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Why pigeons mean peril for satellite broadband
United Kingdom Created: 30 Aug 2021
"It's actually been very good but I noticed a series of outages - some a second, some longer," says Prof Alan Woodward.

The University of Surrey cyber-security expert is talking about his new satellite broadband service from space entrepreneur Elon Musk's Starlink company.

The outages, he thinks, may be caused by a lot of "pesky pigeons", which "have taken a fancy to sitting on the dish".

That small grey dish sits on the kitchen roof. To the curious pigeon, it might conceivably look like a modern bird bath rather short on water.

It is one earthbound end of the Starlink satellite internet system.

Living in a place where he "can only dream" of a fibre broadband connection, Prof Woodward says he's pleased to be one of the beta testers of the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband system,

Mr Musk recently announced that he has shipped 100,000 of the terminals.

The little dish receives and sends signals to passing satellites, part of a constellation of 1,700 which are hurtling overhead at a height of about 340 miles (550km). They travel fast enough to orbit the Earth every 90 minutes or so.

Tens of thousands more are planned, but Gwynne Shotwell, president of aerospace company SpaceX which operates Starlink, has admitted new launches are being affected by shortages of chips and liquid oxygen fuel.

Treating Covid-19 patients has increased demand for commercial oxygen - leaving less for fuel.
Major outage

Prof Woodward is still investigating the root cause of the glitches, though an expert told the BBC a "pigeon sitting on a Starlink antenna would certainly degrade its performance".

Pigeons have not been the only problem, however, as this week, a major outage hit Starlink users around the world. The connection, Prof Woodward said, "just completely disappeared".

The service, still officially in beta, seems to have been down for about an hour for many users - and Starlink has not explained why.

Starlink is one of a number of firms hoping to provide satellite internet services.

Amazon's Project Kuiper plans to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites
Telesat, a Canadian company, says it will put 298 satellites in orbit
The EU has plans for a mega-constellation
China has also announced plans for its own network

And then there's OneWeb, part-owned by the UK taxpayer, which, like Starlink, already has hardware in space.

The firm launched 34 satellites this week, meaning there are now 288 of the 150kg objects in space.

OneWeb's focus is on providing internet to businesses, maritime users and government. However, a deal with BT means it will probably also supply consumer broadband to rural areas, including portable 5G cells which customers could hire "on demand".

Many people in remote areas may end up receiving broadband via satellite, whether or not they realise it.

"The technology may be invisible to the end user," says Mike Thompson, director for technical development for consultants Access Partnership.

"The provider may run a satellite link in a town where fibre is unavailable, for example, and use it to feed the local broadband pipe."
How much?

All of this comes at a cost.

"The price is on the high side. It's about £500 to get the equipment as a beta tester, and then £89 per month," Prof Woodward tells me.

The pain of buying new tech only to see the price fall and new versions emerge will be a familiar one to many early adopters.

Ms Shotwell revealed this week that by the end of the year, new dish models would be half the price.

However, at least Prof Woodward has found Starlink easy to use.

"I popped it on the kitchen roof primarily because it was the only flat roof and easy to get to. Starlink provide an app that shows if there are obstructions so you can choose the best spot, which saved hours of fiddling around."

After connecting it to the router, he said, the dish "juggled around for a minute or so. Then I had fast internet".

The speeds are averaging about 150-200 megabits per second (Mbps) download speeds and 10-20Mbps upload. There were short dropouts, but nothing that would have interrupted, for example, streaming television, Prof Woodward said.

"That knocks anything else I can obtain here into a cocked hat," he said.

In February, Mr Musk tweeted that Starlink hoped to double its offered top speeds to 300Mbps.

But the kind of service that users will experience via LEO satellites will depend on many factors.

One, experts say, will be how many other dishes are nearby. Starlink currently limits the number of users per coverage area.

Prof Michael Fitch, from the University of Surrey says not very many users can have the top speed at the same time in a given area.

"The average bit-rate that individual users experience will reduce as the number of nearby users increases, since the system has a finite capacity that it can provide over any given area"

The amount of reduction will depend on a number of things including "how well the system can move capacity from one area to another", he says.

