THE Mast Action in Meath (MAIM) group is expanding its public awareness programme to include all towns and villages in the county. The county-wide public awareness campaign on the hazards of mobile phone masts was launched last Saturday when MAIM, the local citizens group, distributed 1,000 leaflets in the Navan area. These outlined reports of childhood leukaemia clusters around similar masts in Italy, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
A court case in Spain led to removal of a mobile phone mast which was found to be responsible for a cancer outbreak in a school. The group visited local mobile phone shops leaving ‘Certificates of Responsibility’ for representatives of 02, Vodafone and Meteor to complete. To date, stated MAIM, the industry has declined to complete the certificates. The group is concerned that there seems to be “a concerted push to increase the number of masts in the Meath area and therefore further action is planned to raise the issue of amending the Co. Development Plan”. An amendment accepted by Sligo Co. Council last October stated that masts would not be built within one kilometre of smaller towns, villages, residential areas, schools, hospitals, childcare centres or nursing homes and not within 400 metres of a private dwelling. This followed widespread concern about increasing microwave radiation exposure from the masts. Dr. Don MacAuley, advisor to MAIM, asked why more mobile masts were needed in Meath when the mobile phone companies were boasting that they already had 98 percent coverage in the county. He asked why the companies did not sign the certificates and how many damaged children it would take to stop the companies “forcing these masts on communities who do not want them”. Meath Chronicle 7/12/2002
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