In May 2000, an Independent Expert Group on
Mobile Phones published a report that gave an assessment of the
current state of research into possible health risks from mobile
The Home Office asked the National Radiological
Protection Board (NRPB) to provide comprehensive advice on possible
health implications for users of Airwave. The NRPB commissioned
a review from their independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising
Radiation (AGNIR). This was published on 31 July 2001.
The report concludes that:
"Although areas of uncertainty remain
about the biological effects of low-level RF radiation in general,
including modulated signals, current evidence suggests that it
is unlikely that the special features of TETRA mobile terminals
and repeaters poses a hazard to health".
The Home Office has accepted the report and
is taking forward all its recommendations for further research.
In November 2001, Mr Barry Trower wrote a report
for the Police Federation on TETRA health and safety issues. The
Home Office responded to the questions raised in the Trower report
and is now awaiting the response of the Police Federation.
A large part of the programme is about the possible
biological effects of low intensity TETRA signal. The NRPB recommendations
are very thorough and cover all aspects of the problem, from basic
cell biology to possible effects on high level brain activity.
The rest of the programme includes detailed assessment of the
energy transmitted by TETRA base stations and terminals.
Most of the research is long term and requires
a rigorous scientific programme. If at any stage the research
indicates a possible hazard to health, the Home Office will immediately
make the results available and take appropriate action.
Results already obtained by the Home Office
indicate that the specific absorption rates of currently used
Airwave terminals are well within international safety guidelines.
The Home Office have commissioned the Defence
Science and Technology Laboratories (Dstl) to undertake an experimental
programme on the possible biological effects of TETRA technology.
The first results are expected in April 2002.
The Home Office has also commissioned Microwave
Consultants Limited to make detailed assessments of body-worn
Further work within the framework of the Mobile
Telecommunications Health Research programme is currently under