TETRA: Say no to an unsafe technologyfind out more information about TETRA

I disagree: you are all scaremongers who have got it all wrong


Microwave or not microwave?

One or two people have vehemently denied that TETRA at 400MHz is microwave. We don’t mind! It’s all in the EM spectrum, and it’s a bit light denying red is a colour because it’s nearly infrared. What we are concerned about is the effects, and research shows biological effects from 300MHz and up. However, for the record we are using the 1998 definition that establishes microwaves as beginning at 300MHz (as used by the NRPB, now the HPA RPD).

There is a lot of comment on your site about TETRA disrupting TV reception. As a professional radio engineer I can categorically state that this is, without fail, due to the receiving installation having inadequate immunity. I would also hazard a guess that the majority who complain employ some form of amplification before their TV receiver! If the blame needs to be placed anywhere then it should be at the door of the aerial installer not the TETRA mast!

You persist in perpetuating ‘facts’ which neither you, nor the medical profession, cannot substantiate. If you wish to give a balanced view direct your readers towards factual sites such as ICNIRP (www.icnirp.org) or the Health Protection Agency site (www.hpa.org.uk) rather than supposition and rumour made up by yourselves!

George, Leeds: (no email so no private reply possible)


you’re quite right: existing TV wasn’t up to TETRA being shoved next to it. But it was a predictable problem and no recompense was forthcoming to people who lost reception and could do nothing about it. If something was alright ‘until you came along’, it is fair to suggest that ’you caused me a problem’. Amplifiers are added for a purpose and, quite reasonably, being told it’s your fault after the fact is indeed unfair. Solutions are expensive and uncertain in effect.

But that is the least of the issue. ICNIRP is not a definitive repository of the truth by any means, and the bibliographies on bioeffects from structured EM fields are very extensive indeed. We haven’t made them up, and they are not supposition. Is the whole field unambiguous? No of course not. But when a very substantial body of evidence does show bio-interaction, that is where the focus should lie. If three people are knocked over by cars in a particular stretch of road, the answer is not that TRL has determined the safety of cars, nor that surveys of the road have not actually witnessed an accident, and therefore the incidents cannot have happened or resulted in injury.

In the light of the available international research it would be a curious interpretation to say that the HPA, which would not willingly defer from ICNIRP in any case (I know, because I have heard it from them personally) is more ‘factual’.

The situation is complex, but the reasons for recognising that cumulative bioeffects are generated from chronic exposure to low level structured fields are actually strong. Nobody is being fried, but the cellular chemistry and cascade effects are much clearer than they once were.

best regards



see the site is still running despite so much reality being thrown in the face of scaremongering.

Saying "tetra is microwave" is of course shooting yourself in the foot as if it is then TV is also microwave as it is ABOVE tetra in frequency and is pulsed at 25 Hz! with megawatts of power.

You comment that Tetra is a poor performer, i wonder if that has anything to do with ignorant protesters getting the masts at key locations taken down so coverage is poor?. Guess what, by taking the masts down you inflict higher powers into the heads of the police as the handset has to increase its output to reach the next mast. very caring of you?

same effect on children who use mobile phones when ignorant people stop the school having a mast on its roof or within miles..

That of course is why battery life is short on handsets.

numpties protesting about things they know nothing about resulting in the opposite effect.

I do hope the people who have been driven into panic with this misinformation sue sites like these for the damage you have done to their lives when the noise finally dies down.

I would ask you to post this on your "disagree" block but will not be surprised if it is not.

BL, Bognor Regis

Ignorant numtie (TW) replies: Bill, maybe you missed the comment at the top of this page, and our scaremongering page. Anyhow, experience is that TETRA base stations have not been taken down with a result in poor coverage. Though you do seem to accept that greater powers of these (non-microwaves?) into the heads of users is possibly a bad thing to be avoided. You are right, of course.

Incidentally, ‘shooting yourself in the foot’ derives from deliberate injury to get ‘back to Blighty’. TETRAWatch does not do that; we’re still at the front.

For further information of which we are ignorant, see also Bioelectromagnetics, health and well-being. Let’s not panic: let’s be aware. Aware, as you say, that the new digital TV and radio broadcasting is not the same as the old either, and that the 10Hz or 25Hz not present in analogue broadcasting are an important consideration.

