Masts Namibia Letter to press 8 July 2011

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Jul 22, 2011, 12:12:59 PM7/22/11
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Please let me introduce me to Anita Brandt who is an affiliate in Namibia that is heading up the efforts fantastically to educate another government in Africa.

 

See letters below and we are still trying to obtain a tape of the programme and debate that took place on Namibian TV.

 

Please kindly place Anita on your databases. Olle your letter was perfect for Anita to use in Namibia too.

 

Anita Brandt [an...@oshiwa.com]

 

Warm regards

Tracey-Lee Dorny

 

 

Signature

 

 

The Namibian

6 July 2011

 

 

Dear Editor

                                                                                                                                                                                         

PULSED  RADIATION FROM BASE STATIONS:

Background And Questions To MTC & Prof. De Jager

 

A separate letter follows below, that we hope, at your convenience, can be placed in your newspaper.  We believe that Namibians are not being served by the often strategic confusion created around this issue. We hope that, after many efforts in the last nearly 1.5 years, information raised by concerned citizens, will finally, we hope, be reported on as fully and correctly as possible.  You may remember the full-page advert that we placed in your newspaper on11 March 2010, (and another on 8 November),  in a desperate effort to bring the matter to the attention of authorities.  To date, this information has not been refuted, and has in fact been confirmed by ever more substantial studies and statements by world bodies and learning institutions.  

 

Over three hundred residents signed two separate petitions in Eros Park and the Bowker Hill area, during 2010 (109 in Eros, and 267 in Bowker Hill area), on environmental and health concerns. The letter that follows below is an effort to clear up the basic misunderstandings around this issue, and follows on the TALK OF THE NATION programme of this week Monday, on NBC.

 

Most importantly, attached also kindly find only two documents, from hundreds available that indicate the seriousness of studies around the  athermal, continuously pulsing electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone base stations, and the fact the ICNIRP Safety Guidelines do not protect against the potential long-term effects, eg cancer, that scientists are observing in their studies.  Cell phones are used voluntarily, for short periods, while masts pulse continuously, and exposure is involuntarily.

 

The telecom industry, in this case MTC, and their consultant Professor De Jager, who this week on Monday 4 July made her second visit to Windhoek to “reassure” Namibians about the safety of mast radiation, should be asked to answer a few straightforward questions:

 

1.     Can they refute the information contained in the documents attached hereto, to the extent that Namibians and informed residents confronted by a mast in their neighbourhood, need no longer be concerned?

 

A.    TEXT ADOPTED BY  PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY: Council Of Europe: 27 MAY 2011: The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment

B.    

C.    LONG-TERM EXPOSURE TO MICROWAVE RADIATION PROVOKES CANCER GROWTH: EVIDENCES FROM RADARS AND MOBILE COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS: I. Yakymenko1,2*, E. Sidorik1, S. Kyrylenko3, V. Chekhun1 1R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology of NAS of Ukraine, Vasylkivska str. 45, Kyiv 03022, Ukraine, 2Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University, Soborna pl. 8/1, Bila Tserkva 09117, Ukraine, 3Masaryk University, Kamenice 5, A6, Brno 625 00, Czech Republic )

 

2.     Can their expert consultant Professor De Jager bring studies that prove  SPECIFICALLY that long-term, athermal radiation from continuously pulsing base stations and relay antennas, that are being installed at a rapid rate in Namibia, even close to homes and schools,  is safe?

 

3.     Is it correct that the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Safety Guidelines that are indisputably applied to base stations by MTC, even at levels well below requirements, only protect against short-term, heating effects, and were not designed to protect against possible long-term, athermal effects?

 

4.     Is it correct that international scientists and health experts are warning about serious long-term health effects from continuous exposure to athermal radiation pulsing that has nothing to do with heating effects?

 

5.     Can Professor De Jager please explain how, as a health expert, does she justify, in the face of the more than “2 000 scientific publications” that she herself has referred to in writing, dismissing the concerns of informed residents who, once a base station goes up in their neighbourhood, are expected to be the guinea pigs in this long-term experiment? 

 

6.     How does this approach by a health expert and her client MTC, assist uninformed Namibians?

 

7.     Does she think that her role in the debate, would have benefitted this generation of Namibians if and when health effects from the continuously pulsing radiation from base stations, are finally proven?

 

8.     Can Professor De Jager please explain her position as an “independent” expert who must advise Namibians on a potentially serious health issue, which, in accordance with traditional health principles, is normally based on preventive action, and which does not wait for final proof of harm?

 

9.     MTC repeatedly claim that they apply the Precautionary Principle?  Can they please explain, given that Safety Guidelines only apply to short-term, heating effects, and given the information in the documents attached hereto, how they are applying the Precautionary Principle on behalf of Namibians, with respect to their location of base stations in Namibia which are often located close to homes and schools?


Dear Editor

 

Talk of the Nation, Monday 4 July 2011

 

CELL PHONE BASE STATIONS:

Please locate them away from homes and schools

 

Cell Phone Use and Cell Phone Masts near homes and schools, was raised on TALK OF THE NATION on Monday 4 July this week. Public response was intense; callers worried about children who use phones continuously and about masts 20 meters from homes.  One caller asked for a fund to be established by the industry, in preparation for future claims. 

 

It will be a very sad day for Namibia if this was the last public debate on the issue, or if vested interests prevent an honest debate on a critically serious long-term national health issue.

 

Panellists, including MTC and their consultant, Professor De Jager from the School of Health Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa,  fully supported Precautionary Principles with regard to cell phone use, unfortunately only after the very belated WHO statement of 31 May 2011, that confirmed many earlier warnings of scientists that long-term cell phone is “possibly carcinogenic.”  An entire generation of youth have already been exposed to levels of radiation from cell phones that may in time prove that we (myself included) have been too slow to react to earlier warnings.  Much more education is needed to counteract the irresponsible use of this convenient and important technology.

 

Concerned citizens of Windhoek have in the past year raised the related issue of possible long-term effects of continuously pulsing radiation from base stations, and are particularly asking for the more careful location of base stations near homes and schools.

 

A statement by the European Parliamentary Session, dated 27 May 2011, fully confirms the information raised so far by informed residents who were confronted by base stations in their neighbourhoods. (SEE ATTACHED).  Petitions against these installations, based on both long-term health and environmental issues, were signed by 109 residents in the Eros area, and 267 residents in the Bowker Hill area.  In 2009, a similar petition was signed by 200 residents in the Babs street area, bringing the total to over 500 since 2009.  Already in 2004, the issue was raised in Swakopmund, and MTC was asked to locate masts away from homes.  In all these areas, adequate cell phone reception has existed for years. Now in mid-2011, the issue is finally being debated on a more level plane, to the benefit of all Namibians.  

 

Anita Brandt, representing concerned citizens on the panel, also quoted a WHO Bulletin of 6 May 2010, that confirms that RF from base stations needs more long-term research, and that currently scarce data “does not mean that no harm exists”.  More significant confirmation than these two documents, is hardly needed.

 

Currently base stations at many locations in Namibia are very close to homes and are erected in return for rent, on school grounds and private properties, and relay antennas are proliferating even in residential areas.  Many principals, parents and health officers are not aware that proximity to base stations for children and adolescents, who are particularly vulnerable, may have very serious long-term implications. 

 

MTC alone already had 650 base stations in 2010, providing cell phone coverage to over 98% of citizens.  A 120-metre mast, according to MTC, can reach up to 30 kilometres.  Clearly, the quest is on for the sale of other products that do not necessarily have to do with cell phone coverage.  MTC’s recent declaration that “more base stations” will protect Namibians, because a weak signal draws more radiation to a phone, seems to be missing the point.  Obviously all areas deserve reasonable coverage, but focussing on “more base stations” as opposed to safer locations, and reducing radiation exposure, is a highly questionable approach. Weak spots will always exist; trying to cover all spots by increasing masts and relay antennas, defies the Precautionary Principle.

 

Professor De Jager already at a previous Windhoek visit during May 2010, declared that  “more than 2 000 scientific publications” exist on the issue of electromagnetic fields.   Yet she adamantly defies all traditional health policy principles and the Precautionary Principle, by insisting that to date there is not yet final scientific proof of long-term harm, and that current Safety Guidelines for radiation emissions from masts, are adequate. 

 

 

Nobody is calling for the dismantling of the industry.  In this complex situation, the Precautionary Principle, as a start, would mean a more responsible policy of locating base stations and relay antennas away from schools and homes.  In Taiwan already in 2007, 1 500 base stations  were dismantled.  Ever-more stringent regulations are debated in many other countries, eg Russia, China, France, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Britain, USA, Australia, and eloquently written about by African writers such as Kolawole Daniel of Nigeria (Eg on 22 June 2010, Nigerian Tribune.) 

 

So far, City of Windhoek has made some efforts towards “rigorous debate” and an investigation of precautionary actions.   A 300-meter community consultation radius for base station applications, now replaces the previous 50-metre radius.

 

On Monday’s TALK OF THE NATION, MTC and Professor De Jager, repeatedly claimed that ICNIRP Safety Guidelines adequately protect the public.  The truth is, that these Safety Guidelines only protect against short term heating effects, (often referred to as “shock and burn” effects) and absolutely do not protect against the permanent, long-term, athermal/non-heating aspects of CONTINUOUSLY PULSED RADIATION from base stations and relay antennas, in places where people spend a lot of time.  Professor De Jager made no effort to dispute the fact that only short-term effects are covered, and insisted that long-term effects have not been proven, thereby dismissing early preventive actions.   Brandt referred Professor De Jager to a study by Professor Magda Havas of Canada, who regards a minimum of 400 meters as a  critical distance from a base station. In Namibia, MTC regards a mere 10 meters as “scientifically proven” to be safe. 

 

Possible carcinogenic effects from cell phone use as a separate issue, has now been confirmed by the WHO.   Do we have to wait for “final evidence” before base stations and relay antennas in Namibia are located more carefully away from homes and schools? 

 

Anita Brandt

6 July 2011


 

 

 

 

 

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