Watchdog rubbishes claim mast radiation is harmful
The country's telecoms watchdog has moved to reassure people that radiation levels from mobile phone masts are safe after an international group of scientists claimed that wifi and mobile devices could be dangerous to people's health.
ComReg has released test results from 20 sample mobile phone sites around the country, claiming that radiation levels are below levels considered safe by international standards.
"At each of the 20 sites surveyed, the aggregate level of non-ionising radiation emissions measured was found to fall below the limits for general public exposure as specified in the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection guidelines [ICNIRP]," said the watchdog. The ICNIRP is the body used by the World Health Organisation.
However, a collection of almost 200 international scientists has mounted a petition calling on international organisations such as the ICNIRP and the United Nations to revise its standards on what constitutes a 'safe' level. It said that radiation from phones, wifi and microwave ovens can lead to "increased cancer risk, cellular stress and genetic damage".
"Other potential effects include learning and memory deficits, reproductive effects and negative impacts on general well-being," said the petition.
The petition also calls for mobile phone operators to "minimise" radiation levels and for governments to "inform the public about the potential health risks" from radiation.
Meanwhile, Communications Minister Alex White said Ireland is now a world leader in sustainable energy research with new technologies offering the prospect of lower utility bills for hard-pressed consumers. He said that Ireland was a test-bed for cutting-edge energy research.
The Dublin TD pointed out that the world's leading wave, wind, solar and energy conservation firms were involved in major R&D projects in Ireland with colleges and universities.
The new ROWBUST system, launched at the fourth International Energy Research Centre Conference in Cork, can slash energy usage in older buildings by 70pc and up to 30pc on newer offices and homes.
"The energy landscape is changing really fast in Ireland just like it is across the world," Mr White said. "The future is going to be about controlling the use of energy in our homes and in our businesses as well as using 'smart' ways to operate the grid and to maximise the amount of renewable energy we rely on."