Regulator Ofcom recently raised concerns about interference between satellite systems potentially causing dropouts, but Prof Fitch says it is "unlikely to be serious".

Others take a different view.

"In general, a slow but reliable internet connection is more useful than a fast but intermittent one," says Mr Thompson. "Interactive applications (like video conferencing) require a continuous connection."

Crowded skies

LEO is an increasingly busy place, and astronomers have already complained about the trails of satellites spoiling their observations.

But others worry about collisions.

"We are already beginning to see a large number of near misses in orbit involving Starlink," says Prof Hugh Lewis of University of Southampton,

He warns that stopping collisions between so many satellite constellations "may soon go beyond what humans or simple algorithms can safely manage".

He says more advanced technological solutions may be needed to keep spacecraft safe.

How many satellites end up orbiting earth will in part depend on demand for their broadband services.

For Prof Woodward, Starlink was an expensive but pleasantly surprising new purchase.

After a couple of days of use, he said: "I was dubious about how good it would be considering it's receiving signals from objects hurtling past you in low earth orbit.

"But the whole experience has left me feeling optimistic."

Whether he will continue to feel that way may depend on how the technology develops, and of course pigeons.
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Source: BBC, Chris Vallance, 29 Aug 2021

Controversial Three 5G mast plan turned down
United Kingdom Created: 15 Aug 2021
Plans for a 5G mobile phone mast that saw a village up in arms has been refused.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has said the planned mast at the junction of Cromer Road and Pauls Lane in Overstrand cannot go ahead.

The decision was greeted with relief by parish council chairman Bruce Stratton, who said: "It's good news that NNDC have taken the view of the public and had the good sense to refuse it.

"We have to accept that everywhere in the UK will have 5G because that's a government dictate, and as a parish council I don't think we're opposed to having 5G in the village - if we don't have it we would fall behind the times.

"But the location for this was totally wrong. Phone companies have to consider the views of Overstrand and choose locations that aren't disruptive."

The mast would have been 60ft (18 metres) tall and sited next to the Belfry Centre for music and arts and the Belfry Primary School. The application to erect the mast was put in by WHP Telecoms and it would been used by the Three network.

Objections centred around the visual impact the mast would have had, and the possible risk to traffic because the structure would have cut some views of the nearby road.

Mr Stratton said a parish council meeting in July where the mast was discussed was "probably the biggest one we've ever had" with 70-80 people gathered both inside and outside the meeting room to oppose the plans.

At the meeting, one resident said that a lollipop lady had recently been struck by a car on the junction, adding: "Kids are already taking their life into their own hands on that road."

Another resident, Derek Johnston, 62 said: "There's a lot of cars that come out there - it's already a restricted view and this is going to make it even worse. The main concerns are for the school, and the safety and visual impact.

An NNDC officer report on the application says: "Details of the siting and appearance of the development have been submitted, which are considered unacceptable in this instance.

"As a result, this application is refused and planning permission would be required."
Will mast saga drag on?

Angie Fitch-Tillett, NNDC ward councillor for Poppyland, which includes Overstrand, said she was delighted with the decision to turn the plans down.

Mrs Fitch-Tillett, who also campaigned against the mast, said: "Obviously I'm very happy with the officers' decision. I think it's the right one.

"I'm concerned that it will go to appeal, but we will keep our fingers crossed".

5G technology allows for faster internet speeds by using high frequency waves, but they need more transmitter masts to operate than previous telecommunications technology.

Earlier this year the government announced plans to increase the maximum allowable height for masts on public land from 20m to 25m for existing masts, and 30m for new ones.

But stricter rules were to come in for protected areas such as national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Meanwhile, the government has said it wanted to extend 4G technology to 95pc of the UK by 2025.
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Source: North Norfolk News, Stuart Anderson, 14 Aug 2021

"Excessive" 5G phone mast near Ayrshire school rejected by planners
United Kingdom Created: 9 Aug 2021
Three - one of the UK's biggest mobile phone companies - denied in bid for 18-metre structure.

Planners have knocked back a proposal to erect a 5G mast across from an Ayrshire school and nursery.

Three - one of the UK's biggest mobile phone companies - wanted to place the 18-metre structure — almost 60ft — near Irvine's Castlepark Primary school and early years centre.

