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We are the primary national organisation opposing the insensitive siting of mobile phone and Tetra masts in the UK. Read more...

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Press Releases

Mast Sanity press office is open during the working week to deal with all press and media enquiries. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

The Mast Sanity Press Office can be contacted by e-mail only, currently.

 

 

Our press officers are volunteers but try to respond immediately and certainly within an hour. If a response hasn't been received within an hour and the matter is urgent please call our advice line. PLEASE only do this if the enquiry is urgent. It would help us if you state your deadline for requiring the information. We also provide spokespeople and are regularly asked for a representative to appear on news programmes. Mast Sanity has also worked with producers and researchers on a number of TV and radio programmes and documentaries. We issue regular press releases and these can be accessed via the link below.

 

Our press officers have access to our data base of campaigns and can provide contact details of campaigns willing to speak to the press and many other contacts and sources. Health, technical, planning and environmental information can also be provided. For background information on the issues our health section provides links to many research studies. Papers by scientists Gerard Hyland , Barrie Trower and Neil Cherry provide good background information.

 

Also recommended are:

In addition check out our newsfeeds for an indication of the number of regional stories there are. This IS the single biggest issue concerning more people in more areas than anything else. Something has to give soon. Most politicians whether local, national or European will admit that they get more correspondence about mobile phone and TETRA masts than any other issue

Ben Goldacre[1]. the Man who thousands of Guardian readers have trusted to give them a regular 'Bad Science'[2] column for the last 5 years is described in a new book[3] published at midday Today as “working at the centre of New Labour’s Orwellian spin operation” and whose supposedly skeptical column “actually reflects the ideology of powerful industrial, technological and political vested interests.

Goldacre's brash, controversial style often peppered with veiled personal attacks has made him many enemies and the assertion that he has powerful backers comes as no surprise to us. He has accused groups such as Powerwatch of “Scaremongering”, despite many scientific studies which back up perfectly valid assertions.

Mast Sanity were even mentioned after the release of the misrepresented and flawed Essex[4] study back in July when Goldacre said “A cracking press release from “Mast Sanity“, who I often forget to mention, because they’re so rabid[5]

Goldacre is dismissive of many issues including the negative health effects from Wi-fi, the adverse effects that those with ElectroHyperSensitivity (EHS) suffer (which has come about largely due to the increased microwave and electromagnetic radiation we are being exposed to these days), the MMR jab-Autism link even calling it a 'hoax'. Basically, it appears that he is generally dismissive of many areas which impact upon the revenues of large industry. This is consistent with the findings of the new book. The book is free and can be easily downloaded from www.slingshotpublications.com . We owe it to ourselves to find out what Ben Goldacre is really about.

Rather than talk about the three independent scientists who appeared on Panorama[8] and have spent their lives doing research into the effects of EMR and were in full agreement that schools should not install Wi-fi, or talk about the fact that Sir William Stewart reiterated his warnings from the Stewart Report saying that they found evidence for cancer and that children were more vulnerable, Goldacre[9] concentrated on attacking the engineer, Alasdair Philips, taking the radiation measurements. These measurements were very similar to those presented in a paper at an earlier World Health Organisation (WHO) conference. Goldacre also did not mention that the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) were trying to down-play the comments made by their chairman, when the Independent[7] reported the story a month before the programme was aired. The HPA initially put a statement on its web site indicating that Sir Wiliam had not spoken out against wi-fi. This was hastily removed from their web site the day before the programme was aired.

We find Goldacre very selective in his arguments. If he were the industry, his statements would be the same.

** So Far Un-Reported **

This is yet another Interphone study showing a statistically significant correlation between where a brain tumour appears and the side of the head where the phone is held.

The Interphone studies are heavily funded by the mobile phone industry.

Seemingly, where a press release for an intermediary study from the Interphone series can be worded to show that there is not much effect from using mobile phones, (which are usually studies concentrating on short term use only and ignoring longer term use), the results of each of these studies are widely reported in the press.

However, where, like this study, the results show clear harm to humans from mobile phone use and cannot be shown to be anything other, then there is no media fanfare and the results go largely unreported.

Mast Sanity believes this is not a coincidence and that the media must be more alert to the studies that are released without fanfare, such as this latest Israeli study[1].

The objective of the Israel-wide study was to assess the association between mobile phone use and the development of Parotid Gland Tumours (PGTs)[2]. The study methods used were based on the international INTERPHONE study[4] that aims to evaluate possible adverse effects of mobile phone use.

