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Aerials: Health Hazards

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what studies her Department has carried out into the health effects of mobile telephone masts since March 2006; and if she will make a statement. (142806)

The Stewart Report in 2000 comprehensively reviewed the scientific literature and concluded that

‘the balance of evidence to date suggests that exposures below international guidelines do not cause health effects to the general population’.

However, the report also recommended further research as part of an overall precautionary approach to the use of mobile phone technology pending the availability of more robust scientific research results. Further information is available at

The independently managed Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme, jointly funded by Government and industry, was set up in 2001 in response to the Stewart Report recommendations. It is currently supporting a number of studies into the possible health effects of technology relating to mobile telephones and masts. A description of all the individual studies can be found on the MTHR website at Individual studies under the MTHR programme relating directly to base stations include:

1. A measurement study on microcell and picocell base stations carried out at the Health Protection Agency, and published in the Journal of Radiological Protection (Cooper etal. J. Radiol. Prot. 2006 Vol. 26, 199-211).

2. A study of cancer incidence in early childhood near mobile phone base stations being carried out at Imperial College London. This study started in April 2003 and is ongoing.

3. A study of symptoms associated with radio frequency electromagnetic field exposure carried out at the University of Essex. This study was completed at the end of 2006 and publication is expected in the near future.

4. A study of electrical hypersensitivity in relation to exposures typical of those from terrestrial enhanced trunked radio base stations started in January 2007 at the University of Essex. As this study has recently started, it will be some considerable time before results are published.