New results from mobile phone masts study

Figures released today by the government suggest that emissions from mobile phone masts throughout the UK fall well below international guidelines.

Readings of emissions from mobile phone masts throughout the UK were well below international guidelines, according to figures released today.

The government study, conducted by the Radiocommunications Agency, examined mobile phone masts on 109 sites across the UK, looking at 82 school sites and 27 hospital sites.

The study is said to show readings that ranged from hundreds to millions of times below international guidelines. The lowest reading in this year’s study was taken at Enniskillen Model Primary School at more than 19 million times below the guidelines. The highest reading, said to be more than 700 times below the limit, was at Aintree Hospital in Liverpool.

The Radiocommunications Agency (RA) began the mobile phone base station audit in December 2000 and tested electromagnetic emissions from 100 mobile base stations located on or near schools.

In 2002 the RA tested another 109 sites in schools and hospitals. The findings showed that radiation emission levels ranged between 1/731 and 1/19,907,515 of the international exposure guidelines, which are defined by the International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

The Radiocommunications Agency undertook the initial audit in response to recommendations made by the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones, chaired by Sir William Stewart, which reported in April 2000.

The group’s report cast doubts on the dangers posed to human health by mobile phone technologies. The group recommended a precautionary approach be adopted and, that as part of this precautionary approach, an audit of base stations be carried out, with base stations near schools and other sensitive sites singled out as a priority.