The first few days of March 2001 saw the release of a number of important reports on the effects of electro-magnetic fields on human health.
Most dramatically, the Government's Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation has admitted there is an increased risk of childhood leukaemia associated with elevated magnetic fields. Power Frequency Electromagnetic Fields and the Risk of Cancer (the Doll Report) concludes "... the possibility remains that intense and prolonged exposures to magnetic fields can increase the risk of leukaemia in children." www.nrpb.org.uk
Interviewed on Radio 4's Today Programme Chairman of the NRPB, Sir Walter Bodmer, said, "the evidence doesn't relate only, or even primarily, to powerlines. It's to do with the effects of electrical currents in and around houses and their possible magnetic field effects...which can be caused by all sorts of things. Implements in the house, the way that power's distributed to the house, whether you are near a substation. "
At the same time Professor Denis Henshaw of Bristol University published his latest assessment of ill-health associated with powerlines on his web site. His statistics predict the increased risks of childhood leukaemia, skin cancer, suicide and clinical depression, lung cancer and other illnesses associated with air pollution for those living near powerlines.
Also, the 1 March issue of the International Journal of Cancer includes the results of a German study which concludes, "A significant association was seen between childhood leukaemia and magnetic field exposure during the night"
British Telecom has decided to sell space on the top of its phone boxes for cell phone mini base stations! BT hopes the rental fees from companies such as Orange and Vodaphone will offset the huge reduction in payphone revenues.
Of course any possible dangers to the general public are not part of their financial equation, and we won't have any say in the matter as planning permission won't be needed! It will be interesting to see how they make them vandal-proof!
A survey by art gallery, InsideSpace, has shown that twice as many people rate original artwork in the office as a better stimulant than coffee! 98% of employees questioned wanted to see some kind of art in their workspace. www.insidespace.com
As in most countries, Saudi Arabian law prohibits the use of mobile phones on aircraft. However, the penalty there is perhaps a stronger deterrent than under many systems. Recently, the Al-Medina newspaper reported that one person was to be flogged for answering his phone on the plane - clear evidence that mobiles can cause actual harm!