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Anecdotes demanding investigation


Make no mistake. The most senior people at the NRPB and Health Protection Agency, and surely in high Government, know that mobile phone use and base stations are correlated with adverse health effects and indeed with serious illness. One by one, group by group, around the UK, and indeed internationally, we are finding out that the same effects are taking place. But for as long as the scientific ‘proof’ is not ‘available’ from the ‘right’ sources, our public protection agencies will continue to give the impression that nothing is wrong. We must change that.

Please read these few examples. They are all real and all deserve proper investigation. Don’t be told that these things are imaginary or psychosomatic.

The NRPB tell us it’s ‘just anecdotal’. That is usually where science starts, not ends! From anecdote to hypothesis to research, to replication and peer review. Here are some anecdotes that deserve a hypothesis to be properly tested.

 In 1999 an epileptic child, Nicola Palmer, lived at Milford Haven, she was then aged five. At that time the medics had got her number of fits down to two a week from a much higher number as a baby. A 2G (GSM) mobile phone mast was erected on the adjoining fire station, 60 metres from Nicola’s home. Once switched on the number of fits increased rapidly to 287 a month. When Nicola was moved away from Milford Haven the number of fits returned to two a week. Obviously it was nothing to do with the mast because NRPB and Government scientists say so.

 In the year 2000 (before the Stewart Report was published) a retired Naval Captain and his wife, living some miles from Portland Bill and Weymouth, came to see me to ask what they should do now an 80ft 2G (GSM) mobile phone mast had been erected, placing their 17th century property, outside Portland Bill, within a triangle of Portland Bill, a Government Naval research establishment and now the 80ft mobile phone tower. Once the tower had been erected, the Naval Captain’s wife came out in rashes, had headaches and generally felt unwell. However, when they went over the hill and stayed for the weekend in a pub the rashes disappeared. The headaches dissipated and she was fine until she returned to their home. They went to South Africa for six weeks and she was totally well. They came home and the rashes reappeared within 24 hours, coupled with the headaches. They went over the hill, stayed in the pub and they went away. The question was what should they do? The answer, don’t sue anyone, it takes too long, costs too much money. Move house. The Naval Captain: ‘I thought that is what you would tell us to do.’

 At the recent electro sensitivity seminar organised through the University of Reading at the Royal Society of Medicine, four electro sensitive patients told their stories – anecdotal stories, of course – three of the four explained that they had eventually been driven out of their existing homes to move to secluded places in the country well away from masts because the beams from masts had adverse effects on their health, in addition to other modern technological equipment such as cordless phones, IT etc. All three were reasonable people; one was a Managing Director of a group of companies. When he was around, all boardrooms were kept free from electrical gadgets so that he could carry on his business.

 Mohammed Al Fayed, when he instructed me in June 1997 to take on the Local Planning Authority, made it clear that his concern came from having been told by the emergency services that when they went along his stretch of the M25, each time they passed a mobile phone mast the emergency services lost their communications. He believed that that was a danger because clearly the masts did something, at that time it was not possible to prove that it could be adverse to health but we could prove that it did something.

 A chiropractor tells of a family he treated. The two adults and three children all developed cancer at the same time. Their house was apart from others, and there were no other similar instances in the area. There were no predisposing environmental circumstances. The three children all died, the adults recovered. And then it was discovered that their house, on a hill, was in the direct path of military microwave transmissions between Salisbury Plain and Portsmouth.

 At the Electro Sensitivity Conference, a very senior medical officer of health from Scotland, who is very knowledgeable and highly regarded, made it clear that when someone claiming to be electro sensitive was seen by her, she immediately referred them to a psychiatrist. Perhaps not very good medicine, however, in Sweden electro sensitivity is recognised as a condition and there are probably about 280,000 people diagnosed and registered in Sweden as being electro sensitive to some degree. Similarly, it is believed, here in the UK, a percentage of somewhere between 3 to 7 per cent of people are to some degree electro sensitive. Some of these people suffer from emissions from masts. Some people may in fact be turned into electro people by long-term exposure to emissions from masts.

 In Germany, more than 1,000 German medical practitioners and 36,990 others have now signed, since October 2002, the Freiburger Appeal stating ‘since the living environment and lifestyles of our patients are familiar to us we can see, especially after carefully directed inquiry, a clear temporal and spatial co-relation between the appearance of disease and exposure to pulsed high frequency microwave radiation (HFMR) such as after installation of mobile telephone sending station in the near vicinity.’ These are medical people, people who understand health, they are not scientists who do not understand health and are not expected to.

 Purely by way of a further anecdotal example, last year a well known magazine published an article ‘No place to Hide’ which described how a good employer had provided an office environment for a high powered Director, which was RF Emissions free, ie, especially lighting, no laptops, no computers, no copying machines, no VDUs, no cordless phones and needless to say no mobile phones. Presumably both that high powered director and her sympathetic employer would quality in NRPB terms as being ‘lunatics’, Purely for your interest, the high powered lady director, who was so pampered, is in fact the current director of the World Health Organisation and was for ten years Prime Minister of Norway – clearly a lunatic, clearly an NRPB anecdotal story, clearly something which ordinary people (apart from expert scientists perhaps) would think was important.

 Finally, in Bavaria, in 1996, after a mobile phone mast was attached to a pylon, adjoining a farm, some of the cows showed extraordinary behaviour. When investigated by the University of Hanover and the University of the German army in Munich (on measurements) it was found that the cause of the extraordinary behaviour, after eliminating every other possible cause had to be emissions from the mobile phone antennae (2G). When the cows and the herd were taken 10 kilometres away to an open farm with no masts anywhere nearby, the milk yield returned to normal from having dropped 30 per cent and the cows which had been showing extraordinary behaviour (only some of the cows) returned totally to normal

When the cows were returned to the original farm it all happened again. When it was written up and reported in the German Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 38 other farmers in Bavaria stated that similar occurrences had occurred to their herds once a mobile phone mast had been erected in fee vicinity. A subsequent replication study failed to come to the same conclusion, because it came to no conclusion at all, due to having been very inadequately set up so that confounders confused any findings.

However, as everyone knows, cows don’t read newspapers, don’t listen to radio or television and therefore cannot be described by the NRPB as having been fed media scare stories. In the same way as in BSE everyone knew that ‘cows eat grass’ except apparently Government scientists, and those acting for the concentrates industry, who probably knew and ought to have known better. You cannot feed cows bits of other animals. It should not have been beyond the wisdom and scientific expertise of scientists to have been able to work that out for themselves.

 Veterinary report

 Follow-up report

John O’Brien, Sussex

Electrical sensitivity is real

 more stories

 August 2004: there is a health problem in the US where mobile masts are put on fire stations

 See our EHS health links page

TETRA, Shoreham Airport TETRA at Shoreham Airport. Gives many people a headache just standing under it. Why?
Below: O2 has capitalised on Airwave site procurement by selling space on to other operators. Welcome to Vodafone.
TETRA, Shoreham Airport

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