Mobile phone companies target students on UK university campuses
Student suicide clusters have occurred in several UK universities during the past few years, notably Bristol University (11 cases in 2 years) and York University (6 cases in a 9 month period in 2016). In three recent articles, I argued that perhaps university chancellors should not blame depression amongst students for these events. They should pursue all avenues and leave no stone unturned in finding out the cause(s) of student suicide clusters. I sent links to my articles to Helen Coles of Bristol University Governance Team on two separate occasions and my emails were not even acknowledged – so much for governance!!
To put all of this into context, yet another student has committed suicide at Bristol since I wrote may last article.
The Bristol Post wrote on 5 July 2018:
“Nearly 100 university students took their own lives last year in the UK as counselling services at Bristol University and UWE (University of West England) faced unprecedented demand. New figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that 95 students had killed themselves in the year ending July 2017 in the UK. In Bristol 13 students – 11 at Bristol University and two at UWE – have died since October 2016, which includes three in three weeks over April and May this year.”
From the 1960s onwards it has been well documented by the European, the old Soviet Union and American militaries that exposure to microwave radiation may lead to what the USSR scientists called ‘microwave sickness’. Much of today’s consumer gadgets such as WIFI, DECT cordless phones and mobile phone transmitters emit or receive pulsed microwave radiation. In the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy published in 2016, Pall(1) shows that exposure to microwave radiation results in:
“excessive neurotransmitter/neuroendocrine release as well as oxidative /nitrosative stress and other responses. Among the more commonly reported changes are sleep disturbance/insomnia, headache, depression /depressive symptoms, fatigue/tiredness, dysesthesia, concentration/attention dysfunction, memory changes, dizziness, irritability, loss of appetite/body weight, restlessness/anxiety, nausea, skin burning/tingling/dermographism and EEG changes.”
A common denominator in student /young people suicides all over the world appears to be the oft quoted word ‘depression’. This affects young people of both genders more noticeably than the older generation in terms of psychological well-being. I wanted to explore this more deeply and to catalogue as much as possible sources of microwave radiation in and around university campuses. Please remember that 20 years ago, many parents fought to ensure that the telecoms companies did not put that mobile phone tower on the school roof or at one corner of the school playground. Their fears were well-founded.
I decided to look at the number of mobile phone masts on and off campus for a selection of the bigger UK universities. I was shocked to find that telecom companies target university campuses and view them as ‘honey pots’. Most universities have allowed the installation of mobile phone masts on their campus grounds. I also detailed the number and location of UK police AIRWAVES TETRA antennas and digital TV transmitter antennas with distance from university campuses. I produced a ‘student guide’ for students and parents to help them decide which university to choose based on potential lowest exposures.
A common question asked by many people is, ‘what is a safe distance to live and work from a mobile phone mast?’ No-one, however, can answer that question. Radiation from a cell phone tower antenna obeys the inverse square law equation. This equation says that the further away from the mast, the lower the exposure. No safety testing was ever done on this aspect of consumer safety, yet we know from numerous independent scientific studies from the past 70 years, that the zone of highest signal intensity from a transmitter is within the first 300 m. This holds true for both ELF (extremely low frequencies) from electricity pylons and EMFR (electromagnetic frequency radiation) from cell phone tower antennas. I advise a distance of at least 700 m from microwave signals between 900 MHz – 5 GHz but of course, no-one really knows. Radiation from a cell phone tower is illustrated below. This image forms part of an excellent PowerPoint presentation by Professor Kumar(2) of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
I present data on mobile phone installations at two university campuses to give you a taster for what is on the ground and the nature of the relationship between university administrators and the mobile phone industries. Remember that the zone of highest signal intensity is within the first 300 m from the antenna. This gives you a clue why the deployment of mobile phone masts in small spaces creates literal killing fields to those exposed to these frequencies on a daily basis.
The yellow dot on the images below represents the centre of the postcode and not necessarily the centre of campus. Blue spots represent mobile phone antennas. Red spots represent either a digital TV transmitter or TETRA police telecommunications antenna.
Nottingham Trent University, Creative Quarter Campus
Nottingham Trent University has the highest number of mobile phone masts among the campuses I surveyed. The scale at the bottom right is at 100 m gradient and it shows multiple mobile phone masts within about 25 m – 50 m of each other. Also note the telecoms companies Orange, Vodaphone, T-Mobile and O2 deploying multiple mobile phone masts within spitting distance of each other – this is over-kill. Also note the presence of AIRWAVES TETRA police antennas to add into the mix. There is another campus (not shown) to the west of the yellow dot, hence the huge number of mobile phone masts emitting microwave radiation all day every day mostly to the West of the yellow dot. If you study and live on campus or within 500 m or so of these blue spots, your biology will be severely challenged by pulsed microwave radiation, UHF (ultrahigh frequency) and ELFs (extremely low frequency) signals.
York University’s Siward’s water Tower and associated mobile phone hardware at 28 m above ground level:
Much of the student accommodation at York University is found at Campus West. There are no mobile phone masts on the campus with at least 9 mobile phone masts within 200 m of the campus border. The map above gives further information on why the density of mobile phone masts is relatively low i.e. 9 to the usual 20 or so elsewhere and why there are no mobile phone masts on campus. There are four mobile phone masts on Siward’s Water Tower which is 28 m above ground level. There is a further mobile phone mast about 450 m from the campus boundary at a height of 34 m above ground level. To the south of Campus West there are a further four mobile masts at least 18 m above ground level. In other words, because nearly all the mobile phone masts are so high above ground level, signal coverage within and around the campus is complete and at very high signal levels. There is also a police station (Fulford Road Police Station) about 450 m from the campus boundary transmitting TETRA frequencies at 400 MHz which are modulated at a frequency of 17.6 Hz. There is a lot going on within this area i.e high signal strength pulsed microwave radiation at GHz (GigaHertz) frequencies and TETRA police signals at 400 MHz also carrying a 17.6 Hz signal. There is more to come on this…..
The full Table includes information on mobile phone placements at or around about 25 UK universities and it can be found here. If you are interested in how signals move or propagate within urban environments click here.
In summary, it is clear that based on rudimentary knowledge of anything related to science, the environment and human biology, it is both dangerous and unethical to allow telecom companies to install masts within university campus grounds. Universities in the UK are fairly rich businesses and should not need additional monies from telecoms companies if the technologies they allow on campus have not been safety-tested. In the UK, however, telecoms companies put their masts anywhere they like and the only challenge open for concerned citizens is on ‘aesthetic’ grounds. Concerned citizens cannot oppose planning applications based on safety grounds. Local Planning Committees of the English Councils cannot oppose telecom companies due to changes in local planning legislation proposed and passed into law by the British government. It is also interesting to note that one of the world’s biggest and well known insurers, Lloyds of London, does not provide any form of insurance cover for anything related to the use of microwave-enabled consumer products!!
- M.L. Pall / Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy 50 75 (2016) 43–51