Mobile phones operate by using radio waves, a form of non-ionising radiation. Mobile phone companies have a licence from the government to provide network installations throughout the country. They have to show some consideration in the location and the design of the installation. They must also submit a certificate with each application for a mast to prove that emitted radiation does not exceed levels set by the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection).
Electric and magnetic fields are present around all wires carrying electricity, whether they are high voltage power lines, house wiring or wires inside domestic appliances. The strength of the fields depends on the voltage and the size of the current carried and reduces rapidly with distance from the wires.
Health advice and concerns
Further health advice on mobile phone masts and electricity pylons is available from the Health Protection Agency.
Schools who are concerned about the radiation levels from mobile phone masts within the school grounds can request measurements to be carried out by the Office of Communications (Ofcom).
The sitting of telephone masts is a planning matter. However, if a telephone mast meets the levels set by the ICNIRP, it should not be necessary, in processing an application, to consider further the health aspects and concerns about them.