Here is an example of typical misunderstandings of the issues:

What rot !!

The EMF emitted from wires in and around your home are much higher than those from mobile phone masts and TETRA sites..

Do you live under a power line??

There is such a thing as placebo effect. 30% or so of those people given a 'dummy' tablet in a medical test experience the expected beneficial effect.

Hence - you see a mast go up and you ''experience and effect'' . Very likely..

Do you want the police or ambulance to arrive at the right location, and promptly ? That is what TETRA and PMR (Private Mobile Radio) achieve. And do you have a mobile phone? The emf emitted is higher from that, near your head, than from any base station..

BR, Ipswich

Ed. replies:
TETRAWatch entirely accepts that power frequencies are associated with disease, and that electric fields in the home can be very high. What appears to be the problem is that our total electromagnetic environmental burden for some people has become physiologically intolerable. We do not say that the effects from masts have no interaction with other EMR sources.

In terms of placebo effect (though what our writer actually implies here is nocebo effect) you only need to take cases like that at Felpham (use our site search!) to see that whilst for some individuals this may well be the case, it in no way explains the majority of what we observe. ‘See a mast and feel ill’ is a complete non sequitur, since the same should be true of playstations, digital TVs, a wide range of popular gadgets and gizmos, and yes, mobile phones. Why should masts be scary? Ugly yes, but frightening? Aaaarghh! A lamppost! I feel sick and dizzy! No; perhaps not... However, if you read through our links pages under health, you might begin to see why this very real problem is actually happening.

(And wanting emergency services to arrrive promptly does not require TETRA; that is just one option.)

PS: TETRAWatch folk don’t use mobile phones

For twenty-two years I lived in Sydenham, South London - less than a quarter of a mile form the Crystal Palace TV transmitter. This station has a number of transmitters broadcasting at over 1MW of ERP. I could receive near-perfect TV Pictures with no aerial plugged into my TV. Living close to the station I sufffered interference to my FM radio, which I was told was due to the high power of these trasnmitters, whch were only some hundreds of yards from my house.

Yet in all those years I never heard anyone protest about the mast, the transmitters, the new digital TV. Perhaps we have just accept TV mastas and like them because we like TV.

I have never heard of anyone claiming effects on their health of living so clsoe to these powerful transmitters. Again, perhaps becasue we like TV. Or perhaps becasue there really is no detriment to health from TV transmitters.

When we come to TETRA and mobile phones we are dealing with similar trasmission frequencies, but at only a tiny fraction of the I MW of Crystal Palace (and my other TV sites).

My opinion is that the anti-TETRA compaign is a mixture of (1) NIMBY attitiutes (who wants an ugly mast in your neighboiurbood - unless it bring you digital TV?) (2) Polite anarchy - "how dare government impose this on us without us being abole to say "No". (3) Less polite anarchy - "Let's try to stop anything that helps the police / authority / anything we don't like.

That's my two-pennyworth.


David of Devon

Ed.: on Crystal Palace, and here, and here.
And on the position of Tetrawatch (nimby, anti-police etc.)? Sorry, you couldn’t be further from the truth on all points.

Anyone who is more than 15 metres from a mast and is suffering symptoms has a psychosomatic disorder that has no physical relationship to radio waves.

AC, Bristol

(search this site for Santini, for Oberfeld, for Navarro, for Skundra, for Naila, for TNO — and judge for yourself.)

I was frankly horrified to find your site and read the biased, unscientific and unsubstantiated rubbish you peddle there. I have no agenda, simply represent what is hopefully still a silent majority of the general public who abhore this kind of scare mongering without any proper scientific evidence to back it.

You are clearly a very misguided and ill-informed bunch. I feel sorry for anyone who has become sick for whatever reason, but even sorrier for those you manage to mislead into blaming a ubiquitous and entirely harmless technology.

Shame on you for compounding the misery of such unfortunates with your false trails and flawed reasoning.

TG Tewkesbury

Personally I would not be too concerned about the radiation level from the masts, the energy levels at ground level are very small compared to the real threat which is the handsets.

This applies not only to Tetra but to all the millions of mobile phones. The energy field around the head of a phone user is many 1000's of times the radiated field from a mobile phone mast at ground level.

