A recent article in the Daily Telegraph revealed that police officers in the UK are planning to sue their own force over illnesses they claim were caused by the Airwave radio system they have been using whilst on patrol.
Airwave and TETRA
The airwave network is a digital radio communications service operated by O2 and relies on the TETRA standard. (TErrestrial Trunked RAdio). It was designed specifically to enable longer range use and more capacity to the emergency services and military.
What Frequency does TETRA use?
According to TETRAwatch TETRA is a pulsed signal from masts that run on full power 24/7 in the 380MHz range. TETRA handsets pulse at 17.6 Hz and some existing masts have been shown to interfere with remote car door locking and wireless house burglar alarms. But this is not the real concern.
The real concern is that 17 Hz, the frequency used by the handsets, is known to affect brain activity. And secondly the frequency of the masts, in the 300-400 MHz range, is highly penetrative to human tissue.
The third concern is that both the handsets and base-transmitters are more powerful than regular cell phones and DECT (home) phones. This is intentional to offer a more secure mode of communication.
False Claims About TETRA
Airwave was introduced on the grounds of national security, by playing up to people’s fears. It was said that Airwave was vital for getting your ambulance there on time, not strictly true as Airwave is not currently being used by ambulance services to improve performance times. What is true is that a few ambulance trusts are using Airwave for linking handheld computers to the Internet for file transfer. Claims were made that Tetra helped save lives at the Madrid bombings. Spain does not currently have a Tetra network, it has used Tetra handsets but these have proved so unreliable that they are likely to be continued.
It was argued that Tetra provided protection from criminals and terrorists through end-to-end encryption. This is a fallacy, the signal is digital and advance missions between masts are not encrypted
Airwave And The Police
The air wave network was introduced in 2001, since that time dozens of police officers have been claiming that radiation emissions from the system have caused them a variety of complaints such as headaches, nausea, skin rashes, and stomach pains.
The Lancashire Constabulary, in the north of England, was the first in Britain to try out the Airwave network under a pilot scheme.
176 individual complaints have been logged by the local branch of the police Federation and senior officials at the police authority have seen fit to budget for a contingent liability in respect of Airwave liability claims.
Worryingly, 54 police forces are now involved in the process of implementing the TETRA Airwave scheme throughout the UK. Police forces were understandingly reluctant to adopt this new technology, but the government put £500 million on the table and police forces that did not accept the new TETRA Airwave scheme would receive no part of this funding. It’s fair to say that the police forces reticence was not based on fears for the health of the police officers using the new technology it was rather based on the fact that they considered the system untested and not good value for money.
Of course the health and safety executive has investigated the controversy and not surprisingly has declared that there is no link between the radio technology and the reported health symptoms but the Lancashire police authority have received a number of liability claims for injury which have alleged that the use of the Constabulary’s mobile communications equipment is clearly to blame.
Electromagnetic Radiation And The Emergency Services
I’ve heard countless stories of police and firemen complaining about their radio sets. These people are exposed to electromagnetic radiation from multiple sources. They have these radio sets which they use for their work and invariably they will have their own mobile phone not to mention the emissions from the in house transmitters. Just look at any police station or fire station at the number of antennas and masks sitting on their roofs!
Former British intelligence officer and scientist Barrie Trower has written a critical overview of the TETRA system following the death of officer Neil Dring. Officer Dring died of cancer of the oesophagus
Other Tetra illnesses outlined in the Trower report include: headaches, neuralgia, high blood pressure, nosebleeds, nausea, disorientation, confusion, dizziness, skin problems and a cancerous tumor in the throat.
Isn’t it ironic that the very people who spend their lives saving other people’s lives in so doing are in fact putting their own lives in danger?