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Should mobile phone masts be sited near schools?

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Should mobile phone masts be sited near schools?

In the past few years an increasing number of mobile phone masts and bases have been set up in the UK in densely populated areas, some very close to schools. This has been causing much worry and media coverage recently, because the effects of the radiation from these masts may cause brain damage. It has been particularly reported because children are still growing, so potential threats to their health and well being are taken very seriously. image00.png

        Research from the Australian Health Research Institute (3) indicates that because of billions of times more radiation emitted by mobile phone masts (and other devices) “will make almost one-third of world population (about two billions) patient of ear, eye and brain cancer beside other major body disorders like heart ailments, impotency, migraine, epilepsy.” They have also reported that the tissues of children are tender, and so much more likely to be affected by anything wireless, and so should be discouraged from using a mobile phone.

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This is perhaps not such a reliable source because it is taken from a newspaper. It is likely to be biased because it will just be telling people what they want to hear.

The Mobile Operators association gives strong evidence against the fact that mobile phone radiation is harmful, stating, "Studies have not shown any consistent link between cellular telephone use and cancer, but scientists feel that additional research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn.” On their website, they have links to many reports by scientific organisations, the most recent being September 2008. It has been carried out by the USA National Cancer Institute. Here are their key points, taken from source 5:

Key Points

  • Cellular telephones emit radiofrequency (RF) energy, which is another name for radio waves.  
  • Exposure to high levels of RF energy can heat body tissue, but RF energy exposures from cellular telephones are too low to cause significant tissue heating.
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  1. http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/49330/Suicides-linked-to-phone-masts-
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2004/11_november/08/masts.shtml
  3. http://www.infowars.com/?p=2804&cp=all
  4. http://www.mobilemastinfo.com/information/radiowaves_and_health/health_reports.htm
  5. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones

My first source is not very reliable, because it is from a newspaper which will exaggerate the facts. My second source is more reliable because, although it is from a news website, it is not from the main headline section, and is just facts. My third source is not very reliable because it is from an unheard of organisation. My fourth source is very reliable because it is from the main mobile mast website, but may contain a small element of bias. My fifth website contains information on cancer, and is the most reliable source.

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