The study[1] states that "A positive dose-response trend was found for these measurements. Based on the largest number of benign PGT patients reported to date, our results suggest an association between cellular phone use and PGTs."

Recently, independent Swedish researchers looked at a pooled analysis of 11 Interphone studies[3]. They showed at least a doubling of brain tumour risk for over 10 years use on the side of the head where the phone is held.

Mast Sanity Trustee Yasmin Skelt says "The evidence is mounting up hugely. Yesterday's Interphone research release states that there is also a risk of Parotid Gland Tumors This supports other studies that show risk of other cancers from using mobile phones. However it is not not just cancers we are concerned about - there is a huge range of illnesses and conditions that are linked to mobile phone technology."

Mast Sanity notes that for all the Interphone studies, the definition of a 'regular user' (what it bases its studies on) is someone who makes or receives one call a week for 6 months minimum. This would not define a 'regular user' for most people. However, even with this definition, the fact that the Interphone studies are showing hugely increased tumour incidences after 10 years, is extremely worrying.

Mast Sanity calls upon the government to issue a Department of Health warning to the public that using mobile phones can cause serious health problems, even cancers and to actively support this message.

Meeting at London's Royal Society, eminent International Scientists issued a joint resolution[1] to state that the so-called safe exposure limits for Microwave Radiation issued by ICNIRP (as used by Mobile Phone Masts and Wi-fi etc.), used by the UK Government's Health Protection Agency (HPA), are out of date and completely irrelevant.

Expert Scientists in their field from across Europe and the World outlined the problems with the current ICNIRP[7] exposure guidelines. Brain tumour specialist Dr. Lennart Hardell[4] from Sweden spoke on brain tumours and acoustic neuromas. His work on mobile phones, cordless phones and brain tumours is widely recognized to be pivotal in the debate about the safety of wireless radio frequency and microwave radiation. Professor Olle Johansson[2],also from Sweden, gave a presentation on microwave radiation effects on immune function and electrical hypersensitivity. BioInitiative[10] co-editor Cindy Sage from the USA summarized the scientific evidence from the Report documenting the inadequacy of existing international public safety standards.

Robert Verkerk[9] chaired the conference and spoke of the need for a fundamental change in scientific thinking to incorporate new observations of subtle energy effects from microwave radiation. Roger Coghill[5] gave his thesis that it is electric field exposure, from sources such as Mobile Phone Masts, and not magnetic fields, that are of greatest concern to health. He also discussed a possible mechanism for cancer related to the combination of nitrates and electric fields. Dr. Gerd Oberfeld[8] discussed epidemiological evidence for health effects from Mobile Phone Masts in France and Spain. Dr. John Walker discussed similar informal studies in the UK. Dr. Chris Busby[3] presented a short history of how entrenched scientific thinking and individuals have stalled the advancement of science.

Several other speakers[6] chronicled life-changing illnesses, including ElectroHypersensitivity (EHS), that occurred following the erection of Mobile Phone Masts near to their homes. EHS - which can be very debilitating - is thought to result from large changes in the immune system caused by continuing exposure to microwave radiation, leading to chronic inflammation and allergic responses. Estimates of EHS vary from 3% to 10% of the population in the UK and other European countries.

In a joint declaration the scientists called on the UK's HPA to adopt the exposure limits as used within the Austrian district of Salzburg – which are hundreds of times lower than those currently used within the UK. The scientists agreed that the evidence of ill health effects from microwave radiation at levels way below current UK limits is now “overwhelming”.

Mast Sanity agree.

Mast Sanity spokesperson Yasmin Skelt, present at the Conference, said “The Health Protection Agency is ignoring the ever growing number of health problems – including cancers – linked to microwave exposure and is NOT protecting the Public from these dangers. The scientific evidence is mounting too – and the HPA are ignoring it all.”

In short, the HPA must adopt much lower exposure guidelines for Mobile Phone Masts, Wi-fi and other devices - or else it continues to fail in its duty to protect British citizens from serious harm.”

A delegation will be handing a copy of the BioInitiative[1] report to 10 Downing Street at 1pm on the 12th December 2007. The delegation will be headed by Mast Sanity Trustee Yasmin Skelt. 

(The BioInitiative Report - A Review of 2000 Studies - Concluded that Public Exposure Guidelines for Emissions from Mobile Phone Masts, Wi-fi and Other Mobile/Wireless Devices are way too High to Protect Public Health)
 

Mast Sanity Trustee Yasmin Skelt says "Public health expert and co-editor of the Report Dr. David Carpenter has said "We need to educate people and our decision makers that "business as usual" is unacceptable." We are here to do that officially today.  We call on Gordon Brown to act on the information in this report.  There are now plausible mechanisms for why microwaves cause illness at levels way below the current microwave radiation (ICNIRP) guidelines[2] which only cover heating effects." 

