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Revolt Newsletter 108

24/12/2001


Revolt News 108

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1. The future of the Teesside Power Station (TPL), after the collapse of Enron, is still in the balance. While I would expect that it will be taken over as a going concern, the company told me 21.12.01 that the position was not expected to be resolved for another six weeks.

2. The first pylon on the Picton-Shipton line has been erected at Tholthorpe airfield. Contractors Balfour Beatty stop work 21.12.01 for two weeks, so no more will be erected before the new year. The new pylon is #129, or tower 2TW 129 to give it its full name. Next on the schedule will be the adjacent towers 128 and 127. Pylon 129 is a D-type suspension tower (straight line), 55.5 metres (182 feet) high, one of the taller ones on the new line, though the tallest will be over 60 metres.

3. NRPB ( www.nrpb.org.uk ) has reported on "ELF Electromagnetic Fields and Neurodegenerative Disease" in Documents of the NRPB, 12(4), 3-24, 2001. Workers' exposure to EMF was found to be unlikely to cause Parkinson's disease, possibly to cause Alzheimer's disease, and to be associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), though it is difficult to separate possible effects of EMF from electric shocks, to which the workers are also exposed. A four-fold increased risk of ALS in electricity workers is supported by 6 out of the 8 published studies.

4. NRPB's special group has started investigating Prof Henshaw's hypothesis about potential health effects arising from charged aerosol particles from powerlines. This is a change from NRPB's knee jerk reaction 5 years ago when they dismissed it as "implausible" and "purely speculative".

5. A 13-page report "Opinion on possible effects of EMF, RF and MW Radiation on Human Health" has been produced by the EC's Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment (CSTEE). It does not recommend changing exposure limits but recognises "limited" evidence of carcinogenicity short of proving cause. The report is at http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc//sct/out128_en.pdf 

6. The new police communication system TETRA has been the subject of concern and dispute. Alasdair Philips had corrected Sir Richard Doll (NRPB)'s assertion that its microwaves were not pulsed. Now NRPB has issued a technical note to clarify that the base stations are not pulsed, whereas the handsets and mobile terminals are pulsed at a frequency of 17.64Hz. That is in the region of brain rhythms so could be dangerous to the police using it. The UK Police Federation is not satisfied and is threatening to withdraw its support. We know how they feel! It may be only an uncertain risk, but few of us welcome it being imposed on us by an unyielding authority. See www.nrpb.org.uk  and www.polfed.org/magazine .

7. The above several EMF reports draw on the latest (Nov/Dec 2001) issue of Microwave News.

Mike O'Carroll

 

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