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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 November, 2003, 11:38 GMT
Row over hi-tech phone masts
Phone mast
Five hi-tech masts are planned in the Furness area
The head teacher of a primary school near the site of a proposed mobile phone mast says the potential risk to pupils' health must be considered.

Mobile phone operator Hutchison 3G UK has applied to Barrow Borough Council to put up five masts in Furness, Cumbria, to support the new type of videophones.

One of the proposed masts in Lindal is near Marton Primary School.

The council has recommended refusal of the mast, along with two others at Furness Abbey and the Strawberry rugby union ground in Barrow.

It says all three are visually unacceptable, and other sites should be considered.

Health concerns

Health considerations cannot be used to refuse planning permission.

Head teacher David Barlow said it is time that rule was changed.

He said: "We have to start looking beyond visual intrusion.

"Let's start thinking about health issues. Let's start thinking about the sort of children that might be affected.

"I would expect the planning committee to take that on board."

Council officials say two other masts in Dalton should be approved.

Radiation levels

The latest third generation mobile phones can send video images, but a new network of base stations is required to support them.

These masts operate at a higher frequency than those for traditional mobiles.

Many people oppose the masts because of concerns about higher levels of radiation.

A study for the Dutch government claimed the new base stations caused headaches and nausea.

Participants complained about significant levels of nausea, headaches and tingling sensations when they were exposed to signals that mimicked third generation mobile networks.

3G masts 'cause health problems'
02 Oct 03  |  Health

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