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Mother to pay up to £4K for independent phone mast safety tests

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A MOTHER who is concerned that the current advice about emissions from 4G phone masts is out of date is spending up to £4,000 of her own money on tests to get updated information.

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Hannah Currier, a counsellor and health coach, says she is sensitive to the electromagnetic fields created by wireless networks and mobile devices and cannot hold her smart phone near her face because it feels like it is burning.

‘Scientists say there is no evidence it causes harm, but what they are actually saying is they don’t know,’ she said.

‘You could interpret that as it’s safe, or that they don’t know it’s safe. I’m choosing to interpret that as it’s not safe.’

A study carried out by consultants iWireless in 2017 on behalf of competition regulator the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities found that all 274 masts across the Channel Islands were well within internationally recognised health-and-safety limits.

A further audit was carried out last year on new and upgraded masts and more are planned by CICRA this year. A petition on the gov.je website demanding a full investigation into the safety of a 5G network in Jersey has attracted over 520 signatures.

Mrs Currier, who says her research will be independent and is not linked to those behind the petition, is paying between £3,000 and £4,000 for a UK specialist to come over and test ten masts.

She has put a post on the Jersey Ask! Advise! Advertise! Facebook group asking for suggestions for masts to test.

‘There are lots of very polarised arguments for and against,’ she said. ‘I would love to be wrong, but I don’t think I am. It’s a big cost – but I think it’s worth it.’

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The project will also be filmed.

Mrs Currier uses a smartphone with a hands-free unit and blames the electromagnetic fields associated with mobile technology for the headaches and sleeping problems she has experienced. And she says her daughter gets nosebleeds when she is near phone masts.

‘I wanted to do the tests so that when 5G [the next-generation mobile technology] comes out, we can see if there is a difference.’

The World Health Organisation describes electromagnetic fields as ‘one of the most common and fastest-growing environmental influences, about which anxiety and speculation are spreading’.

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Tim Ringsdore, director for telecoms at CICRA, said: ‘We will continue to carry out independent surveys and have another planned this year.

‘We welcome the fact that the operators work within the guidelines and we will work with them to ensure this continues.’

He added that a similar set of surveys would be carried out when 5G technology was rolled out.

Graham Hughes, chief executive of telecom company Sure in Jersey, said: ‘As with our current mobile network, Sure will always adhere to and operate within international health-and-safety limits, which are regulated and independently verified by CICRA.’

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