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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.

 

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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

The results of the Industry and Government funded Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (MTHR) study "to investigate whether emissions from mobile phone base stations can elicit a variety of symptoms in those exposed to them"[1] run by Professor of Psychology Elaine Fox at the University of Essex[2] is to be published on Wednesday 25th July at the Science Media Centre.

Firstly we should state that we don't know why this research is being done by psychologists as there is already evidence showing changes in the important mast cells in human skin upon exposure to microwaves[3].

This Essex study will not be able to give us any insights into the long term effects such as cancer and genetic damage as has been highlighted in other research and so we think is just tinkering at the edges.

In doing this research one is subjecting the volunteers to harm. As such this research is unethical. We know of at least one person who had to stop doing it because it made him so unwell. Lab tests have already identified disruptions to the immune system, surely if this were a drug we would not go on to do further tests on human subjects as there is already enough evidence?

Some subjects of the study were sent summaries showing 90-100% ability to identify the 3G(UTMS) and 2G (GSM) signals from the SHAM (No signal) conditions without prior knowledge of which was which. Additionally, physical markers such as anxiety was 2-4 times higher, tension and arousal 1.5 times higher, discomfort 4-6 times higher and fatigue 3.5 - 5.5 times higher under the 2G and 3G signals. Clearly these individuals experienced real effects, not psychological problems.

Yet being unable to complete the study has led to the exclusion of these individuals from the results, we believe.

As Dr Carlo, Safe Wireless Initiative and former Chairman of the US $28 million research programme into mobile phone research, says:

"Because of the imprecisions in the Essex study[4],[5], findings of 'no effect' are likely to be false negatives in that the study was not designed well enough to pick up all of the effects among the participants."

"Any findings of 'effect' are likely underestimates of the true risk for the same reasons of imprecision in the study design."

We also do not know how much of a part has been played by the so-called 'Wessely School' of psychiatry in separate earlier comparable studies with sufferers from farm Organophosphate Poisoning, Gulf War Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS)[6] . In each case the researchers' conclusion was that each condition was just a case of unfounded mental anxiety, which would be relieved by their form of psychotherapy and exercise. This in spite in every case findings of physical evidence of nerve system damage. In the case of electrosensitivity studies undertaken in Sweden are able to pinpoint the sort of damage that sufferers endure[7].

Mast Sanity Spokesperson Yasmin Skelt says "Isn't it time that the Government woke up to the reality of electrosensitivity instead of attempting to persuade sufferers that it is all in their minds?"

"History has shown that many now commonly accepted physical conditions were initially dismissed as psychological, with the patients subjected to all kinds of tests and quack remedies."

"Electrosensitivity has been recognised by medics in Sweden since 2000, and its government calculates 3.1 per cent of its population - 200,000 people - suffer from the condition. In fact this figure has more recently been revised upwards to nearer 9%. That is an awful lot of people."

"This study has been such a waste of money. The World Health Organisation already recognise electrosensitivity[8]. Why was the money not used to translate the 1500-subject Russian long-term epidemiological studies into English?"

Mast Sanity reiterate their call on the Government to stop talking and start doing something. The UK should adopt the Precautionary Principle and halt the roll-out and proliferation of microwave transmitters of all types. If the new Brown Government is serious about protecting public health then they will readily accept our recent request for urgent talks and take action. Too many lives have been blighted or completely ruined already.

END.

Dr George Carlo has released the following comments as his reaction 
to the Essex EHS study in absence of the results findings:
'The following comments relate to the interpretation of the results of the Essex study.
1.  Based on what we have learned from our clinical experiences and the symptoms 
reported by patients in our registry, a key to the integrity of the 
Essex study is in how a 'sensitive' person was defined at the outset.  We 
believe that the pathology of these sensitivities is cell membrane based, 
but that the same pathology is present in conditions including multiple 
chemical sensitivities, alcoholism, drug addiction, and neuro-behavioral 
syndromes like ADHD and Autism.  In addition, there appears to be a familial 
predisposition component that involves inability to clear metals from the 
system through methylation and an inability to adapt to oxidative stress.  
Thus, the definition of patients selected in the Essex study is a key 
point.  And, in the analyses, it would be important to categorize the 
patients on the severity scale in terms of these other conditions that have 
similar underlying pathology.  The point is that there is a continuum we are 
seeing in terms of severity of effects, and the level of hypersensitivity to 
the various types of EMR also scales along that continuum.  Thus, without 
either controlling for these other conditions statistically or through 
subject category restriction, it is likely that associations that are 
present would not be identified.....false negative findings because of 
imprecision in the measurement of the dependent variables.  That is one of 
the main difficulty with the majority of provocation studies that have been 
done.  Measurement imprecision and bias toward the null.

