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How to protect yourself

MagazineSeptember 2004 (Vol. 15 Issue 6)How to protect yourself

Mobile-mast radiation is everywhere

Mobile-mast radiation is everywhere. The source may be obvious - such as on the sides of buildings - but antennae are increasingly being hidden from view.

To find out if you live near a source of radiation, you can check out the mobile-phone companies' antennae sites at www.sitefinder.radio.gov.uk (in the US, www.emrnetwork.org/index.htm). If you zoom in on your town, it will show you exactly where the mobile-phone masts are, whose they are and how powerful. However, some of these data may be incorrect or out of date.

Instead, consider buying or renting a device that either displays mobile-phone radiation in V/m or translates it into an audible sound - COM Environmental Microwave Monitors or AcoustiCOMs, respectively. These are obtainable from Perspective Scientific (100 Baker St, London W1U 6WB; tel: 020 7486 6837).

If you find significant levels of radiation in your home, you don't have to move house. Protect yourself by installing a domestic version of a Faraday cage - a metal structure that blocks all radiowaves. A good one is a see-through copper-mesh 'curtain' that can be hung up like a mosquito net around the bed (from Powerwatch, tel: 01353 778 919). A cheaper alternative is to wallpaper your bedroom with a layer of metal kitchen foil.

But perhaps the best move of all is the preemptive strike (see Viewpoint, p 5). Get together with other members of your community and your planning department, and discuss where to put the masts so that they are at a maximum distance from residents' homes and schools.

If no one is prepared to listen to reason, get your entire community to put pressure on the council and mobile-phone companies. No mast provider is interested in adverse publicity. Many communities have resorted to picketing or tearing the masts down.


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