Why the silence on phone masts?

Thursday, 30th May 2019

John Sadler mast cartoon

Cartoon by John Sadler www.johnsadlerillustration.com

• FURTHER to the crucial mobile phone mast safety debate, Camden justifies its agreeing to such installations on its buildings by reference to the International Commission for non-ionising radiation protection (ICNIRP).

But who exactly are they? The ICNIRP is a private, German-registered organisation. It takes decisions on who to invite as members itself.

Louis Slesin, editor of Microwave News in New York, says of this group: “ICNIRP does not have an open process of selection for its new members. It is a self-perpetuating group with no dissent allowed.”

The effects of this closed shop are there for all to see in the ICNIRP guidelines on mobile phone mast safety. These were established in the 1990s, in the belief that only acute thermal effects of low intensity non-ionising radiation are harmful.

The ICNIRP uses a tactic of sowing doubt on all research linking mobile communications with cancer, that studies non thermal effects of RF radiation.

A typical phrase in ICNIRP justification for rejecting the thousands of studies showing sub thermal adverse effects is that there is “no consistent evidence of adverse effects”.

Thus, if a few studies show no effects, these negative findings are held by the ICNIRP to outweigh all the positive findings by independent scientists.

The consequences of this scandalous state of affairs was evident in a letter in the New Journal of May 16 (I fear cancers have resulted from the erection of phone masts).

The contributor was sent pages of literature by Camden, saying “no risk”, to the fact that the block of flats this person lived in had seen eight mobile phone masts erected on the roof of an adjacent building.

The letter went on to say: “Over the years, 13 persons out of the 24 flats nearest to the masts have developed cancer, including myself. Some have died, some still living with their cancer”.

In the midst of all this recent debate, the absence of any contribution from any Camden councillor or official is staggering.

Given what we now know about the inadequacy of the ICNIRP guidelines, Camden must immediately scrap its programme of installing mobile phone masts on its buildings, beginning with the plans for Monmouth House and Mullen Tower. All existing mobile phone and internet masts on its buildings must also be removed.

Camden has a statutory duty to promote and protect the health of its citizens. The whole issue of mobile phone and internet communication masts must therefore be removed from a planning system that ignores the health effects of such installations, the result of industry lobbying governments from two decades ago.

I want Cllr Meric Apak, the cabinet member for better homes, to declare publicly in an open letter to the New Journal, when he intends to implement the recommendations I have made. The ICNIRP guidelines are not fit for purpose.

If they were, the likes of Cllr Apak, director of public health Julie Billett, and borough solicitor Andrew Maughan, would have been happy to put their reputations on the line by putting their names to a letter declaring that the guidelines are fine and there is nothing whatsoever to worry about.

That they, and indeed all other Camden councillors and officials, have been unwilling to do this speaks volumes. So, over to you, Cllr Apak. Time to stand up and be counted. Whose side are you on?

Monmouth House
Raglan Street, NW5

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