Mobile phone masts pose no risk, says study

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Mobile phone masts pose no risk, says study

Cliff Saran

Mobile phone masts for next-generation mobile networks pose no risk to the public, research from the University of Essex has concluded.

A team of independent scientists at the University of Essex tested 44 people who had previously reported symptoms or sensitivity to mobile phone technology, and 114 people who had not reported any health effects (controls), at a specially designed laboratory.

The three-year study found that physiological measures such as heart rate, blood pressure and skin conductance were not affected by whether the mast was switched on or off, and did not detect any significant effects in either sensitive or control participants between GSM (conventional) exposure and no exposure.

However, the study did find that, compared with controls, sensitive individuals reported more symptoms and greater severity of symptoms, as well as higher skin conductance (which is a good measure of physiological response to environmental stressors), regardless of whether the signal was on or off.

Elaine Fox, a professor in cognitive neuroscience, said, 'It is clear that sensitive individuals are suffering real symptoms and often have a poor quality of life. It is now important to determine what other factors could be causing these symptoms, so appropriate research studies and treatment strategies can be developed.'

The study, which was funded by the Department of Health's Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme, used a wireless cellular network installed by Red-M, a wireless professional services company and systems integrator.

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