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Judge thinks radiation of 3G-mast could possibly be harmful
June 5, 2005 – A judge of the court of Almelo (The Netherlands) has rejected the demands of Vodafone Libertel, a provider of mobile telephone services. The judge said it is not beyond doubt that the radiation of a planned 3G-mast does not affect the well-being and health of people living and working in the vicinity. A standard procedure should give the answer.
The municipality of Haaksbergen gave a permit on Nov. 2, 2004 to Vodafone Libertel to build a 37,5 metre mast for mobile telephone antennas. But people living and working in the area raised strong objections. The local council decided, no masts were allowed in the vicinity of homes, until the uncertainty about the health effects is taken away. Therefore, on April 26, 2005 the municipality has withdrawn the permit. On May 9 Vodafone asked the judge to suspend this withdrawal. The judge decided on May 24.
The consideration of the municipality was, that the well-being and health interests of the people living and working in the vicinity is more important than the wish of Vodafone to cover the area by 3G-technology. Their legal adviser Paul Baakman (www.bawa.nl) called upon the precautionary principle, given by article 174 of the European Treaty. This principle has been agreed at the conference of Rio in 1992, concerning the environment. “Electrosmog is a problem of health and environment”, said Baakman. Vodafone however stated, that 3G-antennas do not have noticeable negative effects on the health of these people, according to jurisprudence. The provider says the withdrawal of the permit is insufficiently motivated.
The judge said the suspension of the withdrawal could not be the same as the revival of the permit. To revive the permit would be a bridge too far, since it is not certain and beyond doubt that the withdrawal will not stand in a standard procedure. Moreover the consequences could be irreversible. The withdrawal can be questioned, but a standard procedure should give the answer.
There is no appeal to this verdict. Vodafone has to wait for the standard procedure. In the meantime the people living and working in the vicinity of the planned 3G-mast, the local council and the municipality of Haaksbergen have to develop convincing proof of the harmfulness of the radiation to their well-being, health and environment.
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