Vic electrical workers ban work on mobile phone towers

Fears rise after tumour discovery: The Electrical Trades Union ban came as preliminary testing at RMIT University’s business school found no evidence that rooftop phone towers caused brain tumours in seven staff since 1999. While medical experts said there was no proven link between phone towers and cancer, fears rose after it was revealed that tumours were found in staff working on the top floor.

Tumours linked to long-term electromagnetic exposure: Electrical union state secretary Dean Mighell said there was overseas evidence linking tumours to long-term electromagnetic radiation exposure, whether from high-voltage power lines or phone towers. "Saying it is inconclusive is not good enough," he said. "It needs to be conclusive that it’s safe, and when there is so much evidence saying it’s not, we think it is time the telecommunications industry adopts the same standards as the power industry and protects workers and residents."

Safety measures demanded: Mighell urged communications companies to adopt regulations forcing electrical workers to wear protective equipment, carry radiation meters and work on towers for limited periods. City authorities have sought council control over medium-sized phone towers through planning permits. There are 169 mobile phone network masts in the Melbourne CBD.

Executives label union attempt unjustified: Chief executive Chris Althaus said the ETU’s move was unjustified and unwarranted. Althaus said agency studies had noted AM radio contributed about 91 per cent of radio frequency emissions while mobile phone towers contributed only 1.4 per cent.

The Age, 19/5/2006, p. 6

Source: Erisk Net  

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