News for Malta

«First  ‹Previous   Page 2 of 3   Next›  Last» 

Court rules that mobile-phone usage caused cancer
Malta Created: 7 Jan 2010
For the first time the Court of Appeal of Brescia in Italy has recognised that excessive use of mobile phone can cause cancer.
In a revolutionary judgement, the Court of Appeal of Brescia has recognised that physical harm is cause by the electromagnetic waves and the mobile phone.

The cases concerned Innocente Marcolini, who was head finance of a very important company in Brescia and who in 2002 started getting excruciating pains in the part of his face where he uses the mobile phone. In effect Marcolini used the mobile phone for five hours a day negotiating and concluding contracts with the company’s clients. After being operated for the tumor, his face is now semi-paralysed, he has lost his sense of touch and half his tongue and has great problems with his left eye, as well as difficulties in chewing and in speaking. He now suffers from 80% disability, and has to undergo extensive therapy and physiotherapy.

In his case, the Court of Appeal recognised that the cause of his condition was s the excessive use of mobile phones, and concluded that his use for business purposes constitutes injury on duty.

Of course it was not easy for Marcolini to convince the industrial tribunal that the cause of his disability was the use of the mobile phone and he was lucky to find the support of a neurosurgeon from Brescia, Dr Giuseppe Grasso, and two neurologists, Angelo Gino Levis and Paolo Liberini. In effect, Marcolini lost his case before the industrial tribunal, but then won it on appeal. In this landmark judgement – not only for Italy but also for us and for many EU member states – the Court has for the first time recognised that there are electromagnetic waves caused by the use of mobile phones do cause harm.

Although many countries like Malta are awaiting instructions from the World Health Organisation, there are other countries which argue that it is better safe than sorry, and which have legislated a lower rate of emission from these electromagnetic waves than that of 45 established by the WHO.

The final results of an international study by WHO, intended to produce definitive evidence on whether cell phones cause cancer, could be released any day now. Nine years ago the World Health Organisation launched ‘interphone’ to determine whether brain tumors can be linked to electromagnetic radiation from cell phone. The researchers analysed cell phone use by 14,000 people in 13 countries. Half of the participants had brain tumors; half did not. Fieldwork for the study ended in 2006 but a final paper has yet to be published.

It is true that there is conflicting evidence on the subject, but prevention is better than cure, and it is wrong for Malta to continue to lay back awaiting the concluding evidence from the WHO. There are non-governmental organisations and associations who teach us how to use the mobile phone correctly. They give the following clear instructions:
> Mobile phones must not be used with the blue-tooth on, and with speaker on, because the intensity of the electromagnetic waves diminishes rapidly with the distance;
> Avoid long telephone conversations; use your mobile phone when there is a good reception because a low reception means more emissions;
> Do not leave the mobile phone on your bedside table at night (or worse, under the pillow) and do not charge the mobile phone near the bed;
> Dring the day, do not leave it on in your pocket or in contact with your body but always leave it on the table or in your handbag;
> Do not leave it on in hospitals or in the presence of medical equipment;
> The use of mobile phones by children must be very limited, and in England the Ministry of Health discourages the use of mobile phone by children under 14 years of age;
> When buying a mobile phone ask about its level of emissions;
> In closed areas the level of emissions increases and avoid the use of mobile phones and use the fixed line (and not cordless).

Other NGO’s such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG), lists on its website the list of the best phones (low emissions) and worst phones (high emissions) so that the consumer is informed before making his choice. In Malta we calculated the best and the worst by the shape and the functions and we ignore completely the level of emissions.
EWG published a 2009 ranking of all digital cell phones by their SAR levels and for a complete list go to 32g.org but it is interesting to note that Samsung Impression SGH-a877 is the first for low-radiation model and Motorola Moto vu 204 is the first for high radiation model.
It also gives the following tips for a safer phone:

1. BUY A LOW-RADIATION PHONE
Look up your phone on EWG’s buyer’s guide: www.ewg.org/cellphoneradiation/Get-a-Safer-Phone. (Your phone’s model number may be printed under your battery.) Consider replacing your phone with one that emits the lowest radiation possible and still meets your needs.

