Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (476, 477)

Seán Crowe

Question:

591 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the kind of surveys, reports and examinations carried out in areas where mobile telephone masts are located. [1302/04]

View answer

Seán Crowe

Question:

592 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if surveys, reports and examinations carried out in areas where mobile telephone masts are located include examinations of residents in the local area; and if so the form these examinations take. [1303/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 591 and 592 together.

The national survey of public exposure to radio frequency emissions from mobile telephone masts began last year and will be completed during 2004. This survey which encompasses 400 masts and represents 10% of all telephone masts in the country is one of the most comprehensive surveys of public exposure to telephone masts so far undertaken in Europe. It is being carried out by the consultants Manor Communications, on behalf of the Commission for Communications Regulation. The survey involves the measurement of non-ionising radiation levels in the vicinity of phone masts in every county and major town in Ireland. Where the site in question is used solely for mobile telephony, measurements are made over the 300MHz to 2GHz range. However, where the site is shared with others such as the emergency services, local radio and paging, exposures are measured across the wider frequency range of 30MHz to 40GHz.

COMREG published the first interim report of the national survey on 20 November 2003. It summarises the results of the first 100 base stations surveyed. These were located mainly in the south and west of the country. The results show that the highest public exposures measured at these sites are all well below the maximum public exposure levels set out by the EU Council of Health Ministers in their recommendation of 12 July 1999. In most cases the level of public exposure is less than one ten-thousandth of the recommended maximum permissible amount.

COMREG will issue further reports as the national survey progresses. The results of the first interim report are available onwww.comreg.ie and on www.dcmnr.gov.ie.