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‘Cancers, tumours’: Fears surround phone towers near homes

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 18/09/2018

There are concerns over health risks posed by new mobile phone towers being rolled out in residential areas in preparation for the launch of 5G.

With the new technology on its way, the federal government introduced legislation which allowed telecommunication companies the power to erect towers onto power poles without needing permission from local councils.

And given the electromagnetic field of a power pole device can reach up to 500 metres away, many are concerned about the potential health effects.

Sydney couple Jenny and Rahul, both doctors, are seeing a TPG tower going up outside their home on Dundas Street in Coogee.

a group of people posing for the camera: Residents of an eastern Sydney suburb are concerned by the possible effects of mobile towers in residential areas. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Residents of an eastern Sydney suburb are concerned by the possible effects of mobile towers in residential areas.

They say not enough is known about the effects of constant exposure, and are worried about their son.

Electrical engineer John Lincoln is also concerned.

"So instead of having a single tower that serves the suburb, say, we're now going to have these things probably in every street, filling the whole area with waves," he told A Current Affair.

"We're really not sure what the end effects are going to be."

He also said even streets without a tower would be exposed.

a pole that has a sign on the side of the street: New legislation is allowing mobile phone towers to be erected without council approval. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd New legislation is allowing mobile phone towers to be erected without council approval.

"You might not have a direct connection with a transmitter, but it's bounding off someone else's wall and off your wall," he said.

"Every bounce reduces it a bit but the thing is, it's very hard to get away from it."

The telcos and the government have said the constant electromagnetic bombardment is at acceptable levels, but fears still remain.

Mr Lincoln said he was concerned about the health implications.

a man looking at the camera: Electrical engineer John Lincoln said it was uncertain what the final effects would be. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Electrical engineer John Lincoln said it was uncertain what the final effects would be.

"Generally cancers and tumours are the major ones, but for most people it's just a general apathy," he said.

"Lack of sleep, sleep disturbances, those sorts of things, and just taking away the zest of life."

Residents also claimed the submissions period was still open when TPG workers began work on the tower, which local MP Matt Thistlethwaite said he believed breached the code.

“My message to TPG is, get off your backside, get out of your office, and get down to the community here and talk to people about your actions,” he said.

The Department of Communications provided a statement saying companies needed to comply with strong safeguards.

TPG said in a statement it had carried out consultation with residents and landowners and had complied with government standards.


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