Telecommunications Masts

Health written question – answered on 22nd March 2005.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research he has examined concerning the effect of 3G phone masts on people's health.

Photo of Miss Melanie Johnson Miss Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health

holding answer 17 March 2005

The National Radiological Protection Board provides statutory advice on risks from exposure to radiation and electromagnetic fields. Their recent publication Mobile Phones and Health 2004" (Documents of the NRPB, Vol 15, No 5, 2004) reviewed the possible health implications of mobile phones and base stations including the newer technologies such as third generation (3G). The NRPB reiterated the Stewart Report (2000) concludes that:

the balance of evidence indicates that there is no general risk to the health of people living near to base stations on the basis that exposures are expected to be small fractions of guidelines".

Measurements around 3G base stations undertaken by both NRPB ( and by Ofcom ( have consistently shown that exposures to the radio signals from base stations are lower than the guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection.

Following an unexplained result on 3G base station exposures, undertaken in the Netherlands in 2003, the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme in this country is now supporting a research study at the University of Essex into the symptoms experienced by 3G signals on volunteers.

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