2. USE A HEADSET OR SPEAKER
Headsets emit much less radiation than phones. Choose either wired or wireless (experts are split on which version is safer): www.ewg.org/cellphoneradiation/Get-a-Headset. Some wireless headsets emit continuous, low-level radiation, so take yours off your ear when you’re not on a call. Using your phone in speaker mode also reduces radiation to the head.

3. LISTEN MORE, TALK LESS
Your phone emits radiation when you talk or text, but not when you’re receiving messages. Listening more and talking less reduces your exposures.

4. HOLD PHONE AWAY FROM YOUR BODY
Hold the phone away from your torso when you’re talking (with headset or speaker), not against your ear, in a pocket, or on your belt where soft body tissues absorb radiation.

5. CHOOSE TEXTING OVER TALKING
Phones use less power (less radiation) to send text than voice. And unlike when you speak with the phone at your ear, texting keeps radiation away from your head.

6. POOR SIGNAL? STAY OFF THE PHONE
Fewer signal bars on your phone means that it emits more radiation to get the signal to the tower. Make and take calls when your phone has a strong signal.

7. LIMIT CHILDREN’S PHONE USE
Young children’s brains absorb twice the cell phone radiation as an adult’s. EWG joins health agencies in at least 6 countries in recommending limits for children’s phone use, such as for emergency situations only.

8. SKIP THE ‘RADIATION SHIELD’
Radiation shields such as antenna caps or keypad covers reduce the connection quality and force the phone to transmit at a higher power with higher radiation.

In a report published on the last Sunday’s San Diego Union Tribune, Scott Lafee argues that much of the current research is funded by the wireless communications industry, and quotes a paper published in the March 2009 issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, by Michael Kundi, director of the Institute of environmental Health at the Medical University of Vienna in which Kundi concluded that while the studies generally indicate an increased cancer risk, the research was flawed by various biases and lack of long-term data.
In other words, he said nobody knows anything for sure.
But in the case of Innocente Marcolini, the Court of Appeal of Brescia is sure that his semi-paralyzed face was caused by the use of his mobile phone.

Related news:
Dec 2009, Italy: Court rules Mobile-Phone use caused disability
Jan 2006, USA: Supreme Court Clears Cell Phone Cancer Suits for Trial
Nov 2005, USA: Ericsson and Nokia loose a High Court case in USA – Class action ahead?
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Malta Today, Anna Mallia, 06 Jan 2010

Council files court application against Mast
Malta Created: 28 May 2009
Lija council has filed a court application calling on Melita plc to remove antenna repeater equipment from the roof of a private residence in the heart of the village because it was, or could be, detrimental to the people's health.

In an application filed against the residents of the house, John David and Rosanne Galea, Melita plc and the Malta Communications Authority, the council argued that the repeater was detrimental or could be detrimental to residents’ health and the council had a duty to safeguarding the interests of the people of Lija.

The council said it had already objected to the installation of this antenna through a judicial protest filed in January. It had been brought to the attention of those involved that expert reports did not exclude, but attributed the probability that similar antennae could place the health of residents in jeopardy.

The council called on the court to declare the installation of the repeater illegal and abusive and to order its removal. It also asked for court authorisation to itself remove the repeater if this was not done by the owners within the timeframe given by the courts.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Times of Malta, 26 May 2009

Mobile base station proliferation defies Structure Plan – FAA
Malta Created: 3 May 2009
Reacting to the European Parliament’s recent overwhelming majority vote to shake-up regulations governing mobile base stations and other sources of electromagnetic frequencies, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar suggested that it is now high time to act on their proliferation in Malta.

Such action, the environmental pressure group said yesterday, should be taken by the government, in collaboration with Malta’s mobile telephony operators so as to correct the proliferation of such potentially dangerous sources of electromagnetic frequencies.

FAA noted yesterday how the EU resolution on limiting the proliferation of such transmitters is already entrenched in Malta’s Structure Plan Policy Ben 13, which states, “The Planning Authority will not normally grant permission for the installation of more than one telecommunications antenna or dish where a shared system is possible.”

