HC Deb 09 April 2003 vol 403 cc326-7W
Mr. Andrew Mitchell

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme is making; when he expects to receive its first report; and what consideration has been given to including the Wishaw mobile telecommunications mast in Sutton Coldfield in its investigations. [107391]

Ms Blears

The LINK mobile telecommunications and health research (MTHR) programme was set up in response to the recommendations of the Stewart report in May 2000, available on www.iegmp.org.uk

The programme is jointly funded by industry and government to the value of £7.36 million. Decisions on funding are made by an independent programme management committee. The first 15 research projects to be funded under the first call were announced in January 2002. Two further calls for proposals have also been made. Two projects are nearing completion. Researchers are expected to publish in the open literature, and results will be publicised on the programme website. Twice yearly progress reports are presented to the programme funders and in November 2002, the programme ran the first of a series of annual research meetings. Details are published on the programme's website at www.mthr.org.uk

The projects follow the research recommendations identified in the Stewart report and most relate to the use of mobile phones handsets. However, in practice many of the experimental studies will also be valuable in providing evidence on any possible effects on people of exposures from mobile phone masts. The programme includes a recently announced epidemiological study on the incidence of cancer around mobile phone base stations. The third call, issued in December 2002, included a request for proposals, which will examine the basis of symptoms attributed to exposure from base station emissions.

The Radiocommunications Agency "audit" of mobile phone mast emissions shows that the maximum measurements taken at Wishaw Riding School was 1/13623 of the ICNIRP exposure guideline levels—www.radio.gov.uk