Masts pose no danger to public health, says ComReg

20 Nov 2003

Electronic communications mast sites around Ireland have been found to be significantly below public exposure emission limits, a new ComReg-backed survey has revealed.

The survey, which was conducted for ComReg by Mason Communications and Radio Frequency Investigation Ltd, was published today as part of the regulator’s first interim report in its programme of measuring non-ionising radiation from emissions from electronic communications mast sites, otherwise known as base stations.

The programme is being carried out in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government as well as the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.

The overall programme will involve measuring 400 base stations around the country. The latest report will be the first of three in a series that will conclude in July next year.

The report of Mason Communications found the first 100 base stations were significantly below the public exposure emission limits for non-ionising radiation set down by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection.

Non-ionising radiation is electromagnetic radiation at frequencies below 2,420MHz. It includes radio waves, infrared radiation and visible light. (Ionising radiation includes X-rays and Gamma rays.)

Outgoing ComReg chairperson Etain Doyle said of the findings: “The current project represents a much more extensive survey than previously conducted by ComReg. The results so far have not been surprising bearing in mind the work carried out previously by ComReg in auditing the operator’s procedures and arrangements in relation to non-ionising radiation emissions.”

Doyle confirmed that ComReg will take measurements at the remaining 300 sites in the period to June of next year.

By John Kennedy