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Dursley, Gloucestershire


 MP to raise health fears on radio mast, 29 June 2004

 MP’s call for TETRA mast probe, 18 June 2004

Dursley is a small Gloucestershire town of around 6,000 people. It sits in a bowl in the hills and the absence of flat land means that many houses are situated the surrounding slopes. Despite public opposition, O2 Airwave managed to obtain planning permission to install three TETRA antennae on top of a huge 4-storey BT Exchange in the town centre.

Local residents knew that testing of the system had begun when, in late March 2003, a number of television sets in properties on the slopes on one side of town went blank. Those who complained to the local MP (David Drew) were subsequently invited to a meeting at which O2 Airwave offered to pay the cost of adapting their televisions and other equipment (though denying categorically that TETRA was the cause of the problem). The affected residents who had not complained to Drew were refused the same facility and were thus forced to fund their own solutions.

Following the loss of television, Lynn Edmunds, a prominent anti-TETRA campaigner and Mast Sanity TETRA representative, visited numerous affected properties to find out how widespread the problem was. At no time did she initiate discussion on health, yet many people volunteered information about symptoms that began when their televisions went blank.

Initial BBC story

Currently, some 60 individuals have reported on-going ailments stemming from the time the TETRA installation was turned on. The most common is sleeplessness and being ‘shocked awake’ (as several put it) up to 15 times a night. Others have repeated migraine-type headaches. There are cases of Frey effect, or ‘microwave hearing’ where people ‘hear’ a humming sound that isn’t there; and nosebleeds and severe skin complaints (very irritating rashes that cannot be alleviated by medical treatment, creams etc.). There are also reports of extreme dryness of the skin and new and increased allergies. Both adults and children are experiencing hallucinations – there may well be more than are known about, since the type of hallucinations reported may make people afraid and unwilling to seek medical help. There are many reports of exhaustion from people who felt quite well hitherto (with instances of increased fatigue since July when the system went fully operational). One woman who has suffered sleeplessness since March was told by her doctor that her immune system was so depressed that she must have had flu or a very severe cold. She had experienced neither. People who work from home or are at home for much of the time appear to have a greater number of symptoms – including a feeling of body warmth – than those who go out to work.

A legal action is a possibility during 2004.

TETRA, Dursley
TETRA on BT building, Dursley

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