“This,” FAA observes, “is regrettably being ignored, with mobile phone companies clearly waging open antenna warfare on our rooftops, with some roofs burdened with as many as four separate mobile antennae.”

Referring to a 2006 Malta Communications Authority report indicating the presence of over 400 base stations on what is essentially a small island, the FAA observed that the number must have increased considerably given the market entry of new mobile telephony operators.

“But despite the country’s high population density, Malta is one of just a handful in European countries that has not carried out any studies on the potential health effects of electromagnetic frequencies,” it added.

FAA believes that, “proper adherence to Policy Ben 13 in our Structure Plan would lead to fewer base stations, and obligatory antenna-sharing among different mobile companies. This will ultimately lead to lower expenses for the mobile companies involved, which savings should enable lower mobile call pricing structures to the Maltese public, which is currently paying considerably higher rates than those on mainland Europe.”

FAA reports that it has received repeated complaints from worried parents from across Malta and, in spite of repeated assurances from telecommunications companies that such antennae do not pose any danger, their worries seem vindicated by MEPs having voiced their health concerns very clearly, most specifically when it came to children’s and young people’s exposure to potentially dangerous electromagnetic sources.

The latter point was clearly reflected, FAA observed, in the European Parliament’s resolution highlighting the fact that every individual is now being exposed to a complex mixture of electric and magnetic fields of different frequencies, both at home and at work, which pose potentially serious health risks, especially to children.

Although the EU Interphone epidemiological study is not yet concluded, FAA said the EU resolution makes a number of recommendations, for example that governments should better protect people living close to transmitters by setting provisions regarding the distance between a given site and the transmitters, the height of the site in relation to the height of the base station, or the direction of a transmitting antenna in relation to living environments.

It also calls for the optimal placement of masts and transmitters, as well as for the sharing of masts and transmitters among providers so as to limit the proliferation of poorly positioned masts and transmitters.

Above all, the resolution urges authorities to ensure, that at least, schools, crèches, retirement homes, and health care institutions are kept clear from EMF sources and that they are kept outside a specific distance determined by scientific criteria.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Malta Independent Online, 03 May 2009

Mobile antennae – one for every 194 inhabitants
Malta Created: 24 Mar 2009
Malta has a high concentration of mobile phone antennae that eclipses countries such as the UK, the latter having one antenna for every 1,297 inhabitants while Malta has one for every 194.
With a population of 61 million, the UK has 47,000 mobile masts. But Malta’s population of 410,000 already has 2,114 antennae.
The proliferation of mobile phone antennae comes in the wake of a complete relaxation of planning rules for their installation.
In most cases they neither require a full planning permit or a development notification order (DNO), the fast-track procedure normally applied for minor alterations.
Back in April 2007, a legal notice allowed their installation without any planning notification, as long as this is not located in a scheduled zone.
Since 2004, MEPA has only issued 49 DNOs and 104 full development permits for antennae, and rejected just five DNOs and two notifications.
Effectively this means that most of the antennae were installed without any planning considerations.
But their proliferation in heavily populated areas has taken residents and local councils by surprise.
Lija mayor Ian Castaldi Paris has filed a judicial protest against Melita plc and the Malta Communications Authority (MCA), calling for the removal of an antenna on the roof of a house in Preziosi Street.
The antenna, which faces neighbours’ bedrooms, is so close that a resident “can nearly touch the antenna from his own bedroom window,” Castaldi Paris claims.

