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SCIENTISTS CALL FOR NEW RULES ON MOBILE PHONE MASTS

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Scientists from the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health and Greater Glasgow Health Board have wa...
Scientists from the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health and Greater Glasgow Health Board have warned that radiation from mobile phone masts could pose a serious risk to public health, reports The Scotsman (p4).

The spread of masts and base sites around the country, combined with continuing growth in mobile phone use, constitutes an 'enormous natural experiment' with human beings as guinea pigs, they said.

The scientists insisted that there is a growing body of evidence that a number of conditions from short-term memory loss to cancer could be caused, or at least made worse, by the radiaion from the phone masts.

They are calling for new rules to limit where masts should be placed, with sites close to or on top of schools ruled out.

Giving evidence to parliament's transport and environment committee yesterday, Dr Colin Ramsay a consultant epidemiologist at SCIEH, said it was time the precautionary principle was employed to regulate the positioning of masts.

Dr Helen Irvine, a consultant at the GGHB, advised several local authorities earlier this year that health issues were enough to warrant a precautionary approach to siting future mobile phone masts.

She told the committee: 'Tobacco, asbestos and the processing of food ... three big examples to teach us that we need to be more careful.'

But the National Radiological Protection Board, the government's official advisers on radioactive pollution, said emissions from masts were well within safety limits and that they had no scientific grounds for restricting their spread.

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