Mast debaters strike again, ban Wi-Fi in UK schools

Sensitive tissue

Two new and baleful reports about "microwave radiation" revived the mast hysteria in the UK this week: one, an attempt by "3" to build a new phone tower and the other, a series of schools claiming ill effects from Wi-Fi.

By coincidence, both reports were written by journalists with the same surname. Joanna Bale wrote in The Times about schools in Ysgol Pantycelyn, Carmarthenshire, Chichester and Buckinghamshire which have dismantled Wi-Fi networks, while David Bale produced a report in the Norwich Evening News about a campaign to halt a "3" 3G phone mast.

Both reports have quoted "scientists" - and in both cases, it seems the source for this, is the mysterious comment by Professor Sir William Stewart, who headed a Health Protection Agency investigation into microwave and health.

Sir William has never explained his original comments, which he made personally at the press conference announcing the HPA report, and in which he disagreed with the findings of the report itself. Staff at the HPA have told NewsWireless that "we don't know what he based his comment on, and we're not in a position to ask him to elaborate."

Today's story in The Times, if validated, offers real evidence of objective health damage caused by wireless. "Stowe School, the Buckinghamshire public school, also removed part of its wireless network after a teacher became ill. Michael Bevington, a classics teacher for 28 years at the school, said that he had such a violent reaction to the network that he was too ill to teach," wrote Joanna Bale.

Bevington describes symptoms which have not previously been assigned to wireless reponse:

"I felt a steadily widening range of unpleasant effects whenever I was in the classroom. First came a thick headache, then pains throughout the body, sudden flushes, pressure behind the eyes, sudden skin pains and burning sensations, along with bouts of nausea. Over the weekend, away from the classroom, I felt completely normal.

Investigators for a medical journal have attempted to test for general ill-health associated with wireless. They said that their test subjects, who complained of acute sensitivity to microwaves, were unable to tell whether the wireless was actually switched on or not.

If Bevington's symptoms can be replicated and shown to be definitely wireless related, this could be the breakthrough which researchers have been seeking - without results - for years. All other clinical trials so far have found "no link" between ill health and wireless.

There is a theoretical link between DNA damage and microwave, the reality of which is still unproven despite considerable research. Nobody has suggested that DNA damage could produce symptoms such as those reported by Bevington, however.

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