Safi mayor Peter Paul Busuttil has stated he can’t do anything about three mobile phone antennae that have been installed on rooftops in the locality’s quaint village square, “even if they are really ugly”.
Busuttil criticised the procedure used to approve the permits. “One can only make submissions before such permits are approved, but you only learn of such development after it is installed.”
Telecom companies manage to get such permits by finding just one person willing to install the antenna in return of the hefty annual payment. Some of the owners do not even live in houses where the antenna is installed.
For example the house in Preziosi street is rented to foreign students.
The Archdiocese of Malta has also entered into agreements with the three local mobile telephony providers to install 43 antennas on its property since 2000.
Although various medical studies suggest evidence of “cancer clusters” around base stations or antennas, the World Health Organisation so far dismisses such claims.
Still, radiation levels in Malta must conform to those set by International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection. According to this international regulator, radiation from mobile phone antennas only becomes harmful when it begins heating tissues. That happens, ICNIRP claims, when levels surpass 450 Mhz: anything below that level that is fine.
The MCA’s website contains readings of electromagnetic radiation taken from 411 antennae located in nearly every town and village. The results to date show that radiation levels in all base stations fall within the ICNIRP’s limits.
But there are a number of published reports suggesting other, non-thermal effects, resulting from low-level radiation transmitted from mobile phone base stations, which can cause damage to the DNA of living cells.
All over the world, an increasing number of patients are falling victim to electromagnetic radiation sickness, whose symptoms include sleep disturbances, dizziness, headaches and general ill-health. But some studies have suggested that the disease could also be psychosomatic, that is, physical symptoms induced by a psychological disorder.
Renowned German scientist Professor Franz Adlkofer recently called the mobile radiation and the political justifications for it an “uncontrolled and unplanned field experiment” on humans.
Adlkofer has coordinated a four-year, €3 million research project, funded by the European Union, to evaluate the risk of potential environmental hazards from low energy electromagnetic exposure. The study concludes that low frequency radiation below levels set by the INCIRP guidelines damage cells.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Malta Today, James DeBono, 22 Mar 2009

43 mobile phone antennas on Church properties
Malta Created: 28 Feb 2009
Despite the ongoing controversy on the possible negative health impacts from mobile phone antennas, the Archdiocese of Malta has entered into agreements with the three local mobile telephony providers to install 43 antennas on its property since 2000.

One of the most recent cases involved an antenna installed on the Safi parish priest’s house in the village square.
But the church would not reveal how much money it is receiving from mobile phone companies in return for hosting these antennas on its property.
“The agreements with the providers are subject to payment. Considering that these agreements are with commercial entities, it is not felt appropriate to unilaterally divulge certain details about them,” a spokesperson for the Archbishop’s Curia told MaltaToday.
All income derived from such agreements goes to the particular church entity involved.
MaltaToday is informed that mobile phone companies pay up to an annual sum of €1,000 for anyone willing to host an antenna.
The Curia’s spokesperson insists that the church only accepted to install the antennas after receiving assurances from the competent State authorities and the Malta Communications Authority regarding the health aspect.
Each such installation is also subject to the approval of the Curia architect who ensures that they do not affect the aesthetics or the structural integrity of the buildings.
“Like all such installations these antennae are also subject to the approval and periodical audits of the Malta Communications Authority,” the spokesperson said.
The church has not sought the advice of its own environmental commission before installing these antennas on its premises, because the first agreement with the mobile telephony companies was signed before the commission was set up.
“If and when the Curia authorities see the need to also consult the Environment Commission on the matter, over and above the assurances of the MCA, this will be done,” the spokesperson said.
The head of the Church’s environment commission said he is aware of the issue.
“We are aware that the scientific findings on this issue are sometimes conflicting in nature and not always easy to interpret,” Prof Victor Axiak said.
But he also pointed out that local authorities are following international guidelines approved by the World Health Organisation and the European Union which sets safe levels of mobile phone radiation.

Antenna crusades
In 2001, a Maltese church document said installing antennas on churches was an alternative to those places nearer to residents because they were the highest points in most towns and villages.
But over the past years antennas have also been installed on lower-lying church property.
In the past years foreign churches have become more sensitive to residents’ complaints on this issue. In 2008 mobile phone masts were banned from all churches in the French department of Ain. Guy Bagnard, the bishop of Belley-Ars, justified his decision to terminate all contracts with mobile phone companies on public health grounds.
Five years ago, Bishop Ennio Antonelli, general secretary of the Bishops Conference which groups Italy’s 200-plus Catholic dioceses, wrote to his fellow bishops in December advising them to refuse requests to install antennae on churches.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Malta Today, James DeBono, 25 Feb 2009

