Courier - Tayside and Fife
scientist casts doubts on TETRA masts safety
OF THE worlds leading medical scientists has claimed that the
highly controversial TETRA transmitting system may constitute a
health hazard to people living near installation sites.
The comment has been made in a letter written by Dundee-based top
cancer research scientist Professor Sir David Lane as members of Fife
Councils east area development committee prepare to give a view
on three more applications for sites to be included in a new
telecommunications system for Fife Constabulary.
Sir Davids home lies close to one of the sites, at Quarry Road
in Balmullo, and he and his wifeanother leading
scientisthave submitted a formal objection to the application
from NTL, which owns the mast where the Airwave MMO2 dish would be mounted.
Councillors in north-east Fife recently decided to defer a decision
on several similar applications until more is known about claims that
the mastsclaimed to involve radio signals which pulse at a rate
similar to that the human braincould be associated with health problems.
have been expressed that radio waves could cause calcium to leak
from the brain, triggering damage to nervous and immune systems, and
that pulsed microwaves can lead to conditions such as leukaemia and epilepsy.
The Home Office has said that there are no discernable
risks associated with the masts.
After the decision to delay the application was made at a meeting in
Cupar there was considerable controversy and anger when Fife Council
then decided to take the decision-making process out of the hands of
local councillors and into the central strategic environment and
Local councillors still have to provide a view on the matter,
however, and the Balmullo application, which has also attracted
objections from other local residents and from the community council,
is one of three coming before tomorrows committee meeting in Cupar.
The others involve sites at the East Lomond, and Prospect Hill at
Balmeadowside near Cupar.
David and Lady Lane have raised three grounds of objection, among
them the bombshell statement that this type of transmitter may
constitute a health hazard to the occupants of the neighbouring houses.
They said that definitive tests have not been carried out, as it is
not known how to do them.
A similar view has been expressed by the community council
secretary, Anne Haskell.
We believe that not enough research has been carried out into
the effects a mast would have on both persons and livestock,
the objection said.
A two mile radius of the mast would incorporate the whole village.
Sir David is director of the Cancer Research UK Cell Transformation
Research Group at the University of Dundee, and is the founder and
chief scientific officer at Cyclacel, a company developing drugs
treatment for cancer.
He is a fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh,
and the Royal College of Pathologists, and a founder member of the
Academy of Medical Science.
Lady Birgitte Lane is head of cell and development biology at the
Wellcome Trust Building at the University of Dundee.