Three-year study shows phone masts 'safe'

A three-year study into the possible short-term health effects of mobile base stations has found that base stations are not associated with ill health.

Some people have claimed that mobile phone masts cause symptoms like anxiety, fatigue and nausea.

The investigation took place at the Electromagnetics and Health Laboratory at the University of Essex, established three years ago, with a multi-disciplinary team including cognitive psychologists, electronic and biomedical engineers and a doctor.

Using a group of 'sensitive' individuals (44 people) and a control group (114 people), the study found that, in double-blind conditions (where neither the testers nor the tested knew whether the signal was on or off), the sensitive group reported increased symptoms regardless of whether a 3G or GSM signal was on or off.

This led the researchers to conclude that any physiological responses were unrelated to the signals.

Principal investigator Professor Elaine Fox said on Wednesday: "It is clear that sensitive individuals are suffering real symptoms and often have a poor quality of life. It is now important to determine what other factors could be causing these symptoms, so appropriate research studies and treatment strategies can be developed."

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