Mobile phone mast taken down after five deaths and seventeen-year campaign

A mobile network operator has removed a mobile phone mast locals have blamed for the deaths of five people from cancer. Although EE deny the mast was responsible, after a seventeen year campaign that went all the way to Parliament, the mast was decommissioned and has now been taken down.

The mast went up in the village of Meir, near Stoke-on-Trent, in 1993 and stood at 82 feet tall (25 metres). But over the next seven years five people in the village died from cancer and residents believed the mast was responsible, forming the Shooters Hill Association to fight against it in 2000.

Mobile phone masts, or cell towers, have been the subject of controversy for a long time. They are used by the network to boost signal strength and coverage but draw opposition over health concerns.

Mobile phone signals are a form of radio signal but the phones and masts rely on an electromagnetic field to power that signal to communicate between them. This electromagnetic field extends about six inches around the phone and can enter the body causing tumours, cancers and male infertility. Mobile phone radiation has been shown in many studies to damage cells and DNAsome experts described it as “cooking” sperm.

Just two weeks ago on the blog we looked at the Italian man who suffered a tumour from mobile phone use and went deaf in one ear. Last week we saw the release of a study on mobile phone use during pregnancy on child development.

In this case it is not surprising that the network denied responsibility – a review of research on the safety of mobile phones showed significant bias. Mobile phone manufacturers and networks use research they have funded themselves to say there is no risk, though they do provide warnings and advice on safe use in the small print of the manuals.

The villagers in this case might have won, but in the meantime the same network, EE, is pioneering the use of air balloon mobile phone masts and using drones to provide coverage, that it is planning to roll out to rural areas later this year.

With the WaveWall range of anti-radiation mobile phone cases you can shield yourself from the electromagnetic field created by your mobile phone. You can still use your phone as normal but it blocks 85% of the radiation from entering your body where studies have shown it can cause tumours, cancer and male infertility.

Are you concerned about the health effects of mobile phone masts?

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