A Swindon mother has expressed concern at planning applications to mount microwave transmitters on the roofs of Swindon schools and childrens’ centres across the town.
Liz Brackenbury who has raised worries about a Swindon Council backed plan to offer free wi-fi coverage in the town says that she believes parents, headteachers, governers and school staff are not sufficiently aware of the dangers presented by proposals for 20cm Wi-Max microwave antennas.She said, "I really wonder if there has been adequate consultation with the people concerned and am really concerned that parents especially don’t know of the dangers posed by increasing the level of microwaves around where children will be for many hours each day."
The planning applications with locations at to be found at the Swindon Borough Council web site:
1. S/LDP/11/0042 Goddard Park Primary School Welcombe Avenue Swindon SN3 2QN
2. LDP/11/0037 Gorse Hill Infant School Avening Street Gorse Hill Swindon SN2 8BZ 3.S/11/0020 Grange Infant School Delamere Drive Stratton St Margaret Swindon SN3 4XE
3. S/LDP/11/0014 Eldene Primary School Colingsmead Eldene Swindon SN3 3TQ 5.S/LDP/11/0006 Childrens Centre Greenmeadow Primary School Pen Close Haydon Wick Swindon SN25 3LW
4. S/LDE/11/0002 Sure Start Centre And Nursery Everleigh Road Penhill Swindon SN2 5HB
5. S/LDP/10/1993 Robert Le Kyng School Westcott Street Kingshill Swindon SN1 5HS
6. S/LDP/10/1992 Drove Primary School Drove Road Central Swindon SN1 3AH 9.S/LDP/10/1988 Catherine Waite Primary School Elstree Way Abbey Meads Swindon SN25 4TA
7. S/SP/10/1990 Moredon Childrens Centre
Liz added that some applications provide inadequate information. "On application S/SP/10/1990 for erection of 20cm microwave antenna and 8 no. CCTV cameras at the Moredon Childrens’ Centre i was able to open one of the supporting documents but the rest won’t open. It says, ‘The proposed development is part of the Children’s Centre site setup project, which is a council sponsored scheme to improve IT communication between the council and the PCT using Wi-Max transmitter technology. This will mostly be achieved by mounting 195 x 90 x 74mm wimax subscriber unit (SU54) dishes on rooftops or external walls. Twelve children’s centre sites have been identified in the borough.’
"I want to know and the people of Swindon should know why are these proposals not been transparent? Why hasn the boroug council’s health scrutiny committee not been asked to look at these installations?"
If you are concerned, or know more, contact Elizabeth Brackenbury.
Objection from the Radiation Research Trust
For the attention of Swindon Planning Department,
Ref: INSTALLATION OF TELECOMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT to be placed on schools and sure start buildings
S/LDP/10/1988 Catherine Waite Primary School Elstree Way Abbey Meads Swindon SN25 4TA
S/LDP/10/ 1993 Robert Le Kyng School Westcott Street Kingshill Swindon SN1 5HS S/LDP/10/1992 Drove Primary School Drove Road Central Swindon SN1 3AH
S/LDP/11/0042 Goddard Park Primary School Welcombe Avenue Swindon SN3 2QN S/LDP/11/0037 Gorse Hill Infant School Avening Street Gorse Hill Swindon SN2 8BZ S/11/0020 Grange Infant School Delamere Drive Stratton St Margaret Swindon SN3 4XE S/LDP/11/0014 Eldene Primary School Colingsmead Eldene Swindon SN3 3TQ S/LDP/11/0006 Childrens Centre Greenmeadow Primary School Pen Close Haydon Wick Swindon SN25 3LW S/LDE/11/0002 Sure Start Centre And Nursery Everleigh Road Penhill Swindon SN2 5HB
I formally give you notice of objection to the siting of a telecommunication mast on school buildings.
Radiation Research Trustees Members of Parliament are Joe Benton Labour MP from Bootle, Liverpool and Dr Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP. Trustee members of the European Parliament are Liz Lynne, Lib Democrat, and Jill Evans, Plaid Cymru Member for the European Parliament for Wales . Other members are RRT Director and Liverpool based Eileen O’Connor, Devon based Scots Lawyer and environmentalist Michael Bell, Graham Philips, Powerwatch UK , Dr Ian Gibson , doctorate in biochemistry and previous member of Parliament, Chairman Brian Stein, Chief Executive Samworth Brothers Ltd and Steve Miller, world renowned chill out producer and recording artist.
