Why are we putting better mobile phone reception before the health of our children?
I am writing with regard to the mobile phone mast soon to be erected in Peel Cathedral.
This is in the middle of a densely populated area and very close to a primary school and several nurseries. The mast will operate within current guidelines but these guidelines are based on short-term exposure by healthy adults. There is very little research into the effects of mobile phone masts on children.
In fact, due to this lack of research, a report to the Council of Ministers in 2009 said that ‘it would be prudent not to site base stations in locations where children are likely to be exposed to the beams for a long duration’ – surely this suggests they should not be sited in a residential area close to schools and nurseries?
Many developed countries, including Sweden, Australia and parts of the US, have banned mobile phone masts from being located within a mile of schools, nurseries and residential areas – isn’t it about time that the Isle of Man government and planners looked to the future rather than the short-term gains they are considering now? It is not proven that mobile phone masts cause health problems but it is certainly not disproven as there is a lack of long term data. Once the damage is done, we can’t turn back the clock.
I am aware that many local residents objected to the plans but were not given the right to appeal. According to the 2009 report to CoMin, ‘the siting of all new base stations should be subject to the normal planning process’. The report also says that ‘if health concerns about new developments are raised during public consultation, these should be referred to the director of public health for an independent scientific assessment’.
Why has this not been done? Surely local residents should have some say in what may have a major impact on their health and well-being?
Name and address supplied
• Editor’s note: In past articles on the subject, the telecommunications companies have challenged comments like this, saying there is no evidence for the assertions made in this letter.