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EMF Studies

20 March 2016

Isle of Man: Resident Blames Phone Mast Radio Waves for Making Her Ill

Melanie Maxwell, who suffers from electromagnetic
"... it was even more important for young children in the area to be protected."

Resident blames phone mast radio waves for making her ill
by John Turner, iomtoday.co.im, 4 March 2016

A woman from Onchan is urging people to oppose the siting of a new telephone mast after becoming convinced the emissions from them are at the root of her illness.

Melanie Maxwell has already moved house from a previous location near to a neighbour who had a radio aerial in his garden, which she believes caused her to experience a number of alarming symptoms.

‘Manx Telecom is trying to erect a mast in the Onchan and Governor’s Hill area near to the Cronk-y-Berry School. a nursery and the Cat with No Tail pub, not to mention private houses and a residential home. I am highly against the idea of one being erected so close by,’ she said.

Ms Maxwell, of Hillcroft Green, said in the past 11 months she had been affected by electomagnetic hypersensitivity. Her symptoms include palpitations, itching, dizziness, nausea, pains in the joints, headaches and twitching of the muscles, she said.

‘I can also hear a low frequency humming which has led to many sleepless nights and I only get these problems when I am near to these masts,’ she said.

‘This is something that can affect anyone and I want to try and help stop anyone else being affected.’

She added she felt it was even more important for young children in the area to be protected, adding: ‘There is no evidence to prove these masts are safe as it takes 10 to 15 years for any health problems or cancers to develop.’

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care however said a report by the Council of Ministers in 2009 had rejected a link between what was described as ‘a series of vague symptoms described by some members of the public and exposure to electromagnetic fields. At least some of these symptoms may be related to anxiety about the presence of new technologies.’

He added work done at Essex University on the subject concluded people did genuinely suffer symptoms but they did not seem to be related to radiofrequency waves.

Speaking in the House of Keys, Communications Commission chairman Juan Watterson said tests on phone mast emissions between 2001 and 2012 were well below recommended safe guidelines.

However, Ms Maxwell is keen for people to voice their opposition to the plan.

Manx Telecom made a planning application in February this year for a single base station at Cronk ny Mona at a site sometimes referred to as Hillberry Reservoir. The proposed site is around 570 metres from Hillcroft Green. and around 150-200 metres from the nearest housing at Highfield Close and Birchill Crescent.


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