Please find below a copy of questions on electromagnetic fields to the UK Secretary of State for Health from fellow Radiation Research Trustee Andrew Mitchell MP for Sutton Coldfield, Shadow International Development Secretary. Also read the response from Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo MP.

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking in relation to exposure from electromagnetic microwave radiation from mobile telephone masts and wireless broadband technology; [182167]

(2) if he will request the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection to undertake an urgent review of guidance on exposure to time-varying electric, magnetic and electro magnetic fields in the frequency range up to 300Ghz, with particular reference to non-thermal health effects; [182168]

(3) what recent published medical research he has evaluated on the effect of telephone mast emissions on the health of nearby communities in the UK; [182169]

(4) if he will undertake an ecological study into the health of people living in communities close to mobile telephony masts. [182170]

Dawn Primarolo: Mobile telephones, base stations and wireless installations in this country are expected to comply with the electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The ICNIRP guidelines are incorporated into the European Recommendation on limiting public exposure to electromagnetic fields (EC/519/1999) adopted by European member states.

Measurements by Ofcom have consistently shown base station compliance with the guidelines. Exposure from mobile telephone handsets is available on the manufacturer’s website. The Health Protection Agency’s Radiation Protection Division (HPA-RPD) is undertaking a systematic programme of research into wireless local area networks (WLANs) and their use. In a recent announcement the HPA has said that WiFi and WLAN signals are very low power and the results so far show exposures are well within ICNIRP guidelines

The HPA-RPD periodically reviews the scientific research into the potential health effects from electromagnetic fields. Its comprehensive 2004 review recommended the adoption of the ICNIRP guidelines in this country, but also acknowledged the need for further research. A 2007 assessment on behalf of the European Commission also endorsed the ICNIRP public exposure guidelines, but similarly noted the paucity of scientific data in some areas.

The independently managed Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme has supported a number of studies into the possible health effects of radio signals from mobile telephone technology. The studies of base stations were carried out in carefully controlled conditions as living close to base stations is not a reliable measure of overall exposure to radio signals. None of the research published in the ‘MTHR 2007’ report demonstrates that biological or adverse health effects are produced by radiofrequency exposure from mobile phones or base stations. These studies and recommendations for further research are described on the MTHR website.

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