The only proven thing about potential health risks to human beings from mobile phone facilities = great uncertainty. Some scientists claim no effect on human health others cite many effects. Uncertainty should instruct a precautionary approach until it can be concluded safe or otherwise.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence on the web about symptoms suffered by people already living near mobile phone towers. There is also increasing scientific research available. A collection of this can be found at the EMR Australia website.
Harvard Law School lecture -
"PROTECTION AGAINST RADIATION IS IN CONFLICT WITH SCIENCE"
On November 3, 2011, Dr. Franz Adlkofer, , former executive director of the VERUM Foundation for Behavior and Environment, addressed a Harvard Law School audience (as part of the lectures and events series hosted by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics).
The lecture, entitled "Protection Against Radiation is in Conflict with Science" makes for powerful viewing and listening. It highlights many of the significant concerns that No Towers Near Schools has held for years - relating to health, funding for research and government's role in protecting its citizens.
In his lecture, Adlkofer discussed the difficulties he and other scientists face when presenting research on the carcinogenic effects of electromagnetic fields emanating from cell phones. He also discussed the institutional corruption which he says obstructs their research.
Adlkofer described his experience with the EU-funded study REFLEX, which aimed to explore the effects of cell-phone radiation on the brain. The study’s conclusions demonstrated that low frequency as well as radiofrequency electromagnetic fields below the allowed exposure limits displayed gene-damaging potential.
Watch the lecture in full on the Harvard Law School website >
Recent studies have indicated that there are increased risks of cancer and other illnesses for people living within 400m of mobile phone base stations.
Increased Incidence of Cancer near a cell-phone transmitter station (International Journal of Cancer Prevention Volume 1, Number 2 by Ronni Wolf and Danny Wolf)
An article from the International Journal of Cancer Prevention titled "Increased Incidence of Cancer near a cell-phone transmitter station" concluded that there was a significantly higher rate of cancer near a cell phone transmitter.
In the area of exposure (area A) eight cases of different kinds of cancer were diagnosed in a period of only one year. This rate of cancers was compared both with the rate of 31 cases per 10,000 per year in the general population and the 2/1222 rate recorded in the nearby clinic (area B).
The study indicates an association between increased incidence of cancer and living in proximity to a cell-phone transmitter station.
The Venice Resolution, initiated by the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety, and signed by 46 of the world's leading scientists, states:
"We remain concerned about the effects of human exposure to electromagnetic fields on health"
"We, who are at the forefront of this research, encourage an ethical approach in setting of exposure standards which protect the health of all, including those who are more vulnerable.
We recognize the need for research to reveal the critical exposure parameters of effect and risk from exposure to electromagnetic fields."
"We take exception to the claim of the wireless communication industry that there is no credible scientific
evidence to conclude there a risk. Recent epidemiological evidence is stronger than before, which is a further reason to justify precautions be taken to lower exposure standards in accordance with the Precautionary Principle.
A world wide application of the Precautionary Principle is required. In addition, new standards should be developed to take various physiological conditions into consideration, e.g., pregnancy, newborns, children, and elderly people."
How exposure to Base-station Radiation can Adversely Affect Humans - G J Hyland
Leading physicist, Dr. Gerard Hyland, who was nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in medicine, says,
"Existing safety guidelines for cell phone towers are completely inadequate ... Quite justifiably, the public remains skeptical of attempts by governments and industry to reassure them that all is well, particularly given the unethical way in which they often operate symbiotically so as to promote their own vested interests."
His report titled "How exposure to Base-station Radiation can Adversely Affect Humans" highlights the way in which this radiation affects brain function – specifically, its electrical activity (EEG), its electrochemistry, and the blood/ brain barrier - and degrades the immune system.
The studies notes that "the WHO International EMF Project has discouraged research into effects of base stations, because it deemed research into effects of mobile phones of higher priority"
"As an example from a different field of environmental health, consider noise exposure: it is well known that... after years of exposure noise induced hearing loss may occur. On the other hand... when exposure occurs during the night, exposed individuals will experience sleep disturbances that could affect health in the long run. From this example it follows that exposure may have qualitatively different effects at different exposure levels."
Children are more vulnerable to the effects of radiation because their skulls have not yet formed.
A study by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) found that there was a significant difference in radiation absorbed by 5 year olds (skull thickness .5mm), 10 year olds (skull thickness 1mm) and adults (skull thickness 2mm).
Note that this study relates specifically to mobile phone radiation where the phone is placed next to the head, which is different to the radiation exposure experienced from a base station, however we can clearly see that skull thickness and therefore age play a factor in radiation penetration.
Source: Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' journal on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol 44 No.10 ("Electromagnetic Radiation in the Human Head..." P. Ghandi, Gianluca Lazzi and Cynthia M. Furse.)
Not all people understand the dangers of electro-magnetic radiation. Some people assume that if the government OKs something then it must be safe. We all know this is not always the case. Just think of a few examples:
Lead in petrol and paint
We are still paying for these errors.
The substances were permitted within standards of the day. Today, though, we wouldn't think of building with asbestos or using lead-based paint in our homes. Just because something is allowed under previously endorsed standards doesn't mean that is right/fair/just/etc if the standards themselves are outdated.
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie recently joined ABC radio Mornings Presenter Angela Owens to discuss the issue of mobile phone tower safety. Joining the conversation with Mr Wilkie was Don Maisch, who has a PhD in telecommunications standards and was a previous Standards Australia Committee member concerned about potential health impacts of these towers.
Dr Maisch said while there was limited information in relation to cancer, other neurological effects had been documented in research.
"Certainly there is a lot of evidence showing there can be other effects, for instance, sleep disruption, chronic fatigue, and a number of neurological problems. That's one thing which comes out fairly consistently in the literature," he said.
"In some situations there are risks. Now, that's not saying that every mobile phone tower is a hazard. I think with a lot of the towers around, there are no issues. But unfortunately, when they say low impact making it lower down, in fact by lowering the height of a tower you are increasing the exposure levels to people on the ground."
Dr Maisch said focusing on old research, as well as new, would help further our knowledge in the area.
See report on the ABC website >