HC Deb 21 October 2003 vol 411 c547W
Mr. Gibb

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the possible biological effects of terrestrial trunked/radio pulsing rates emanating from(a) handsets and (b) masts; what scientific research he collated to make this assessment; and how his Department's code of best practice applies the findings in respect of siting masts close to schools. [131942]

Ms Blears

In 2001, the National Radiological Protection's Board independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) published a report on "Possible health effects from Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA)". The report concluded that it was unlikely that the specific features of TETRA handsets and repeaters could pose a risk to health.

The AGNIR report also concluded that signals from TETRA masts are not pulsed and confirmed that TETRA masts are similar to other mobile phone masts in terms of health and safety. There are no plans to issue specific guidance on the siting of TETRA masts close to schools.

The AGNIR experts' recommendations for further research were taken forward by the Home Office. Recent results from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory show that signals from TETRA handsets have no effect on calcium exchanges in cells—the main concern about TETRA technology. Further information on TETRA health and safety issues is available at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs/tetra.html