The grounds of the objection on behalf of the UK Radiation Research Trust are:
There is a very significant body of research published reinforcing the hypothesis that mobile phone mast emissions are detrimental to health demonstrating that radiation exposures set within the current thermal ICNIRP guidelines can increase the probability of developing diseases following long term exposures, mainly cancer, tumours, and genetic damage. These are referred to as the stochastic effects of radiation, and are not included in the term radiation sickness. Stochastic effects often show up years after exposure. As the dose to an individual increases, the probability that cancer or a genetic effect will occur also increases.
Many doctors and scientists worldwide believe there is a very real and significant risk to the general health of the public, wildlife and the environment. An International working group of scientists, researchers and public health policy professionals produced the 2007 BioInitiative report. The report provides detailed scientific information on health impacts when people are exposed to electromagnetic radiation hundreds or even thousands of times below the current ICNIRP guidelines.
The authors reviewed more than 2000 scientific studies and concluded that the existing public safety limits are inadequate to protect public health. From a public health policy standpoint, new public safety limits, and limits on further deployment of risky technology.
In September 2008, MEPs voted 522 to 16 to urge ministers across Europe to bring in stricter radiation limits and said: “The limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) which have been set for the general public are obsolete. The European Parliament “is greatly concerned at the Bio-Initiative international report which points in its conclusions to the health risks posed by emissions from devices such as mobile telephones, UMTS, Wi-Fi, WiMax and Bluetooth, and also DECT telephones“.
The European Parliament produced a second resolution on 2 April 2009.
The report on health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields (2008/2211(INI)) was adopted with 559 MEP votes in favour, 22 against and 8 abstentions. The report acknowledges the wide use of wireless technologies and other electromagnetic emitting technologies and their benefits to society, but also raises concerns over their “continuing uncertainties about possible health risks.” In particular, there are concerns about the exposure of children and young people to electromagnetic fields. Therefore, MEPs call for stricter regulation and protection for residents and consumers.
The Radiation Research Trust is concerned about the continuing potential health risk from mobile phone mast emissions and the risks of developing electrosensitivity (ES). ES is often described as RF radiation sickness. According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary “Radiation sickness is a systemic condition caused by substantial whole-body irradiation, seen after nuclear explosions or accidents, rarely after radiotherapy. Manifestations depend on dosage, ranging from anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and mild leukopenia, to thrombocytopenia with hemorrhage, severe leukopenia with infection, anemia, central nervous system damage and death”.
The sight of the mast when viewed from the schools and neighbouring properties will act as a constant reminder of the potential health threat. Perceived health concerns related to masts create anxiety levels that are in themselves unhealthy and detrimental to the well-being of the local community. Therefore, the presence of a mast would be a constant reminder reinforcing the fear of health issues, and under Regulations PPG8(29) this is a material consideration.
It would be an infringement of human rights and possibly be in contravention of the Nuremberg treaty to subject residents to mobile phone mast emissions when they have not been shown to be safe, and indeed much research and observation suggest that there are significant risks, and when the residents, parents or school have clearly not given permission or approval. It would also conflict with standards to protect students suffering with disability and contradict the support for the Laws on Equality & Diversity.
Mast installations on school buildings will also cause a significant depreciation in the value of neighbouring properties. In May 2003 Swindon householders obtained between £10,000 and £20,000 compensation from the Local Government due to maladministration as the Council failed to make objections to the proposed mast site within the specified time.
Finally, I would like to end on a personal note. I have no doubt in my mind that I am a victim to long term exposure to radiation from a phone mast. In November, 2001 I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38 with no history of breast cancer in my family and living a healthy life style.
I am now almost ten years clear of this terrible disease and it had an enormous impact on my life and the lives of my friends, family and neighbours. It has been a long hard battle not only against breast cancer, but also against the insensitive siting of the T-Mobile phone mast which was 100 metres from my home. I discovered that I was living in a cancer cluster which is one of many we have since discovered around phone masts after long term exposure.
With all this in mind I respectfully request that the issues contained in this letter are taken on board and acted upon.
I look forward to your response.
Eileen O’Connor, Director, EM Radiation Research Trust
The EM Radiation Research Trust is an educational organisation funded by donations. An independent Charity Registered No. 1106304 © The EM Radiation Research Trust 2003-2004
Address: Chairman Mr. Brian Stein, Radiation Research Trust, Chetwode House, Leicester Road , Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire , LE13 1GA