There have long been claims that the use of mobile phones is linked to the development of brain tumours. But according to former telecommunications worker, Glynn Hughes, the threat to health from wireless technology is wide-ranging, all pervasive and should concern us all. He talked to HILARIE STELFOX

IN THE average Western home there are multiple electrical appliances, mobile telephones, baby alarms, games stations and computers. Much of the latest technology is also wireless.

Glynn Hughes, who runs a wireless protection company, says that we live surrounded by electromagnetic and microwave radiation and it’s not doing us any good.

“Because you can’t hear it, see it, smell it, taste it or touch it, none of the human senses we have developed recognise it as a danger. And that’s why it’s the biggest scandal there has ever been,” he added.

Glynn, whose made a recent visit to Huddersfield, hosted by The Integrated Health Practice in Edgerton, spends his time travelling both in the UK and abroad to convince others that wireless technology is a major threat to human health.

His work, enabling customers to protect themselves from radiation, takes him into the homes of people who fear that their lives have been affected.

As someone who once worked in the wireless voice and data business he knows that his views are considered controversial, even cranky.

“When you look on the internet you will find that there is a whole under-culture of people concerned about this. But the trouble is that the mobile phone industry has its own spin doctors to convince the public there is no problem and that those who are worried are just cranks,’’ said Glynn, who lives in Lancashire.

He is concerned that since 2004 when cheap mobile phone networks expanded their services there has been a dramatic growth of mobile ownership. It is, he says, a time bomb ticking away and we have yet to reap the full consequences of the ‘new’ technologies. Those who fear the worst say that wireless technology and electromagnetic fog are linked to the growing incidence of everything from childhood cancer, autism and insomnia to depression and general malaise.

Glynn was asked to speak at the integrated health practice run by Dr John Roberts, who is an holistic dentist working alongside a number of complementary therapists. “Personally, this is something that I’m very interested in,’’ said John, who hires out EMF (electromagnetic fog) detectors to patients.

“We all view government reports, which say mobile phones are safe, with a degree of scepticism but there is no smoke without fire. Research is often conducted over too short a time – it can take 10, 15 or even 20 years for problems to arise.

“I travel frequently to America and Germany and when I’m there I meet people who take this seriously enough to be switching off the electricity in their homes at night. Glynn talks a lot of sense and we use him as a resource for the practice. There’s no point in people coming here to improve their health and then going home to sleep in a dangerous environment,” he added.

He runs his practice using only hard-wired computers, no cell phones and no wireless devices.

Glynn ‘switched sides’ five years ago after campaigning to have a mobile phone mast removed from his daughter’s secondary school.

“My daughter moved to secondary school and every Wednesday came home with headaches and vomiting,” he explained.

“We discovered that on Wednesdays she had double maths and a free period in the maths room. There was an antenna on the roof of the maths building. When I complained the head teacher was initially horrified but then said that the school couldn’t do anything about it because they had a legal contract with the phone company (£4,000 a year for 10 years is fairly typical),” he said.

In fact, it took four years to get the mast removed, during which time Glynn removed his daughter from the school. Now 16, she’s back at the school.

These days Glynn sleeps in a bed that has a canopy made from microwave reflective fabric and in a bedroom lined with special paint. He keeps his mobile phone switched most of the time, using it as an answering machine, and has installed electrofilters in his home.

“I think I had developed electrosensitivity myself but I feel a lot better now. The problem is that once you’ve become electrosensitive, and you start to find that using a mobile or being around a lot of computers makes you feel unwell, you need to take action because the next stage is when you become ill and there’s no coming back from that, the damage is done,’’ he said.

Information about the emissions from wireless and electronic technology is both plentiful, confusing and contradictory. Many studies have been conducted by numerous bodies, some sponsored by mobile phone companies.

The current British Government view is that mobile phone masts are not dangerous to health and is based on the findings of the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme, jointly funded by the government and the mobile phone industry.

However, their report in 2007 did conclude that as the technology is still so new there has been little research into the effects on children and on the use of mobile phones for more than 10 years.

It was also discovered that mobile phone emissions can cause biological effects in animal cells but the report says these were caused by ‘heating’ and there are no plans to investigate this further.

No link with brain tumours and cancer was found in people with short-term exposure to mobile phones but, as the report pointed out, most cancers are rarely detectable within such a short time frame.

Glynn argues that safety parameters have been set using physics, instead of biology, and that some Governments are taking the problem much more seriously than our own.

“If we carry on with this insane lemming-like march into technology I think everybody will suffer,” he says. “But the mobile phone industry is the second biggest industry to oil and the operators make a lot of money from it. There has been a lot of flawed research and research by telephone companies that has been pulled without the findings being published.”

I asked Huddersfield University Reader in Communications Martin Sibley for his views on the complex subject.

Based in the department of Engineering and Technology, School of Computing and Engineering, he is also a lecturer in electromagnetism.

He said: “As far as I know nobody has proved a link between radio frequencies from mobile phones and any damage to the human body.

“But we don’t really know what they do. This type of wireless technology is still very new. No-one has come up with an epidemiological study.

“You could make a comparison with smoking. Nobody made a link between smoking and lung cancer until some time down the line.’’

However, Martin says he is less concerned about danger from mains electricity and wired appliances.

“This type of electricity has been around a long time and we’d have found a link before now. The main danger, I believe, is from mobile phones and Wifi,’’ he added.

Get rid of wireless house mobiles. “It’s like having a little phone mast in your own house. Wireless baby alarms also emit high levels of radiation, as do computers with Wifi,’’ says Glynn.

Buying a monitor that detects radio frequency radiation to see how polluted your home is. Anyone living near a mast may need to take steps to protect their home.

When talking on a mobile phone, use speaker-phone mode and keep the phone away from your body – even phone company manuals advise a distance of up to 2cms away at all times.

Don’t use a mobile inside a building with a steel structure or inside a car.

Don’t allow children to sleep with a mobile under their pillow or on a bedside cabinet.

Ideally, children under 18 should restrict mobile use to emergencies only.

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