They said there was a need to upgrade capacity and coverage for 5G services in a "highly constrained cell search area."

Plans submitted to North Ayrshire Council showed that the phone mast would be taller than nearby trees, streetlights and buildings at Castlepark Circle, just before the junction at Carron Place.

And a planning report stated that would be 'excessive' as the application by CK Hutchison Networks (UK) Limited was refused.

The report noted: "The proposed mast would not benefit from any screening and would be highly visible in the surrounding area.

"The scale of the proposed mast would be excessive in terms of height with regards to its surroundings.

"The design of the mast and associated infrastructure would be utilitarian in appearance.

"While such infrastructure is common in residential areas, the excessive scale of the proposed mast would result in it having a significant, and potentially detrimental impact on the character and visual appearance of the surrounding area."

Just one letter of objection was received, arguing that the proposed development would be an eyesore and raising concerns about the potential health impacts of 5G.

But in response, North Ayrshire planners stated: "There is no evidence of any negative health side effects associated with wireless technologies."

One resident supported the plans, arguing that "people want a good mobile signal and the proposed development will be beneficial to the area."

Planners also said: "North Ayrshire Council supports the roll out of 5G, however, there is a requirement to assess whether the siting and design of telecommunications infrastructure would require prior approval."
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Daily Record, Eric McGowan, 08 Aug 2021

Proof of EHS beyond all reasonable doubt
United Kingdom Created: 6 Aug 2021
Leszczynski’s review [1] included two important conclusions. Firstly, the need for the WHO, ICNIRP, ICES and governmental organisations to revise their denial of the link between EHS and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) because the data is of insufficient quality for proof of the lack of causality. Secondly, instead of studying a nocebo effect, research should focus on finding “suitable biochemical and biophysical markers” for symptoms in each EHS individual.

However, the review also stated that “So far, scientists were unable to find causality link between symptoms experienced by sensitive persons and the exposures to EMF”. This comprehensive assertion does not seem to reflect all the scientific evidence.

The criteria for proof, here onwards defined as beyond all reasonable doubt, differ between causality for an environmental intolerance (EI), such as EHS, and causality for a bacterial or viral disease. For the latter, there is usually a cellular organism or virion. For an EI, there can be several triggers and pathways affecting many organs, tissues and cells. EI can also be caused by genetics and viruses.

Proof of causality for an EI necessarily depends, as for any cause, on sequential temporality. This temporal sequence is usually evident in a repeatable physiological symptom(s) or change(s) often measurable by an objective marker(s). However, each individual may react differently to a given environmental stimulus. Scientific proof of health causality usually also requires a known mechanism. In the case of an electromagnetic EI such as sunburn or skin cancer from sunshine, individual differences have long been known, while a mechanism in the form of a genetic defect in DNA repair was discovered in 1968.

For EHS, another electromagnetic EI, differences in individuals’ symptoms from man-made EMFs have been known since 1733. In 2008 the first genetic variant associated with EMF sensitivity was discovered, the XRCC1 Ex9+16A allele, a DNA repair polymorphism, linked with childhood leukaemia near substations and powerlines [2]. In 2014 it was reported that people with EHS were 9.7 times more likely to have GSTM1 + GSTT1 null genotypes [3], indicating a susceptibility to oxidative stress. This genetic variation can also increase the risk of multiple sclerosis, some cancers, Alzheimer’s and asthma, each sometimes associated with EHS. Such genetic variants seem more common at higher than lower latitudes and in women than men, with others associated with higher levels of mercury. EHS symptoms are also associated with some demyelinating neurodegenerative conditions.

A causal link between electrosensitive symptoms and EMF exposures has also been proved for other mechanistic pathways in addition to genetic. Calcium flux through membrane depolarisation was discovered in 1974, involving the radical pair mechanism at ELF up to MHz, as in modulated cell phone signals. Unmodulated GHz radiofrequency can generate oxidative stress and may act through ferritin, calcium spikes or water modification, but further proof is needed. Other pathways include cryptochromes [4]. Such EMF sensitivity occurs in 100% of people subliminally, and in 30% consciously [5]. Hypersensitivity is associated with the 1.2% severely disabled by EMFs.

