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 assessment he has made of the effects on people with heart problems of the radiation emitted from mobile phone masts, with particular reference to those with pacemakers.

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

holding answer 17 March 2005

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and its predecessor the Medical Devices Agency (MDA) has monitored research activities undertaken by pacemaker manufacturers to assess potential pacemaker interference from mobile phones, by participating in European and International pacemaker safety standards committees.

For implanted pacemakers the power level and severity of interference signals from phone masts is much less than for mobile phones in proximity to the patients. MHRA issued guidance to clinicians about possible interference effects to pacemakers from mobile telephones in February 1996, via Pacemaker Technical Note PTN 61, which advised a minimum phone to pacemaker separation distance of 15 centimetres.

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