Hospital dismisses mast concerns

IPSWICH hospital has today dismissed concerns about the mobile phone masts on the roof of its maternity block.The masts have been there for some time but concerns were raised nationally this week when it emerged Addenbrookes Hospital has 30 on its roof.

IPSWICH hospital has today dismissed concerns about the mobile phone masts on the roof of its maternity block.

The masts have been there for some time but concerns were raised nationally this week when it emerged Addenbrookes Hospital has 30 on its roof.

Anti-mast campaigners say no hospital should have them on its premises but bosses at Ipswich insist they are safe.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the hospital said: "There are a between 20-30 dishes, aerials and scanners on the roof of the maternity block. Some of these are for mobile phone but others are for the hospital's own systems.

"They are rigorously checked on a regular basis and comply with all health and safety guidelines.

"As well as the phone masts there are also some on there that are used for the hospital's equipment so it was decided it would not cause the block to become an eyesore.

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"They are regularly maintained by the organisations they belong to."

The hospital was unable to reveal how much money they make from the masts but confirmed they do receive an annual payment from the companies they belong to.

Ms Rowsell said: "All of this money is ploughed back in to patient care."

The long-term health implications of living near mobile phone masts are still unclear but a Government study issued last year dismissed concerns, concluding that exposure levels are 1,000 times lower than those from mobile phones.

Anti-mast campaigners refute the reliability of this and cite several other independent studies which claim that people living near phone masts are more likely to become ill.

Sian Meredith, a spokeswoman for pressure group Mast Sanity, said: "It's an absolute disgrace that any hospital has these masts on their site.

"Whether it's three or 30 that's too many. It should not happen."

What do you think about the masts? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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