Scientific proof also partly depends on repeatability, as in provocation tests, either subliminal or conscious. Such tests were first applied to EHS in the 1980s by Dr Cyril Smith, who originated the term ‘Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity’, and Dr Jean Munro. Following near-quantum and non-linear insights by Professor Herbert Frölich, they first identified the specific frequencies to which an individual was sensitive. They then reproduced the EMF exposure, proving that positive provocation tests of screened subjects could be repeated accurately. Similar tests were used in 1991 at the Environmental Health Center, Texas, by Dr William Rea, who held the world’s first professorship in environmental medicine at the University of Surrey in 1988. These achieved 100% success by screening for specific frequencies and rejecting 84% of subjects without consistent responses [6]. Dr Magda Havas and Professor Andrew Marino confirmed this through similar diagnostic protocols. High accuracy in blinded provocation tests was also recorded for individuals in studies without screening, as at Essex University in 2007, but their individual data were not published and therefore lost in averaging. Some unscreened studies hypothesised without evidence a different condition, namely a nocebo effect or electrophobia, known since 1903, but inapplicable to unaware adults, some of whom suffer physiological EHS.

Further proof of EMF causality for EHS symptoms includes the 20% of subjects known since 1998 to suffer electrosensitivity symptoms during Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Likewise, walking fast through magnetic fields near MRI scanners can induce electric currents causing specific EHS symptoms, with a small hypersensitive subset. Similarly, some people are sensitive to geomagnetic disturbances and thunderstorms [7].

Clinical evidence also contributes to proof of EHS. Specific EHS symptoms were identified from 1932 in Eastern Europe and the USSR, usually among people occupationally exposed, such as radar, radio or electricity workers. As EHS spread into the general population with the use of cell phones, Wi-Fi and smart metres, specialist EHS centres assessed greater numbers, such as Professor Dominique Belpomme’s in Paris. In 2015 he published the first comprehensive study of objective molecular biomarkers including cerebral blood perfusion scans, showing that EHS is a multi-systemic EI like chemical sensitivity. In 2021 Belpomme led 32 international experts requesting that the WHO acknowledges EHS as a distinct neuropathological disorder and includes it in its International Classification of Diseases [8]. In 2017 Dr Gunnar Heuser published evidence from fMRI scans of brain effects [9]. Similar scans helped convince a 2020 government report that the U.S. diplomats in Cuba were harmed by radiofrequency weapons.

In the 1930s, sufficient proof that adverse health symptoms were caused by non-thermal EMF exposure led to the first radiofrequency guidelines being non-thermal. Non-thermal effects of radiofrequency were shown as primary, with heating secondary. In 1953 sensitivity symptoms were shown to include cancers among radar workers and, from 2004, among people living nearer a cell phone tower compared with those further away, while in 1979 increased leukaemia was found among people living near powerlines. The IARC recognised non-thermal effects by classifying radiofrequency EMFs from cell phones as a 2B carcinogen in 2011. This led to courts from 2012 fining employers, and compensating EHS employees severely affected by non-thermal EMFs.

The scientific proof of the causal link between symptoms and EMF exposures has also been accepted since the 1990s by insurers. They refuse to underwrite EMF risks except as high category like asbestos, another carcinogen. Following Sweden in 2000, like the WHO in 2005, some countries specifically recognise EHS as functionally disabling and requiring accommodation under equality legislation. In 2020 a Dutch appeal judge recognised a person with EHS as an interested party in siting a cell phone tower.

Finally, two of the review’s three “essential, but still unanswered” questions – the EMF levels tolerated without conscious adverse effects and the counter-measures to protect people with EHS – were answered in some respects by the EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 [10], subsequently adapted for the International Guidelines on Non-Ionising Radiation of 2018. Typically, public health levels to prevent harm are set 10 to 50 times below the lowest experimentally proven health effects to accommodate exceptionally hypersensitive individuals. However, some non-thermal guidelines include the duration of EMF exposure to facilitate greater flexibility, while also protecting sleep locations and those proven as the most sensitive groups in society.

Research funding: None declared.

Author contributions: Author has accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

Competing interests: Author states no conflict of interest.

Informed consent: Not applicable.