2.  The other key is that depending on the severity of the 
hypersensitivity...and that in large part is related to the points raised 
above....different EMR effect windows will have varying effects on the 
persons being provoked with EMR.  Thus, the EMR that is used in the exposure 
scenario needs to be precisely defined as well.  We know, for example, that 
ELF operates through a field intensity dependent mechanism that exerts 
direct magnetic effect on tissue (including disruption of gap-junction 
intercellular communication) and thus the ensuing pathology.  But there is a 
threshold for ELF effects.  RF has two different pathology mechanism 
components:  raw microwaves or RFR act through thermal mechanisms dependent 
on field intensity -- there is a thermal effects threshold;  microwaves that 
carry information from wireless devices act through a biological mechanism 
that is triggered as a protective cellular response -- for this response, 
there is no threshold.  Thus, in the Essex study, the provocation exposures 
would have needed to be defined along these effect windows, otherwise there 
is a likely bias also toward false negative findings because of the lack of 
precison in the measurement of the independent variables.  For example, from 
what they define, the question of base station 'on or off' is key.  For the 
effect windows of ELF and raw microwaves, 'on or off' would have an effect 
if there was adequate field intensity to provoke the mechanistic pathways -- 
in other words to go above the threshold.  However, for the information 
carrying radio waves, there would have to be talking on the signal or there 
would be no biological protective pathway triggered.  It is the modulation 
associated with the carried information that we now know triggers the 
non-thermal effect pathways.  So, without talking on the signal, 
the biological pathway would not be triggered.  The result in the study 
would be a false-negative finding.

3.  Overall, the electrohypersensitivity response is dependent then on the 
severity of the patients cellular pathology -- and that from all sources 
including the conditions detailed in Number 1 above.  The observed response 
is also dependent on the mechanism that the EMR exposure provocation likely 
will act through.  At this point, we don't believe that a precise enough 
definition of the conditions in the patients recruited to allow for proper 
controlling.  We don't believe that the exposure provocations were defined 
well enough in terms of EMR effect windows and the likely pathological 
pathways triggered by the provocations. 


Because of the imprecision in the measurements in the Essex study, any
findings showing 'no effect' are likely false negative or the result of the 
study not being able to pick up the real underlying pathology.  Any finding 
showing an 'effect' is likely an underestimation of the actual effect 
because the study is biased toward the null or 'no effect' finding.'
__________________

