Prove masts are safe – or not

Daniel Ruthenberg, Diep River

I refer to your article “EMF from cell masts a ‘hot chilli’ to chew” (Bulletin, June 30) a follow-up to previous articles.

The fact that these articles appear with such regularity is, on its own, a worrisome situation.

Added to this are the alarming references to “radiation exposure guidelines” having been adopted by different countries globally while no such guidelines have been adopted by South Africa, although the Depart- ment Of Health recommends the voluntary adoption of the USA ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) – for what it’s worth – which apparently permits very high exposure levels.

All this having been said, however, does not ease my mind to the possible effects of all these masts on the human life. Tell me if I am going to get any form of whatever as a result of the erection of these masts or not. Prove it to me either way.

We have been notified of the erection of a mast, 25m high with 12 panels, within 300m of where I live and because of my ignorance in regard to these things, I do not know whether to object or not.

Even if I did, on what do I base my objection and, from what I have read from the previous articles, it would appear that even successful objections are only temporary as the relevant masts are eventually erected anyway and nobody does a thing about them.

The cut-off date for the objections is Monday July 18 , but trenches for (pre- sumably) cables have already been dug. Added to this is the fact that there already is a mast with panels on at the relevant location.

Due regard to the above, I would like to know the answers to the questions about my health being affected and has anyone conclusively determined whe- ther or not there is a health risk involved.

Muna Lakhani, the Cape Town co-ordinator for Earthlife Africa, has referred me to a number of research articles which seem to support the risk factor so why does the City not do the research, or have they?