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Official: Mobile masts aren't bad for your health

Or rather, there's no evidence to suggest that they are...
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

Or rather, there's no evidence to suggest that they are...

For the second year running, the UK's mobile phone masts have been given a clean bill of health. The government announced on Tuesday that the latest study into emissions from mobile phone base stations had found no evidence that safety guidelines are being exceeded. A total of 109 mobile phone masts were tested by the Radiocommunications Agency (RA) during 2002, of which 82 were sited on schools and 27 on hospitals. Of these sites, the one with the highest emission level - at Aintree Hospital in Liverpool - was still over 700 times lower than the maximum allowed under international guidelines. This was the second year that the RA conducted a survey of mobile phone masts, and the second time that they were given the all-clear. The government intents to conduct a third study over the course of this year. Ecommerce minister Stephen Timms said in a statement: "We are aware of public concerns and it is important to give the public the information they need. These results continue to show that exposure levels of the public are well below recommended limits." A significant proportion of UK residents are concerned about the safety of mobile phone masts, as has been illustrated by a stream of protests across the country against mobile phone operators. Some county councils, including Kent, have even voted to ban the installation of any more base stations on their property. The government acknowledges that feelings are high over this issue, and wants mobile operators to take this into account when planning the rollout of their networks. "I urge the mobile phone industry to work closely with communities and each other when putting up masts and base stations," Timms said. "They should consult with local groups, to lessen any impact on communities, and share infrastructure where possible. Building public confidence is essential to building a strong future for the industry," he added. Some in the industry are concerned that public protests could hamper the mobile phone industry's attempts to roll out 3G networks.
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