Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2014 11:17 AM
Subject: Cellphone Base Stations and Cancer
Having awoken from the hypnotic trance of the festive season, my attention has re-focused on matters to do with cellphone aerials.
In late 2008 the Gulf News published various articles and letters masterminded by Ms Honeychurch, that claimed with vigour a cellphone tower on the roof of the Surfdale Bowling Club would be of danger to the community. There were several radical statements made, several directed at me in person. Examples - 'How would you feel if you personally caused the cancer rate in Surfdale to leap to 10 times the national average?' 'Do you honestly believe that 30 pieces of silver from Vodafone will still seem worthwhile if you increase the cancer rate by 10?'
All of this caused considerable hysteria in a section of our community and affected the financial state of the club at the time. It also influenced me to step down from the managerial position.
With the passage of over five years of aerial use it is likely that the cancer rate in Surfdale is now showing some changes. Would it be possible for Ms Honeychurch as a local resident to advise on the current situation there? Thank you in anticipation.
The following comments on cellphone and tower issues from the World Health Organisation may be of assistance to readers:
September 2013 - the World Health Organisation issued an updated statement on the health risks of these devices. It was noted that cellphones worldwide now exceed 6 billion (over double 2008). It noted that ' the RF field emitted by mobile phones is generally more than 1,000 times greater than from base stations..'. One aspect concentrated on was cancer. Quote - 'Studies to date provide no indication that environmental exposure to RF fields, such as from base stations, increases the risk of cancer or any other disease.'
So what constitutes freedom of the press, freedom of opinion and the right of an editor to publish what he or she feels is 'satisfactory' opinion? My experience is that there is a distinct lack of clarity on Waiheke in the even-handedness of our media. Both papers have an apparent preference for things Green and environmentally 'friendly'. If they reject comments from outside this spectrum then they are doing a disservice to the community and to an important principle of freedom of expression.