Ethical approval: The comments expressed here do not involve new research on humans or animals.

References

1. Leszczynski, D. Review of the scientific evidence on the individual sensitivity to electromagnetic fields (EHS). Rev Environ Health 2021 Jul 6. https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2021-0038 [Epub ahead of print].

2. Yang, Y, Jin, X, Yan, C, Tian, Y, Tang, J, Shen, X. Case-only study of interactions between DNA repair genes (hMLH1, APEX1, MGMT, XRCC1 and XPD) and low-frequency electromagnetic fields in childhood acute leukemia. Leuk Lymphoma 2008;49:2344–50. https://doi.org/10.1080/10428190802441347.

3. De Luca, C, Thai, JC, Raskovic, D, Cesareo, E, Caccamo, D, Trukhanov, A, et al.. Metabolic and genetic screening of electromagnetic hypersensitive subjects as a feasible tool for diagnostics and intervention. Mediat Inflamm 2014;2014:924184. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/924184.

4. Sherrard, RM, Morellini, N, Jourdan, N, El-Esawi, M, Arthaut, L-D, Niessner, C, et al.. Low-intensity electromagnetic fields induce human cryptochrome to modulate intracellular reactive oxygen species. PLoS Biol 2018;16:e2006229. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2006229.

5. Bevington, M. The prevalence of people with restricted access to work in manmade electromagnetic environments. J Environ Health Sci 2019;5:1–12. https://doi.org/10.15436/2378-6841.19.2402.

6. Rea, WJ, Pan, Y, Fenyves, EJ, Sujisawa, I, Suyama, H, Samadi, N, et al.. Electromagnetic field sensitivity. J Bioelectr 1991;10:241–56. https://doi.org/10.3109/15368379109031410.

7. Panagopoulos, DJ, Balmori, A. On the biophysical mechanism of sensing atmospheric discharges by living organisms. Sci Total Environ 2017;599–600:2026–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.089.

8. Belpomme, D, Carlo, GL, Irigaray, P, Carpenter, DO, Hardell, L, Kundi, M, et al.. The critical importance of molecular biomarkers and imaging in the study of electrohypersensitivity. A Scientific Consensus International Report. Int J Mol Sci 2021;22:7321. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22147321.

9. Heuser, G, Heuser, SA. Functional brain MRI in patients complaining of electrohypersensitivity after long term exposure to electromagnetic fields. Rev Environ Health 2017;32:291–9. https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2017-0014.

10. Belyaev, I, Dean, A, Eger, H, Hubmann, G, Jandrisovits, R, Kern, M, et al.. EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses. Rev Environ Health 2016;31:363–97. https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2016-0011.


Received: 2021-07-13
Accepted: 2021-07-20
Published Online: 2021-08-02

© 2021 Michael Bevington,

published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
From the journal Reviews on Environmental Health
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Source: Reviews on Environmental Health, Michael Bevington, 02 Aug 2021

Controversial phone mast plan is thrown out at Appleton
United Kingdom Created: 6 Aug 2021
PLANNING chiefs at Warrington have thrown out proposals for a mobile phone mast in Longwood Road, Dudlow’s Green Appleton.

The proposal by CK Hutchison Networks was for a 20m mast with a wraparound cabinet and associated ancillary work.
The borough council’s development management committee rejected the scheme after hearing there had been 28 objections from members of the public, an objection from Appleton Parish Council and also from local borough councillors.

Officers had also recommended the scheme be refused.

They said the siting and appearance of the mast would be acceptable but that it would be detrimental to highway safety because it could obscure the view of pedestrians using a nearby crossing.

There were also concerns over the impact on nearby protected trees.
Members of the public also objected because of the proximity of houses, overbearing impact because of land levels and harm to the character of the area.

The applicants claimed there was a need to upgrade their network to improve coverage and capacity, mosty notably in relation to 5G services.

They said the site was chosen to avoid interference with other networks.
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Source: Warrington Worldwide, David Skentelbery, 05 Aug 2021

"Good news" claim after bid to build Hartlepool 5G phone mast is rejected again
United Kingdom Created: 30 Jul 2021
Council chiefs have said it is "good news" that an appeal against their decision to refuse a 20-metre tall 5G phone mast has been dismissed.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee heard last month that an appeal had been submitted over a decision from officers to reject plans for the mast in the town’s Lynn Street.

