• February 7, 2016


It was interesting to read that John Houghton MHK is concerned about possible health implications from mobile phone masts and such like.

Such concerns have existed now for over two decades and indeed led to the establishment in the nineteen nineties of the INDEPENDENT EXPERT GROUP ON MOBILE PHONES.

The Celtic League were one of approx 175 organisations who submitted evidence following an invitation to do so by Sir William Stewart, FRS, FRSE, who chaired the body. Our main concern at the time (it was the peak of our military monitoring campaign) was the unregulated nature of military installations of this type. In the UK civil installations were monitored by the National Radiological Protection Board.

The STEWART REPORT when it was produced in 1999 was very comprehensive but was inconclusive though precautionary as is indicated by this section from its recommendations:

“1.17 The balance of evidence to date suggests that exposures to RF radiation below NRPB and ICNIRP guidelines do not cause adverse health effects to the general population (Chapter 5, paragraphs 6.33–6.42).

1.18 There is now scientific evidence, however, which suggests that there may be biological effects occurring at exposures below these guidelines (paragraphs 5.176–5.194, 6.38). This does not necessarily mean that these effects lead to disease or injury, but it is potentially important information and we consider the implications below.

1.19 There are additional factors that need to be taken into account in assessing any possible health effects. Populations as a whole are not genetically homogeneous and people can vary in their susceptibility to environmental hazards. There are well-established examples in the literature of the genetic predisposition of some groups, which could influence sensitivity to disease. There could also be a dependence on age. We conclude therefore that it is not possible at present to say that exposure to RF radiation, even at levels below national guidelines, is totally without potential adverse health effects, and that the gaps in knowledge are sufficient to justify a precautionary approach (Chapter 5, paragraphs 6.35–6.42).

1.20 In the light of the above considerations we recommend that a precautionary approach to the use of mobile phone technologies be adopted until much more detailed and scientifically”

If John Houghton is seriously concerned with the impact of these technologies which produce non-ionising radiation then he could do no worse than start with the STEWART REPORT and perhaps find out what the Manx governments contribution to it was.

Stewart concluded that there should be further research and I know from other correspondence in our archives that there was concern in the Republic of Ireland, N I Assembly and the Scottish parliament. Perhaps John Houghton could suggest to the Manx government that the British-Irish Council which claims as one of its areas of work ‘the environment’ could look at this issue.

I’ve made no secret in the past of what a waste of time the BI Council is but perhaps I could be proved wrong and it could do something productive and beneficial!

The STEWART REPORT can be accessed in full at this National Archives link:



Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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