This section includes information on the following topics. Click on a heading tRadiationo go to the relevant section
- Radiation in the Environment
- Radioactive Substances
- Electromagnetic Radiation (including from mobile phone masts and power lines)
- National Statistics
Radiation in the Environment
Radiation in the environment was monitored in the district, over a number of years, following the 1986 Chernobyl accident. This was undertaken through the Southern England Monitoring Group (SERMG), which was set up by a number of local authorities and SouthamptonUniversityto monitor environmental radioactivity in terrestrial and marine ecosystems across southern England. None of the levels of manmade or artificial radionuclides found in samples of locally produced food, grass, sea fish, seaweed or soil were considered to be hazardous to the public.
The Environment Agencyis responsible for the control of radioactive wastes and discharges in Englandand the enforcement of the Radioactive Substances Act 1993. A report on "Radioactivity in the Environment" (4.5MB) is produced annually by the Environment Agency, to provide a summary and radiological assessment of monitoring data over the previous year.
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) include static fields such as the Earth's magnetic field and fields from electrostatic charges, electric and magnetic fields from the electricity supply at power frequencies (50 Hz in the UK), and radio waves from TV, radio and mobile phones, radar and satellite communications. For a useful explanation of electric and magnetic fields click on the following link to the Health Protection Agency's website.
Mobile phones and mobile phone masts are increasingly common, the two following documents offer information from the Department of Health; Mobile Phones and Health and Mobile Phone Base Stations and Health.
European Commission have produced a report Health and Electromagnetic Fields. (1.2MB).
Particular concerns have been expressed, locally, about the possible health effects of Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) a radio system used by Airwave O2, on behalf of the Home Office, for secure Police communications. Unless TETRA or phone masts require PlanningPermission, the Council has no statutory powers to prevent their erection or use.
For enquiries regarding mobile phone masts or interference with TV or Radio reception contact OFCOM.
National radioactivity statistics are included in the key environmental statistics published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in the annual booklet "The Environment in your pocket "