"The evidence is mounting up.  Cancer clusters have been noted around several Mobile Phone Masts[3]. However it is not not just cancer we are concerned about - there is a very large range of illnesses and other adverse health effects that are linked to mobile phone technology." 

"The Swedish and German authorities have put the health of their nations ahead of profits for mobile phone companies - they are issuing warnings to reduce exposure.  Also the Mayor of Paris agreed this week to remove Wi-fi from libraries in Paris[4] as dozens of staff suffered adverse effects from headaches to nausea. For a start, Wi-fi in schools, libraries and hospitals in the UK should be switched over to cables as soon as possible." 

"It is high time that the Prime Minister realised that our bodies are being harmed by the vast amount of microwave radiation constantly being pumped into the environment. Our bodies and our brains are in a delicate balance and need to be protected[5]." 

"Gordon Brown should instruct the Chief Medical Officer and the Health Protection Agency to issue warnings to the public and ensure that public exposure limits are reduced immediately."

Mast Sanity welcome the announcement from the UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA) that more research is to be done into Wi-Fi. However the tone of the Press Release[1] and its timing at the end of a Conference promoting devices which mainly use Wi-fi for School use[5] suggests that this is merely a smokescreen to appear to be doing something without actually doing anything new. It also appears to fall well short of Sir William Stewart's recent request for an enquiry into Wi-Fi in schools.[2]

(See also Powerwatch's "HPA announce entirely pointless WiFi study" here ) 

Mast Sanity ask:

1) What is this 'research' going to be about?

Are the HPA only taking measurements of Wi-fi signal levels (as they state in their press release)? Or are they going to look to see if there are any health effects on children in schools by taking blood samples, measuring heart rates and brain response (EEG's) and doing health surveys?

We already know what the levels emitted from the Wi-fi laptops and routers are. OFCOM (one of the HPA's 'partner' Agencies) has already taken measurements in schools.[11]

Powerwatch have already done this[8] as have various campaign groups. It is no mystery.

Mast Sanity spokesperson Yasmin Skelt says "Surely the HPA aren't saying that we have had a situation in the UK where we have had Wi-fi in some schools for years and yet the HPA and hence the UK Government have had no idea of the radiation levels? That beggars belief. This is precisely why we have been calling on Wi-fi to be turned off and removed from schools."

2) The HPA are still going to compare the levels with the outdated ICNIRP guidelines.

We know that the ICNIRP guidelines only protect against short term heating effects and are not appropriate to protect against cancer and genetic damage over the long-term. This was highlighted in the recent Bioinitiative Report[3].

Sir William Stewart also said the World Health Organisation (WHO) are wrong in their evaluation of the science behind the guidelines[5] and the Stewart report[4] said that relying solely on the guidelines will not protect people from biological (non-heating) effects that may become apparent.

Mast Sanity spokesperson Yasmin Skelt says "Independent Scientific studies have consistently shown health effects from microwave emissions well below currently allowed levels[3,6,7] - so what is the point of comparing emissions against these outdated ICNIRP guidelines?"

3) There is the 'Main Beam' (highest emissions) issue.

The Department of Education guidelines state that a school should not be in the main beam of a Mobile Phone Mast.[4]

The microwave radiation intensity in a classroom with Wi-fi is the same order of magnitude as if the schools were in the main beam of a mobile phone mast.[2]

Mast Sanity spokesperson Yasmin Skelt says "The current Department of Education guidelines say that children shouldn't be in an area of high microwave emissions - So why are they putting more Wi-fi devices in schools? Especially if the Health Protection Agency have no idea of the radiation levels - it is scandalous. The HPA announcement appears to be just a smokescreen!"

4) The German government is already advising its citizens to use wired internet connections instead of Wi-Fi, and landlines instead of mobile phones[9]. Why isn't the HPA doing the same?

Also the Executive Director of the EU's European Environment Agency said last month that, “it would be prudent for health authorities to recommend actions to reduce exposures, especially to vulnerable groups, such as children.” The Agency called for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their masts. It suggests that delay could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos and smoking[10].

Mast Sanity spokesperson Yasmin Skelt says "Again, why is the HPA happy to increase Wi-fi use in schools when it says it knows little about its health effects - in effect our children are guinea pigs for its own research."

END