Concerns rise as antennas smother villages
Malta Created: 14 Feb 2009
Fifteen brand new mobile phone antennas were installed in various Maltese and Gozitan localities in January, bringing the total of antennas to 426: a 4% increase in the total number of antennas in just one month.
But the proliferation of antennas is being increasingly met by objections from local councils and residents, who are concerned by reports of a possible link between electro-magnetic radiation and certain forms of cancer.
Home to nine base stations, Lija emerges as the locality with the highest density of antennas, followed by Floriana which has six. But Birkirkara is the locality with the highest number of individual mobile phone antennas: 19 in all.
Lija mayor Ian Castaldi Paris has recently presented a judicial protest against the Malta Communications Authority and Melita plc after an antenna was installed in Luigi Preziosi Street, Lija’s narrowest road.
Three of Lija’s antennas were installed in single road: Ugo Mifsud Street.
The installation of a mobile phone antenna does not even need a full planning permit. Instead, permits are issued on the strength of a development notification order – a fast-track planning procedure normally applied for minor alterations.
Critics say that telecom companies manage to get such permits by finding just one person willing to install the antenna in return of the hefty annual payment.
Although various medical studies suggest evidence of “cancer clusters” around base stations or antennas, the World Health Organisation so far dismisses such claims.
Still, radiation levels in Malta must conform to those set by International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection. According to this international regulator, radiation from mobile phone antennas only becomes harmful when it begins heating tissues. That happens, ICNIRP claims, when levels surpass 450 Mhz: anything below that level that is fine.
The MCA website contains readings of electro magnetic radiation taken from 411 antennas located in nearly every town and village. The results to date show that radiation levels in all base stations fall within the ICNIRP’s limits.
But there are a number of published reports suggesting other, non-thermal effects, resulting from low-level radiation transmitted from mobile phone base stations, which can cause damage to the DNA of living cells.
All over the world, an increasing number of patients are failing victim to electromagnetic radiation sickness, whose symptoms include sleep disturbances, dizziness, headaches and general ill-health. But some studies have suggested that the disease could also be psychosomatic - i.e., physical symptoms induced by a psychological disorder.
But renowned German scientist Professor Franz Adlkofer recently called the mobile radiation and the political justifications for it an “uncontrolled and unplanned field experiment” on humans.
Adlkofer has coordinated a four-year, €3m+ research project, funded by the European Union, to evaluate the risk of potential environmental hazards from low energy electromagnetic exposure. The study concludes that low frequency radiation below levels set by the INCIRP guidelines damage cells.

Mobile Madness
Highest number of mobile masts
Birkirkara 19
St Julian’s 16
Valletta 15
Attard 15
Mosta 14
Sliema 14
Qormi 12
San Gwann 12

Density: number of residents per antenna
Valletta 430
Mgarr 424
Xghajra 418
Floriana 359
Lija 304

Mobile antennas
www.mca.org.mt/infocentre/openemf.asp
www.maltatoday.com.mt/2009/01/18/t13.html

James Debono
jdebono@mediatoday.com.mt
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Malta Today

