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Response to report into the perceived health effects of mobile phone masts

18 July 2008

​News Release: 18th July 2008

The Health, Social Security and Housing Scrutiny Sub-Panel and the Health and Social Services, Economic Development and Planning and Environment Departments have worked together over the past 18 months to achieve an improved precautionary approach to mobile phone masts.

The report released today from the three Ministers confirms that the recommendations of the Scrutiny Sub-Panel in 2007 have been acted upon, including the establishment of a web site to be launched next week showing details of all phone masts, independent monitoring of emissions, and a further review into the perceived risks of mobile phone masts.

The Scrutiny Sub-Panel are satisfied that the work undertaken over the past 18 months should ensure that a suitable precautionary approach is taken to all mobile phone mast installations.

Quote from Chairman of Scrutiny Sub-Panel, Deputy Alan Breckon

“I believe the proposals being made and actions taken demonstrate a positive example of Scrutiny working and listening in the community. Action being taken both respects and reflects public opinion, which has been listened to. My thanks to everyone who contributed – from a few lines in an e-mail, to substantial submissions and appearances before the Sub-Panel. Thanks are also due to the three Ministers responsible – Senator Freddie Cohen at Planning and Environment, Senator Philip Ozouf at Economic Development and Senator Ben Shenton at Health and Social Services, together with the officers in their Departments who have worked hard to respond positively to the Sub-Panel’s recommendations. Finally my thanks go to the Sub-Panel members – Deputy Collin Egré and Connétable Mike Jackson, not forgetting Senator Ben Shenton who also served on the Sub-Panel before becoming Minister for Health and Social Services, and Scrutiny Officers Carol Le Quesne and Malcolm Orbell - for drawing logical conclusions and obtaining a positive outcome to the review.”

Quote from the Minister of Health and Social Services, Senator Ben Shenton

"This scrutiny review has been a good example of Scrutiny and Ministers working together. Deputy Breckon's Panel made a number of recommendations which have lead to raised awareness on an issue of public importance and amongst other things, improved data on mast locations published on the website. Mobile phones are now an essential tool used by a significant proposition of the community. The Panel's work has highlighted the need to continue to monitor developments in the area and Ministers have shown a commitment to listen and respond. All three of us want to recognise the Panel for their work. This review has fortified and strengthened the relationship between Scrutiny and Ministerial and hopefully will be an example to follow."

A copy of the report can be acessed here (This will open in a new window)

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                                                            - ENDS -  

Notes to Editors.

Review into the Perceived Health Effects of Mobile Phone Masts (S.R.8/2007)

On the 20th April 2007, the Health, Social Security and Housing Scrutiny Panel presented to the States a ‘Review into the Perceived Health Effects of Mobile Phone Masts’. The Sub-Panel made 7 main recommendations to several Departments to ensure that an suitable precautionary approach is adopted with regard to mobile phone masts. The Review can be found on the Scrutiny web site

Web site

The JCRA, following Direction under Part 3, Article 8(1) of the Telecommunications (Jersey) Law 2002 from the Minister for Economic Development, has developed in consultation with the operators a web site which will supply relevant and up-to-date information on the location of masts, the results of independent testing as well as information on the current international standards in respect of safe levels of emissions. The JCRA have also included a page on their web site to enable members of the public to make a complaint regarding the level of emissions of masts near their home.

Independent Monitoring

The Minister for Economic Development issued a Direction to the JCRA on 25 October 2007 to ensure that independent random testing of mobile phone masts and base stations is undertaken to monitor emissions. The Direction stated that tests must take place annually for the first two years and thereafter every second year. The tests will be managed by the JCRA and paid for by the licensees.

A tender for the appointment of an independent company to carry out this work has recently been approved by the JCRA and the deadline for submissions is 25th July 2008.

Further review of the risks of mobile phone masts

The newly appointed Minister for Health and Social Services announced on the 27 September 2007 that he had called for a further review of the risks of mobile phone masts as one of his first priorities. He had taken this decision in the light of his duty to provide the public with the most up-to-date advice on the subject. The report focussed on the work that had been completed since the previous Health and Social Services Report in April 2006.

The report from the Health Protection Service in November 2007 considered new research and the reports from the UK MTHR Expert Group, as well as those sent to the Department from the Jersey Mobile Mast Concern Group. The MTHR report considered the biological function issue and brain function. The Health Protection report concluded that “further evidence to date does not give any support for a change in the view initially put forward in the Health Protection report of April 2006”.

ICNIRP is currently reviewing its guidelines on limiting exposure to static magnetic fields and to time varying electric fields of frequencies up to 100kHz. The Health and Social Services will continue to monitor ICNIRP and will release a report on that review when it has been released.

For further Information please contact:

Mr Malcolm Orbell – Scrutiny Officer, States Greffe – Tel: 441027

Mr David Evans – Legal and Intelligence Manager, Economic Development Department – Tel: 448135

Mr Stephen Smith – Head of Health Protection Services, Health and Social Services Department – Tel: 443730

Mr Peter Le Gresley – Assistant Director Development Control, Planning and Environment Department – Tel: 448447

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