• 19 APR 06
    • 0

    Skitzoid logic from the HPA

    In the following article sent along by Sylvie, note the revealing statement at the end by the chief spokesperson from U.K.s Health Protection Agency (HPA), Michael Clarke.

    “If there was a chronic effect, it would only become apparent after 10 or 20 years and we’ve only had about 10 years of extensive use by large numbers of the population.”

    So the HPA is in effect admitting that they really do not have the scientific data to reassure the public that the technology is safe in the long run and we have to do a waiting game to find out for sure. Meanwhile the HPA , in effect, is running interference for the telcos by trying to reassure the public that their fears are unfounded because the HPA can not conclusively say its dangerous!

    Is this an example of Sir William’s call for a precautionary approach?

    Curious logic.




    **09:00 – 12 April 2006

    A Leading scientist offered some comfort yesterday to an Inverness businessman worried that council approval for a mobile phone mast on a nearby rooftop posed a health risk.

    City councillors agreed to Hutchison 3G’s application for equipment to be installed above an accountant’s office in Ballifeary Road, 50 yards away.

    Furious guest house owner Jackie MacRae had complained on health grounds.

    He also argued that Highland Council had recently objected to the presence of a mast on a council-owned building and that another, at a Kyleakin school, was being removed for that reason.

    Mr MacRae, who owns the four-star White Lodge guest house, claimed there had been no prior consultation about 3G’s proposal.

    The company refuted that and defended the council’s decision, claiming there would have been difficulty securing 24-hour access to the roof in the event that any essential maintenance was required.

    The firm also insisted that masts needed to be closer to residential areas because of the frequency involved.

    While the council agreed to review its planning policy on mobile phone technology, Scorguie councillor Jimmy MacDonald questioned the entire democratic process surrounding the issue.

    He said: “The objectors are not going to be listened to, the councillors are not going to be listened to. If we refuse this, it will be approved by the Scottish Executive – they’re the people getting money for

    Mr MacRae said he was bitterly disappointed with both the result and the council’s handling of things.

    There is still no definitive ruling on whether mobile phones or phone masts pose a risk to human health.

    Council policy is, therefore, that “it is not necessary for planning authorities to treat radio frequency emissions as a material (health)

    The independent Health Protection Agency (HPA), which advises on the risks of radiation, infectious diseases and chemicals, offered Mr MacRae some reassurance.

    Its chief spokesman Michael Clarke told the Press and Journal: “The levels (of radiation) from masts are trivial compared to the exposures you might get from mobile phone handsets, even if you live close to the mast.

    “The fears are not backed up by scientific or medical evidence. This is been reviewed by expert groups in this country and abroad and they’ve all come to the conclusion that there is no hard evidence of an effect at such low levels.

    “We often get people phoning us on their mobiles to complain about a mast.”

    He added: “If there was a chronic effect, it would only become apparent after 10 or 20 years and we’ve only had about 10 years of extensive use by large numbers of the population.”

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