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Industrial Illness

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with other European states involved in the pan-European PMR TETRA network roll-out on (a) standardising guidelines for public safety, (b) sharing reports relating to reported incidents of industrial illness through use of the system and (c) contractual changes in the roll-out programme; and if he will make a statement. [124957]

[holding answer 10 July 2003]: No TETRA-specific discussions have been held with other European states on any of these topics.A numbers of European radio networks such as Airwave, the new radio system for the Police Service in Great Britain, are based on the TETRA technology. However, these networks are not interconnected and there is no pan-European TETRA network.Public safety guidelines on radio systems are not technology-specific. The EC recommends the use of International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) health and safety guidelines (Council Recommendation of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields, 0 Hz to 300 GHz). Network operators in the UK are required to comply with these guidelines. Independent checks of Airwave equipment have confirmed that it is fully compliant with ICNIRP guidelines.TETRA network operators and equipment manufacturers would need to implement any changes in health and safety regulations. Any contractual impact would depend on the nature of those changes.