More mobile antennas in Safi square
Malta Created: 3 Feb 2009
Safi mayor Peter Paul Busuttil has said he can’t do anything about three mobile phone antennas that have been installed on rooftops in the locality’s quaint village square, “even if they are really ugly”.
The antennas have been installed on the band club’s roof, the parish priest’s residence and on a private home inside the village core.
“They have to be installed somewhere but they are really ugly and have ruined the character of the square,” Busuttil told MaltaToday.
But the mayor insists the council is powerless because the Malta Environment and Planning Authority issued the necessary permits for the antennas.
Busuttil criticised the procedure used to approve the permits. “One can only make submissions before such permits are approved, but you only learn of such development after it is approved.”
Permits for the installation of antennas do not even need a full planning permit. They are issued on the strength of a development notification order – a fast-track planning procedure normally applied for minor alterations.
Critics say telecoms companies manage to get such permits, without consideration for neighbours’ concerns, and by finding just one person willing to install the antenna in return of the hefty annual payment.
One of the antennas installed is just five metres away from a neighbour’s bedroom.
Safi residents contacted this newspaper after reading that Lija mayor Ian Castaldi Paris had presented a judicial protest, holding Melita plc and the Communications Authority responsible for any harm caused to residents living in Preziosi Street, where an antenna was installed.
“Lija residents are lucky to have a mayor who takes action. Our council should follow his example,” a Safi resident told MaltaToday.
MaltaToday received similar complaints from Mellieha and Zabbar.
Apart from aesthetic considerations, residents are mostly worried about possible harmful effects from radiation from these base stations.
A number of scientific reports associate radiation from mobile phone antennas with increased incidence of cancer. 3,000 medical practitioners from all over the world signed the Freiburger Appeal, which expresses their concern on the effects of mobile phone technology, including masts, on their patients.
But both the World Health Organisation and the European Commission dismiss these claims, insisting that emissions from mobile phone antennas are harmless.
The Malta Communications Authority also insists that it strictly abides guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection on the permissible levels of emissions from mobile phone antennas.
Residents objecting to the proliferation of antennas in residential areas have recently set up an association called Antenna Caution Malta, which is opposed to the siting of base stations next to schools and residential areas.
“We don’t want these antennas forced onto our families who are being treated like mice in a laboratory… we have the right to live without any fear or doubt that our health and our families health is at risk,” a spokesperson for the association told MaltaToday.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Malta Today, James Debono, 01 Feb 2009

Lija mayor calls for antenna’s removal
Malta Created: 19 Jan 2009
Neighbours can nearly touch antenna from bedroom window.

Lija mayor Ian Castaldi Paris tomorrow will be filing a judicial protest against Melita plc and the Malta Communications Authority, calling for the removal of an antenna on the roof of a house in Preziosi Street.
The antenna, which faces neighbours’ bedrooms, is so close that a resident “can nearly touch the antenna from his own bedroom window,” Castaldi Paris claims.
MaltaToday is informed the house on which the antenna was erected is rented out to foreign students.
The Lija council is demanding that the antenna be removed in a week’s time. The council is also holding the owner of the house, the MCA and Melita plc responsible for any harm caused to residents by the antenna.
Castaldi Paris said that while he understands that mobile phone antennas have to be located somewhere, locating them in a narrow road with a relatively dense population and numerous bedrooms within a 15-metre radius, should be avoided.
“In such cases one should apply the precautionary principle. We cannot afford to wake up one morning to discover that antennas do pose a health risk as suggested by certain studies,” Castaldi Paris said.
The mayor is suggested erecting antennas on buildings located in open spaces.
In a letter sent to the council in October 2008, Melita plc rebutted the council’s claim that the antenna posed any health risks, claiming there was no “concrete evidence” that this was true.
Medical opinion remains split on whether mobile phone antennae are harmful to residents. Some studies link exposure to electromagnetic radiation to cancer. Nearly 3,000 medical practitioners from all over the world have signed the Freiburger Appeal to express their concern on the effects of mobile phone technology, including masts, on their patients.
The EU-funded Reflex report had conclusively proved that electromagnetic radiation can affect human cells at energy levels that are generally considered harmless.
But the World Health Organisation says that electromagnetic levels around base stations are not considered a health risk, even if “siting base stations near kindergartens, schools and playgrounds may need special consideration.”
EU Health commissioner Androulla Vassilliou has also declared that “available scientific studies” do not show evidence that antennas pose “adverse health effects”.
Permits for the installation of antennas on rooftops do not even need a full planning permit, and are being issued through a sheer development notification order.
In this way, mobile phone companies can get a permit if they find one resident who is willing to accept the antenna to be erected on his roof in return for a hefty annual payment, without any consideration for other neighbours.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Malta Today, James DeBono, 18 Jan 2009

