I will not go on to discuss the cordless phones, pulsed signals and other things because clearly Mr Murphy would rather ridicule the plight of some unfortunate people who have become sensitive to this technology rather than research and be sure of his facts. It puts me in mind of how insensitively the mentally ill and handicapped are treated at times by people who just cannot be bothered to try to understand.

For those who do want to understand I will simply say that it can be a bleak and lonely existence. Sensitive people – and there are those who are sensitive to electrical and magnetic fields – need protection, which costs extra money. They are also limited as to what they can do or what they can use. Many cannot experience the convenience of the mobile phone, digital TV/radio/computers etc.

Some cannot leave their protected homes for long – or even at all - or visit shops, entertainment centres, or towns and cities.

If one partner is not sensitive to this technology there can be a lot of stress, even in long-standing relationships; or relatives who do not understand can distance themselves from the sensitive person.

I have to say that there are many wonderful and caring people in the mast movement who are concerned for people, our children and their future - even those like Mr Murphy who ridicule them. Why? Because a well known independent scientist, Professor Olle Johansson believes, as we do, that time will prove that we ‘sensitives’ are the forerunners of what is to come.

We would dearly love to be proved wrong, but the jury is out and only time will tell. Meanwhile too many of us live as we do and as best we can.

My letter was not one of a ‘frightened resident’ trying to cause panic. I have lived this way since early 2003 when I encountered TETRA in another area and did not even know what it was, or what a mobile phone mast looked like. I did not discover what had made me disabled and ill until March 2004. I accept that until there is change then I can expect no different. Rather, I was hoping to make the isolated sensitive people in this area aware that there are others like them, and that we are trying to press for changes in getting this condition recognised so that their condition is accepted and better understood in society.

Mrs Sandi Lawrence

I have just read with disgust, Alex Murphy’s letter on the attempt to ridicule the people who seemingly suffer from the technology of Tetra Masts!

It always brings a smile to my face when I read another ignorant letter from an unsympathetic resident who obviously cares only for themselves and who would like to stop all freedom of speech! It makes me smile because Alex Murphy has no evidence to suggest that Tetra does not affect some people. He has no evidence to suggest that the problem in some people will not increase as time goes on. He has no evidence to suggest that Tetra will not form clusters of illness such as Motor Neurons Disease or Cancer as time goes on. Tetra is an untested technology! In my opinion, to be untested means that questions and answers need to be asked and found. We have so many things pushed onto us, so many technologies that later are found to be unsafe. Nobody yet, knows the long term affects of Tetra and unfortunately it is we, the people who have to wait for time to pass before we find the truth! Alex Murphy is one such person!

Sandi Lawrence does her best to inform people of the many ways in which the Tetra technology can affect the daily running of people’s precious lives. She is constant and tireless in her fight against the misuse of Tetra. She is a far better person than me because she is ceaseless.

My family and I all suffered from the Tetra mast that was on the top of Reynolds. We lived to close to it. I and many others campaigned to bring it down because it affected our health. In a small health survey, done at the time, over two hundred residents in my area, said they suffered strange and unusual health abnormalities and that could not be ignored. Families do not normally have headaches in the same place in the head, at the same time. My smaller son had nose bleeds, sometimes up to twenty five separate ones a day. He was unable to go to school properly for 10 months, during this time. We involved the school, the local council, the Doctors and paediatricians, Health and Safety, the Government. I didn’t feel very well myself and so it was all made harder. All I wanted to do was rest and not get involved, but my son was worse than me and therefore I fought on. Not one authority could give me any reason for the ill health of my family. There is no evidence, in Government to suggest that it was the Tetra mast that caused our problems, however, more importantly there is no evidence to suggest that it was not. The medical people never gave me a valid reason for the ill health of my family. I was alone and angry. The Tetra crusaders gave me strength and back up. Let’s hope that Alex Murphy’s children/ grand children are never sensitive to such technologies, because they are likely never to have any sympathy. That coupled with a permanent headache would be unbearable for them!

After spending two years battling for our health, finally I realised that the only course of action was to move house, in the hope that it would relieve of us of our plight. It took three months for us to feel alive and to enjoy our right to live normally again. No authority gave me a valid reason for our new found health either! My son is now back at school and back to full health. My advice to anyone who feels that they might have similar feelings of ill health is to move away from the masts if they can. It works! That does not mean however that we cannot feel the presence of Tetra when we travel to towns. However, living further away from it rocks! I certainly was never given any hope or relief that worked, from any authority at all. They let us down because they do not have the knowledge to help. Alex Murphy, stop having a go at the people who care, the people who go out of their way to spread knowledge to others, they people who are very busily trying to give up precious time to make the world a better place. You just keep looking the other way. My vote of confidence lies with people like Sandi Lawrence.

Yours sincerely


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