More mobile phone masts make for safer living

Mobiles used close to phone masts give off less radiation, says Cochrane

When it comes to the health dangers of mobile phones, it seems there are as many viewpoints as there are handsets, including one that gets very little coverage indeed.

According to scientists like Peter Cochrane, a former head of research at BT, the mobile networks' base stations that are at the root of so many protests aren't much of a problem.

More masts please

He believes that interest groups campaigning for the removal of phone masts are actually doing their cause a disservice and that they should, in fact, be trying to get more masts in their neighbourhoods.

The physics of electromagnetic radiation say that the power transmitted between a phone and a base station increases with distance from the mast. So, a phone 1km from a mast doses anyone holding it with far more energy than one at half that distance.

Wi-Fi no problem

Accordingly, if a phone user wants to minimise the radiation coming from their handset as it tries to stay in touch with the network, they should be as close to a base station as possible.

The same physical facts apply to all sorts of wireless communications, so the spread of technologies like Wi-Fi and WiMax shouldn't be a concern. However, that's not taking into account those few purists who would like to see an end to electromagnetic 'pollution' entirely, so the debate has plenty of life left in it.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.