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Scrap the digital rooftops programme now

09 August, 2019

• THE International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines that have long been central to judgments on mobile phone mast safety by organisations such as the EU, BBC and Camden Council, are two decades old (Best not to worry about harm because of 5G, July 25).

These guidelines have long been seriously disputed within the scientific community. For example, the ICNIRP guidelines insist that radio frequency radiation (RFR) is of no concern as long as the energy level is low and does not significantly heat the tissues.

In autumn 2018 however, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in the USA produced a report that cast serious doubt on this long-held ICNIRP belief. The NTP is a federal, inter-agency, programme headquartered at the National Institute of Environmental Sciences (NIEHS).

The NTP studies cost $30million and took more than 10 years to complete. They provide the most comprehensive assessment to date of health effects in animals exposed to RFR with modulations used in 2G and 3G cell phones. The NTP studies found clear evidence of tumours in the hearts of male rats. The studies also found some evidence of tumours in male rats’ brains.

Despite these findings, the ICNIRP steadfastly refuses to alter their guidelines, which continue to state that RFR is of no concern as long as the energy level is low and does not significantly heat the tissues. More disturbing is that the NTP studies only concentrated on RFR used in 2G and 3G technology.

The newest technology, 5G, operates at a far higher frequency than its predecessors. And the ICNIRP, in readiness for 5G, far from strengthening its guidelines in response to the disturbing findings of the NTP, announced earlier this year that it actually plans to relax the safety regulations on phone mast emissions ahead of the 5G roll-out, in the belief that doing so would not pose a risk to public health.

Why does the ICNIRP take this stance when 5G trials have been blocked in Brussels, Rome and California? This debate has been raging in Letters for the last three months.

Cllr Meric Apak, cabinet member for housing, continues to be absent from this public debate. And, through it all, no councillor or council officer has offered any explanation or apology to the contributor from May 16 who, along with many neighbours in WC1, has been suffering from cancer after the building adjacent to theirs had several mobile phone masts placed on its roof. Some of his neighbours have died.

The letter stated: “I wrote to Cllr [Jonathan] Simpson in 2014 of my concerns. He got onto the environmental officer and planners department on my behalf. After some while I received pages of literature more or less saying no risk.”

These words should haunt each and every one of us in Camden. It is time for Cllr Apak to break his silence and join the public debate in the New Journal. Scrap the digital rooftops programme now.

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