The proposals, submitted by Hutchison UK, stated the mast would have improved 5G mobile phone services in the area for network Three users.

Yet Daniel James, council planning team leader, told the committee’s latest meeting: “The application was refused under delegated powers, owing to the impact on the sighting and appearance of the area.

“Quite positively the inspector dismissed the appeal and supported the officers decision, which was good news.”

Planning Inspectorate report author Chris Baxter concluded: “The proposal would be an obtrusive feature that would have a harmful effect on the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

“It would appear as an unusual feature that dominates the street scene.

“From the evidence before me, I am not convinced that alternative options including other sites or redesign of the proposal have been fully explored.”

The application is one of several rejected bids for 5G masts across town.

In response to the appeal over the Lynn Street plans being dismissed, a Three spokesperson stressed they believed they had chosen the most suitable location to serve Hartlepool neighbourhoods.

They said: “5G rollout is vital for residents and business of Hartlepool.

“We want to offer the local area a great network experience and our planners determined that a new site was required to deliver it.”
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Source: Hartlepool Mail, Nic Marko, 29 Jul 2021

Residents celebrate victory in fight against 20m mobile phone mast on Sheffield estate
United Kingdom Created: 28 Jul 2021
Delighted residents on a Sheffield housing estate are celebrating victory in a campaign to stop a giant phone mast being built in the middle of land where their children play.

They said it should be placed in a nearby industrial estate instead, which already had a mobile phone mast just 30m away.

But now Sheffield Council planning officials have thrown the plans out, leaving those who fought against the scheme at the corner of Clement Street and Allende Way believing it to be now 'dead in the water'.

In a document confirming the plan had been rejected, the council stated: “The local planning authority considers that the proposed mast, owing to its scale, siting and appearance, will form an obtrusive feature in the street scene that will be out of keeping in the locality and harmful to the visual amenity of the area.”

Resident Anto Heley, who had been among those fighting the plans, said they did not expect an appeal from the mobile phone company, as they had already started speaking to the consultants who had been working on the project about alternative sites, which they hope will be in the nearby industrial estate.

He said: “We feel as though everything is now going to work out for the best. From what we have heard from the planners and the consultants, plans to put it where they had originally proposed are dead in the water.

“We want to thank The Star for its help raising awareness of our campaign.”

He said they would be happy to work with officials to find a more suitable location.

A spokesman for Vodafone's infrastructure partner, Cornerstone, had said Vodafone customers expect to use their devices wherever they live, work and travel, which is why Cornerstone had proposed the new site for Darnall, and the mast would provide customers in the area with stronger and more reliable voice coverage and fast mobile data speeds.
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Source: The Star, David Kessen, 26 Jul 2021

17 minutes a day on mobile device over ten year period increases risk of tumours by 60%
United Kingdom Created: 11 Jul 2021
Researchers analysed the results of 46 different studies into mobile phone use. These were from the US, Sweden, UK, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. They found that using a device for 17 minutes per day over 10 years was an issue. This time caused a 60 per cent increased risk of developing cancerous tumours. It also resulted in twice the risk of developing a brain tumour over a decade. Study authors say people should use a landline wherever possible for calls.

Using a mobile phone for as little as 17 minutes per day over 10 years increases the risk of developing cancerous tumours by up to 60 per cent, a surprising study found.

The controversial research involved statistical analysis of 46 different studies into mobile phone use and health around the world, by experts from UC Berkeley.

They found that using a mobile for 1,000 hours, or roughly 17 minutes per day over a ten year period, increased the risk of developing cancerous tumours by 60 per cent.

Researchers say that radiation from mobile signals 'interfere with cellular mechanisms' and can result in the creation of stress proteins that cause DNA damage, tumours and even cell death in extreme cases.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denies any link, saying there is 'no consistent or credible scientific evidence of health problems caused by the exposure to radio frequency energy emitted by cell phones.'

Berkeley experts examined earlier studies carried out in the US, Sweden, UK, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand to get a broad picture of mobile use and health.