Dr. George L. Carlo
Science and Public Policy Institute 
1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW -- 7th Floor 
Washington, D.C. 20004 
www.sppionline.org 
202-756-7744 
~~~~~~~~~~~
Dr Grahame Blackwell, Independent consultant on wireless telecoms health issues, has consistently advised ES inquirers against participating in this study.  He says:
 
(1) Almost every genuine illness attracts some who mistakenly believe they suffer from it, particularly the more esoteric ailments with no outward signs.  It's normal practice, in a clinical study, to filter out those people before commencing the trials, since they will seriously skew the results towards a negative outcome.  I see no signs of this having been done in the Essex study.
(2) On the contrary, one ES volunteer for that study interviewed on the Richard & Judy Show stated that he and his results were dropped from the trials precisely because he HAD shown very clear adverse effects (including internal bleeding) and was well able to distinguish between real and sham exposure (see interview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq298Ir4rHw ).  While it's obviously not sensible to continue to expose someone who is suffering in this way, this effectively amounts to a top-slicing (ditching) of the most conclusive evidence from the trials.  If this was the response in cases of those showing a strong reaction then, coupled with (1) above, this amounts to a negative loading that would render this study totally meaningless.
(3) It's well known that a ginger-haired fair-skinned person can't spend anything like as long in the sun as most other people without suffering ill-effects.  They are sensitive to certain electromagnetic frequencies, if over-exposed to those frequencies they become hypersensitive to them.  It's a complete mystery to me why some so-called scientists simply refuse to believe that for other people this could apply to a different range of frequencies - namely radio waves and microwaves (given that in both cases this effect can be caused by non-ionising radiation).
(4) Continuing this analogy, if anyone doubted that someone was particularly sensitive to sunlight, then to put this to the test by subjecting that person to a regime of intermittent doses of sunlight to see if it hurt would rightly be considered barbaric.  The fact that many electrosensitives are prepared to submit to such treatment in the hope that their concerns will be taken seriously simply illustrates how desperate they are - the alternative is equivalent to that fair-skinned person having to spend their life in bright sunlight.
(5) Many electrosensitives will be hypersensitised before they are aware of this condition in themselves.  Like the sunburnt fair-skinned person, to whom every touch could be agony, those hypersensitives will have greatly heightened and possibly erratic reactions.  Put this with 'performance anxiety' of someone who's being forced to prove their condition - and who knows this will involve bouts of pain - and the likelihood of a meaningful trial is pretty well zero.  This is, rather, a throwback to the mediaeval 'trial by ordeal'.
On the terms of reference of the study itself:
(6) The Essex University web page describing this study states that it is investigating effects of both GSM and UMTS base-station emissions.  The signalling protocols for these two technologies are radically different, producing dramatically different patterns of radiation.  There is no indication how both of these signalling regimes are covered in this one study - leading to doubts that they actually are.
(7) The same web page states that the signals used were "within the standard used by the mobile phone operators".  Even just for GSM a base station uses a variety of different signals, including: call setup; handshaking with handset; voice traffic; handover between masts (for a handset on the move); call tear-down.  It's not known which of these might affect an ES sufferer most.  There's no indication in the Essex study description that all of these various modes were tested, or how the test regime might deal with such variety; the only logical conclusion is that these 'details' were not considered - but they could crucially affect the outcome of this trial.
It's for these reasons that I've advised ES sufferers against participating, and for these reasons that I consider the outcome of this study as of little to no value.  It's a great shame that a vast amount of MTHR money was spent on this apparently pointless exercise when it could have been spent on serious health research which could be safeguarding people's lives.
 

National Mobile Phone Distributor to Sponsor City Academy Contrary to Government Policy

The Carphone Warehouse is reputed to be ready to sign a sponsorship deal for Prestons first City Academy [5] contrary to Government assurances that the mobile phone industry should not participate in promotions aimed at children. The question of such sponsorship of mobile and wireless technology aimed at children is of especial concern as we head towards more schools being signed up to use systems such as WiFi and other wireless systems, due to serious health concerns from these technologies. Sponsors are involved in the appointment of the board of Governors, so this will inevitably lead to direct intervention in school policies in respect of mobile phone use by children and the siting of mobile phone masts.

Mast Sanity along with other national and local amenity and public interest groups are urging the Government to meet with them in order that concerns relating to the health of children who will be at considerable risk from prolonged exposure to electromagnetic emissions within the confined area of classrooms that have fitted wireless base stations needed for the transmission of signals for systems such as WiFi. Government advisers such as Sir William Stewart have repeatedly advised against over exposure of children from electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone networks such are similar to those of the wireless systems.

Mast Sanity Spokesperson Yasmin Skelt said “It is crucial that urgent talks take place aimed at preventing long term harm to children and others that are in a high risk category of those most likely to be at seriously at risk from EMFs. There are existing systems that could be used to reduce the risk from emissions, such as fibre optics, and where those systems do not exist then we urge the Government and industry to fund research into safer telecommunication systems. Keeping their systems wired would have prevented such health risks.

