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Suicides 'Linked To Phone Masts'
Dr Roger Coghill, who sits on a Government advisory committee on mobile radiation, has discovered that all 22 youngsters who have killed themselves in Bridgend, South Wales, over the past 18 months lived far closer than average to a mast.
has examined worldwide studies linking proximity of masts to
depression. Dr Coghill’s work is likely to trigger alarm and lead to
closer scrutiny of the safety of masts, which are frequently sited on
public buildings such as schools and hospitals.
It is also likely to fuel more campaigns against placing masts close to public places on health grounds.
Coghill said last night there was strong circumstantial evidence that
the masts may have triggered depression in those from Bridgend who took
They include Kelly Stephenson, 20, who hanged herself from a shower rail in February this year while on holiday in Folkestone, Kent.
Dr Coghill said: “There is a body of research that has over the years pointed to the fact that exposure to mobile radiation can lead to depression. There is evidence of higher suicide rates where people live near any electrical equipment that gives off radio or electrical waves.”
are now 70 million mobile phone handsets in the UK and around 50,000
masts. Both emit radio signals and electromagnetic fields that can
penetrate the brain, and for many years campaigners have argued that
this could seriously damage people’s health.
national average for proximity to a mobile phone transmitter varies
depending on the type of mast. The latest masts are far more powerful
so they can transmit more sophisticated data, such as photos and videos
for people to download on internet phones.
are placed on average 800 metres away from each home across the
country. In Bridgend the victims lived on average only 356 metres
national average distance from a new powerful mast is a kilometre while
in Bridgend it is 540 metres. Three transmitters were within 200
metres, 13 within 400 metres and as many as 22 within 500 metres of
victims’ homes. Carwyn Jones, 28, who hanged himself last week, was the
third young person in his street to commit suicide.
shows young people’s brains are more susceptible to radio wave energy.
Only two weeks ago a report identified mobiles as having an effect on
Coghill added: “What seems to be happening is that the electrical
energy is having an effect on the chemistry of the brain, depleting
serotonin levels. We know that in depression serotonin levels are low
and that a standard treatment for depression is to give drugs to boost
serotonin levels. As they begin to work, the patient’s depression
said urgent research was needed because Britain was now covered with
thousands of masts, many close to homes, schools and offices.
January 5, 2007, there have been 22 deaths of young people in the
Bridgend area. Some believe the suicides are linked but so far experts
have failed to find a common cause.
Thomas Davies, 20, hanged himself in February 2007. Last night his brother Nathan, 19, welcomed Dr Coghill’s research. “As far as this family is concerned nothing can bring Tom back,” he said. “But if there is a link found and something can be done then it could prevent further suicides.”
Mike Dolan, executive director of the Mobile Operators Association,
dismissed Dr Coghill’s research. “This is an insensitive and outrageous
piece of speculation which has no basis in established science,” he
The Government’s Health Protection Agency insisted that fields from mobile masts – even modern powerful masts – were well within international agreed safety limits. “There is no evidence that masts do you harm. The levels of radio waves are very low.”