No objection from ministry as mobile antenna sprouts near school
Malta Created: 22 Oct 2008
“This is an aesthetic and health issue, and not an educational one”: such was the justification proffered by the Education Department for consenting to a mobile phone antenna less than 70 metres from the Dun Manwel Attard school for children with special needs in Wardija.
The Malta Environment and Planning Authority only issued the permit after seeking approval from the Education Department, which in turn found no objection despite the possibility of radiation health risks associated with mobile phone antennae.
Although scientific opinion remains divided on this issue, the World Health Organisation (WHO) calls for “special consideration” when antennae are located next to schools.
But the local Education Department does not even have a policy regulating the installation of mobile phones near or in schools.
When asked on the department’s policy, a ministry spokesperson replied that whenever an application for a mobile phone antenna is received by MEPA, the authority issues a set of conditions amongst which are those set by the health authorities.
“As long as MEPA conditions are observed, including the one ensuring health and safety, the Ministry of Education has no other reason to object. This is an aesthetic and health issue, and not an educational one,” the ministry spokesperson said.
In August 2005, faced with the objections of a group of Wardija residents against the installation of a similar antenna in Ta’ Kossimu, limits of St Paul’s Bay, Vodafone justified the location of this antenna claiming that it was 350 metres away from the same school.
The World Health Organisation says that although electromagnetic levels around base stations are not considered a health risk, “siting base stations near kindergartens, schools and playgrounds may need special consideration.”
Adherence to international exposure guidelines, which are strictly enforced in Malta, protects humans from the thermal effects of base station emissions.
But a growing number of scientists contend that non-thermal effects, resulting from low level radiation transmitted from mobile phone base stations, can cause damage to the DNA of living cells, and may also cause cancer.
Renowned German scientist Professor Franz Adlkofer recently called the mobile radiation and the political justifications for it an “uncontrolled and unplanned field experiment” on humans.
Adlkofer had coordinated a four-year, €3m+ research project, funded by the European Union, to evaluate the risk of potential environmental hazards from low energy electromagnetic exposure.
The study concluded that low frequency radiation below levels set by the INCIRP guidelines damage cells.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Malta Today, James Debono, 19 Oct 2008

Mobile antenna approved near school for disabled
Malta Created: 15 Oct 2008
The Education Department has given its blessing to the installation of a mobile phone antenna, just 70 metres away from the Dun Manwel Attard school for the disabled, in Wardija.
The school caters for students with “diverse special needs” and “multi-disabilities”.
Although scientific opinion remains divided on whether mobile phone antennae pose any health risk to residents living next to them, the World Health Organisation (WHO) calls for “special consideration” when antennas are located next to schools.
Amid fears that the antenna poses a health risk to students on Thursday, Wardija residents presented an injunction warrant in the law courts to stop the installation of the antenna.
In August 2005, faced by the objections of a group of Wardija residents against the installation of a similar antenna in Ta’ Kossimu, limits of St Paul’s Bay, Vodafone justified the location of this antenna claiming that it was located 350 metres away from the same school.
But the Malta Environment and Planning Authority’s case officer report, the basis on which the permit was issued, states that since the antenna site was in proximity of a school, MEPA sought the advice of the Education Department.
The Directorate for Educational Services made no objection to the development.
The Health Department also gave its blessing, arguing that the antenna fully abided to safety standards issued by the Malta Communications Authority.
When contacted by MaltaToday a spokesperson for the health department insisted that recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) are being strictly followed and no restrictions exist on the location of antennas in urban areas.
The Health Department also made it clear it is not involved in any way as regards to the siting and installation of mobile phone antenna as this falls under the responsibility of the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) which regularly audits base stations to ensure that exposure limits are not exceeded.
The World Health Organisation says that although electromagnetic levels around base stations are not considered a health risk, “siting base stations near kindergartens, schools and playgrounds may need special consideration.”
Medical opinion remains split on whether mobile phone antennae are harmful to residents. Some studies link exposure to electromagnetic radiation to cancer.
Nearly 3,000 medical practitioners from all over the world have signed the Freiburger Appeal to express their concern on the effects of mobile phone technology, including masts, on their patients. The EU-funded Reflex report had conclusively proved that electromagnetic radiation can affect human cells at energy levels that are generally considered harmless.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Malta Today, James Debono, 12 Oct 2008

«First  ‹Previous   Page 2 of 3   Next›  Last» 
 News item: