Health Issues

Arising from concerns regarding the possible health effects from electromagnetic radiation associated with mobile telephone systems the government set up an independent enquiry into the matter under William Stewart.

This report is one of the most up to date reviews of the topic. Stewart proposed a precautionary approach and this in the main has been adopted. The abolition of Prior Approval was proposed and has been implemented as was the adoption of the more stringent ICNIRP Guidelines.

Some consider that the precautionary approach has not gone far enough.

Much research has been undertaken into possible health effects but the findings have not been conclusive. The power levels are very small and it is difficult to identify them with ill health effects.

Stewart in his findings stated “the balance of evidence does not suggest that mobile phone technologies put the health of the general population at risk”. However, he was unwilling to give them a complete bill of health and recommended the precautionary approach along with further research.

He therefore concluded that “it is not possible at present to say that exposure to RF radiation, even at levels below national guidelines, is totally without potential adverse health effects, and that the gaps in knowledge are sufficient to justify a precautionary approach”