Tetra is not microwave as such, if you want to be more concerned look at Orange who use approximately1.8GHz, I certainly wouldnt like to use one of their hand sets on a regular basis.

We are all missing the point, handset radiation is more harmful than mast radiation, I have been an RF engineer for 35+ years, the reason why operators tend to let the mast debate continue without much feedback from them is to miss the real issue of the handsets. If you could prove and it has been done in some tests thate the handset more concern than masts, you can imagine the disastrous effect it would have on a multi billion pound industry, everbody would stop using them!.

If you look at police / Home office training manuals, they always show the aerial being recommended as being pointed away from the face. Of course with Tetra and any modern handest you have to hold the device next to your ear to hear, whereas with a good old fashioned "walkie-talkie" you could hear without being near your head.

Aah technology, you love it or hate it!, but you cant live without it!

AH, Bognor Regis

It’s all a load of rubbish

Just to show we like people to decide for themselves, here is a counter response. We are not radio hams, but some of us are scientists. If you read this, do also read the many scientific papers linked from this site that show concern about the subtle effects of pulsed microwaves, and judge the scaremonger view against the international scientific concern. There is a lot of it about.

Reply to RM: It is nice to hear that you enjoy being a ‘radio ham’ so much, however, the main point that you have missed is the fact that TETRA is NOT a radio system. That’s the problem, it is a microwave communications system, not radio waves, but microwaves, that’s what makes it so harmful; join the 21st century and get out of the 19th.

G, Norfolk

[Just to close the argument, TETRA frequencies are well within microwaves by the 1998 definition of the electromagnetic spectrum. High powered UHF, even VHF, has already been implicated in health issues, but it is pulsed microwaves that appear to have the most damaging and fast-acting effects on human biology. And do read the issue of power and intensity of signals on this site.]

I have to say I have never seen as un scientific load of rubbish as your site, simple scare mongering without a shred of scientific evidence to back your points!

WE have been surrounded by high power EMR for years. How do you think TV transmissions get to your set? Via high power UHF transmissions! How do you think Police, Taxis, and everyone else has communicated for years....high powered radio links! If you ever use a mobile phone you are subjected to hugely higher EMR than you would get from being close to a base station, if you have a cordless phone at home exactly the same applies. You are also being bombarded by Microave EMR from space from countless high power TV satellites. If this stuff was s dangerous as you say we would all be dropping like flies! I find it astonishing you can run such a high profile campaign on so little evidence, this is is not NEW, UNTRIED technology.....just a slightly different version of technology we have all been living with for decades!

I am a Radio Ham, and have used high power communications radio equipment for years with no ill effects!


RM, Helston

The pulsing on Tetra is part of it's modulation and could not possibly affect pulsing in the human brain, I sugest you undertake some basic radio theory training so you actually understand what you are talking about and THEN start evaluating the issues you are scare mongering about

Unfortunately some people don’t actually read into this website. We do support the police, and it is unfortunate to call people liars who suffer the physical symptoms from TETRA. Still, it is a democracy we live in (to some degree) and there is freedom of speech on this website at least.

It was a relief to read RM’s words about the rubbish that this fear-enslaved society is finding to be frightened about. Perhaps we should knock down all pilons and other masts and things, 'cause I'm sure I get a headache when I pass them! Oh yes and my car made a funny noise one day when I drove past another mast.

So asbestos has had to be curbed in it's usage, don't get everyone worked up about airwaves - perhaps we should throw out our microwaves - maybe our food is being made radioactive.

Progress should be embraced and if there were more important things to worry about - then all the scaremongering that goes on would die a quick death.

I certainly embrace all security measures and suchlike taken by the police. More power to them.

VS, Selsey

Is this site just scaremongering? How many research papers on this site have to be proven to come to the wrong conclusions, in order for our concerns to be unfounded? This is a complex area, and the history of science has shown us time and again that experience and tradition are not always a sound basis for interpreting observations of new phenomena, materials, chemicals or technologies. Think laterally, stay curious, and survive.

 Do you need to speak anonymously? That’s fine. We are especially interested to hear from policemen and women who are not allowed to talk publicly about TETRA or their concerns. What do you think? And what about your union?


Home    National    TETRA    Science    Links    Localities    Campaign    Contact us