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Mobile Phone Masts

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to set up further studies into the health effects of mobile telephone masts; [122023](2) what programme of research he has commissioned into the effects upon health of mobile telephone masts; and what budgetary provision he has made for such research. [122024]

The public health implications of mobile phone technologies in general were comprehensively assessed by the independent expert group on mobile phones (IEGMP) in May 2000— In respect of base stations, the IEGMP concluded that:

"The balance of evidence indicates that there is no general risk to the health of people living, near to base stations on the basis that exposures are expected to be small fractions of guidelines."
Measurements undertaken by the National Radiological Protection Board and the Radiocommunications Agency have confirmed that public exposures are very much lower than the international guidelines and are published on the web sites and respectively.The LINK Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) Programme was established under an independent programme management committee (PMC), following the publication of the IEGMP report. The programme has a research budget of £7.36 million and is jointly funded by Government and industry.MTHR research studies already under way are mainly concerned with the use of mobile phone handsets. In response to more recent public concerns about possible health risks from exposure to emissions from base stations, the PMC has commissioned researchers at Imperial College to undertake an epidemiological study investigating the incidence of childhood leukaemias and other cancers around base stations. Applications for further research into the effects of radiofrequency emissions from mobile phone base stations are currently being considered. Further information about this study and the programme as a whole can be found on the MTHR web site at