Telecommunications Masts

Health written question – answered on 22nd June 2005.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Minister (Children)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research her Department has examined on the effect of mobile phone masts on brain waves; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

There has been very little work regarding the effects of the radiofrequency signals from mobile phone base stations on the electrical activity of the brain as these exposures are very small; usually many thousands of times below human exposure guideline values. Research in this area has therefore focused on the effects of exposure from the fields associated with mobile phone handsets. Exposure measurements around base stations are available on the websites of the Health Protection Agency at and Ofcom at

The research on health effects from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields was comprehensively reviewed by the independent advisory group on non-ionising radiation in 2003. The review concluded that:

"Exposure levels from living near to mobile phone base stations are extremely low and the overall evidence indicates that they are unlikely to pose a risk to health."

Nevertheless, in view of the recommended precautionary approach to the use of these technologies, the mobile telecommunications and health research programme in the United Kingdom, funded jointly by the Government and the mobile phone industry, is supporting a study examining if signals from handsets may affect brain wave activity in volunteers under rigorous experimental conditions. The results of the study are expected to be published in due course.

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Peter Morley
Posted on 30 Jun 2005 12:04 am (Report this annotation)

In december 2000 the Health Dept published a leaflet on mobile phones and masts. That leaflet should have been sent to all households in line with the Stewart Report
recommendations,instead it was buried away in mobile phone shops. The DOH admitted in that leaflet that emr
can affect brain activity but they dont know why.
Five years down the line they still dont know why and arent really trying to find out.
The Stewart Report concluded that there could be adverse biological effects, thermal from phones and non thermal from masts.
Earlier this year I asked the health minister five questions relating to mobile technology and health and did not recieve one definate answer on any of the five topics. The truth is they are all burying their heads in the sand so the government can recieve as much revenue as possible before the s**t hits the fan.

Peter Morley
Posted on 30 Jun 2005 12:49 am (Report this annotation)

Good on you Caroline you have used the usual reason for
refusing to act, "many thousands of times below human guideline levels"
These levels you and others refer to relate to thermal heating.they do not have any bearing on the arguement.
Pulsed radio signals do not fry the brain, they are capable of interrupting various functions of the brain,hence the question"What research has been done on the effects of mobile phone masts on brainwaves?"
me thinks she must live close to one!