The rate of mobile phone ownership is increasing, with studies showing a rise from 87 per cent of homes having at least one device in 2011, to over 95 per cent in 2020.

Study author Joel Moskowitz said people should minimise time on mobile phones, keep them away from their body and use a landline for calls where possible.

Studies examining a link between mobile phone usage and cancer are controversial, said Moskowitz, who said it is a 'highly sensitive political topic'.

He said there are significant economic ramifications for the powerful mobile phone industry, which also funds a number of studies into the subject.

The Berkeley team conducted the research with the South Koreas National Cancer Center and Seoul National University.

'Cell phone use highlights a host of public health issues and it has received little attention in the scientific community, unfortunately,' said Moskowitz.

However, the Food and Drug Administration in the US says on its website there is 'no consistent or credible scientific evidence of health problems caused by the exposure to radio frequency energy emitted by cell phones.'

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive said that the review looks at findings of previous research into the health impact of mobile phones.

She said the results were mixed,' adding that 'there are some important limitations with some of the studies used.

'For example some were done in animals, while others compared people who already had cancer and asked them to remember past mobile phone use rather than tracking people over time.

'Research is still on-going into the longer-term effects, but overall, the best scientific evidence shows that using mobile phones does not increase the risk of cancer.'

A Public Health England spokesperson reiterated that sentiment.

Adding: 'There is no convincing evidence that exposure to electromagnetic fields has adverse health effects provided exposures are below recommended guideline levels.'

Moskowitz says many of the studies showing no link have been fully or part funded by the mobile phone industry, adding there is obvious evidence of a link if you look at the wider picture, and compare multiple studies to look for a trend.

He said many experts who support a link say the modulation of wireless devices makes the radiation energy more 'biologically active'.

'This then interferes with our cellular mechanisms, opening up calcium channels, for example, and allowing calcium to flow into the cell and into the mitochondria within the cell, interfering with our natural cellular processes and leading to the creation of stress proteins and free radicals and, possibly, DNA damage.'

'And, in other cases, it may lead to cell death,' he added.

'A big reason there isn't more research about the health risks of radiofrequency radiation exposure is because the US government stopped funding this research in the 1990s,' he said.

One exception was a $30 million rodent study published in 2018 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' National Toxicology Program, which found 'clear evidence' of carcinogenicity from cellphone radiation.

However, the FDA dismissed the findings of that study, saying the findings don't apply to humans, calling them 'over-hyped'.

Moskowitz says the FDA is 'controlled by the telecom industry,' with a revolving door between membership of the FCC and people working in telecom.

'The industry spends about $100 million a year lobbying Congress,' he said.

Over 250 scientists who have researched health effects of non-ionising electromagnetic fields from mobile devices, have signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal, which calls for health warnings and stronger exposure limits.

'So, there are many scientists who agree that this radiation is harmful to our health,' explained Moskowitz.

A number of studies have tried to settle the debate over cell radiation. Rates of a particular kind of heart cancer do seem to be linked to greater cell phone usage, but the number of people with the rare disease is small.

The UC Berkeley team worked to apply statistical analysis to 46 different studies conducted in multiple countries to see if there was a consistent outcome.

They found a mixed set of results, but when focusing on those with 'high quality methodology' they found a 'clear link' between mobile phone radiation and increased risk of developing tumours.

Specifically, spending 17 minutes per day on average using your mobile phone over a decade increased the risk of cancerous tumours by 60 per cent.

'Most recently, on March 1, 2021, a report was released by the former director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which concluded that there is a "high probability" that radiofrequency radiation emitted by cellphones causes gliomas and acoustic neuromas, two types of brain tumors,' Moskowitz said.

He recommends people minimise their use of mobile and cordless phones in order to reduce their radiation exposure time.

He said you should 'use a landline whenever possible' and if you do use a mobile 'turn off the WiFi and Bluetooth if you're not going to use them'.

'Distance is your friend,' the study author added, saying that keeping the phone 10 inches from your body results in a 10,000-fold reduction in exposure - so make a call using the speaker rather than hold it to your ear.

'Further studies using the exact data on the time spent on cellular phones are warranted to confirm our findings,' the authors wrote.