Mast Sanity have repeatedly requested that the industry meets with them to discuss issues such as independent research funded through a cost applied to telecom calls, yet they have on every occasion rebuked such requests for meetings. We now restate those requests, and extend the invitation to Government Ministers. Mast Sanity is prepared to meet with Ministers at any time in any place of their choosing. If the new Brown Government is serious about protecting public health then they will readily accept this request for urgent talks.

END

Mast Sanity is calling for an immediate halt on future Wi-fi installations in schools and the removal of all current school Wi-fi installations with a switch back to wired systems.

We call for the application of the precautionary principle. If Wi-fi is found to be harmful -“ as evidence[0] in many schools suggests - then we will have sacrificed a generation of children who are currently continually subjected to the microwave radiation it emits. Irreversible damage may be done.

Mast Sanity Spokesperson Yasmin Skelt[1], said "The mad clamour for new technology has raced ahead of legislation and public health concerns. As Professor Lawrie Challis, who heads the committee on mobile phone research[2], stated "Children are much more sensitive than adults to a number of other dangers" the law should protect children from unproven technology."

"Professor Alan Preece has stated regarding Wi-fi "No one is really aware of what we are dealing with. The Department of Trade and Industry needs to take the lead and do some investigation"[3]. I absolutely agree but the few regulations are a mess. The DTI, Ofcom[4] and Ruth Kelly should act now"

"Seven years ago the Becta[5] Study which was never published was carried out when wireless systems were first being installed in schools. The report raised health and safety questions and reported that some engineers complained of headaches at the end of the working days. Becta deferred to the Health Protection Agency[6] on health and safety issues. Well seven years have gone by and we are still waiting for the HPA to announce on what it is going to do."[7]

The intensity of radiation received from Wi-fi access points inside a school will be the same or higher than in the main beam from a Mobile Phone Mast situated outside a school.

Both the Stewart Report[8] and the newly discovered German ECOLOG report[10] ( sponsored by T-Mobile) recommended that the beam of maximum intensity of base stations ( Mobile Phone Masts) should not fall on ANY part of a school. This was reiterated in the DfES guidelines[9]. And in the case of the ECOLOG report that emission levels should be 1000 times lower than currently allowed " especially in areas of sensitivity such as schools.

Yasmin went on to say, "It is a diabolical situation where the Government will put in guidelines to protect the outside of a school but refuses to even acknowledge a potential but marked risk and positively encourages the mass roll-out of an unnecessary system. Blair might be going but Brown is inheriting a potential public health nightmare."

Thus Wi-fi should be banned in schools.

END

*** Late Addition ***

Dr. Andrew Goldworthy of Imperial College London is inviting concerned people to contact their MPs - "Who was responsible for the decision not to warn education authorities of the possible dangers of genetic damage from Wi-Fi radiation?"

Notes and References ....

Now that the Public have watched the Panorama[1] programme tonight, it is patently obvious why the various so-called 'experts' and their fellow travellers were drawn out of the woodwork to denigrate in today's newspapers the raft of professional and public concern about WiFi in schools.

They are, of course, doing nothing less than criticising the stance being taken by Professor Sir William Stewart, Chairman of the Health Protection Agency[2] and many more Eminent and Independent Scientists.

It is Sir William Stewart who states quite categorically that there may well be a problem with WiFi technology and that an immediate review is called for.

Whatever these 'celebrated' individuals might think, Sir William is a past Chairman of the NRPB (National Radiological Protection Board) and his credentials give him the utmost primacy in this debate.

Let us have no more of this nonsense.

HM Government must now accept that there is significant cause for concern and ban WiFi in schools pending a full Independent study of the technology and the potential adverse health effects in respect of our children that may result.

Furthermore, the roll-out of town and city-wide WiFi hotzones around the Country must also be stopped, since it is not acceptable that the UK Population in general is treated as human guinea pigs.

Mast Sanity says that Enough is Enough - STOP the roll-out of WiFi and STOP using WiFi systems already in use in public areas.

END

Mast Sanity welcomes the issues highlighted in the dramatisation of a telecommunication engineer affected by a life threatening tumour, and points to the similarity in the case of the two engineers who sought damages against their employers in 2002 [1 ] although in that case the court found against the engineers on the grounds that as employees they had to accept the risks that go with the job. Which of course is the issue that appears to lie at the back of the story line, that an uncaring employer refuses to offer compensation, or even a pension to a past employee affected by radiation sickness that has caused the tumour.

Whilst Mast Sanity can never condone the violent actions of the bomber and gun man depicted we can sympathise with the frustration and powerlessness that many people feel over the whole mobile phone and mobile phone mast issue.

The programme also highlights the fact that there are many instances of radiation sicknesses and tumours, particularly with the usage by the emergency services of the TETRA system, with several deaths that are attributed to or have been caused by the direct use of mobile phones.

Mast Sanity Spokesperson Yasmin Skelt [2 ] said "The concerns of Mast Sanity are brought very much to the fore within this programme that for the first time within a dramatisation brings home the real harm that excessive use of mobile phones can and does cause. Even Government advice is such that people are advised not to use mobile phones for excessive period of time. It is though time that the industry and the Government took this health threat more seriously and introduced restrictions on the use of mobile phones and a precautionary approach to the further roll out of the [mobile phone mast] system".

END.

Notes and References:

1.    Davis & Anor v Balfour Kilpatrick Ltd. & Ors [2002] EWCA Civ 736 (23rd May, 2002) http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2002/736.html
2.    Yasmin Skelt was one of the first members of the public to challenge the government's planning policy in the now classic case that is often quoted in planning inquiries - Yasmin Skelt v First Secretary of State and Three Rivers District Council and Orange PCS Limited