The findings have been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health:
https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/21/8079/htm
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Daily Mail, Ryan Morrison, 08 Jul 2021

Councillor Fitzpatrick rallies Addiscombe residents to object to 5G mast
United Kingdom Created: 20 Jun 2021
An Addiscombe councillor has stepped in to try to protect the local environment by demanding “Not In Our Back Yard” over proposals to build a massive 5G telecommunications mast on a patch of public green space.

Jerry Fitzpatrick, the veteran councillor for Addiscombe West, has flagged up the proposals from infrastructure company Cornerstone which threatens to destroy trees and build over the green space to make way for their mast.

One tree under threat was planted recently as a memorial to a much-admired local, “the Running Lady of Addiscombe”.

Residents in the area received a letter from Cornerstone earlier this week.

They want to submit a planning application to erect a radio base station on the grass planted area outside 71 Addiscombe Road, not far from the Lebanon Road tram stop.

This would involve the installation of a monopole nearly 70-feet high, supporting six antennae, plus a cabinet and ancillary works. Cornerstone state that this would provide the neighbourhood with improved 3G, 4G and 5G mobile phone coverage.

In a message to residents, the councillor wrote, “This grass planted area is home to a variety of wildlife which contributes valuably to biodiversity in our community.

“It is home to the tree which the community planted in 2017 in memory of Joan Pick, the remarkable Park Hill resident who for the last 45 years of her life did not use – either in her home or as a form of travel – any carbon-depleting form of energy, and was recognisable to all as ‘the running lady’ because she literally ran to and from her every destination.”

Councillor Fitzpatrick encourages residents to email michael.griffin@waldontelecom.com, who is seeking to take into account public opinion before making an application to erect the mast. There is a June 28 deadline for submissions.

“If Cornerstone choose to submit an application, I shall of course inform local residents as soon as I can of this threat to our green space so that you can make your views clear to the planning authority,” Fitzpatrick writes.
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Source: Inside Croydon, 19 Jun 2021

BOLTON: 5G phone mast plans for two sites previously rejected by council
United Kingdom Created: 8 Jun 2021
A TELECOMS firm has resubmitted plans for two 5G phone masts which were thrown put by planners last month when they were described as ‘wholly incongruous’.

Earlier this year, Hutchison UK Ltd applied to install an 18 metre pole at Elgin Street/Shepherds Cross Street, Brownlow Fold, Halliwell, and a second 20 metre pole close to a primary school on Belmont Road in Sharples.

Those plans were rejected but the firm has now said it will reduce the height of both masts to 15 metres to lessen the visual impact.

In documents sent with the application Hutchison said “the height of the poles have been reduced down to the absolute minimum capable of providing the required essential new 5G coverage”.

The proposed site at Elgin Street and Shepherd Cross Street has residential properties to the north, north east and north west and to the south is a play park.

A planning report on the April application said the mast “would be a wholly incongruous and dominant feature, that would be harmful to the mostly residential setting”.

Similar factors were cited in turning down the application on Belmont Road, which is close to to High Lawn primary school.

In the applications Hutchison said the new installations were essential for their customers to access new technology.

Their applications, states: “This specific proposal forms part of an integral requirement for expansion of the 5G telecommunications network within the BL1 area.

“Mobile phone base stations operate on a low power and accordingly base stations therefore need to be located in the areas they are required to serve.

“Increasingly, people are also using their mobiles in their homes and this means we need to position base stations in, or close to, residential areas.”

Hutchison also provided details of locations close to the Belmont Road site which it had rejected due to proximity to other cell sites and residential properties.

They were two other sites on Belmont Road, Andrew Lane, Sharples Hall Drive, the corner of Mackenzie Street/Athlone Avenue and Blackburn Road.

For the Halliwell site they said “there are no other viable locations in the search area to site the equipment”.

After the previous rejections a spokesman for phone network Three, for whom Hutchison is planning the mast sites, said: “Access to 5G has a vital role to play in boosting local economies, helping residents and businesses get faster and more reliable network coverage.

“We are assessing our options for continuing to supply 5G and improved 4G to the residents and businesses of Halliwell and Sharples. We will work with the council to find a way forwards.”
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Source: The Bolton News, Chris Gee, 25 May 2021

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