October 12, 2009 11:00pm
TELSTRA has been warned it faces "a gladiatorial ring" of angry parents and residents tonight when it flies in experts to address growing fury over a planned mobile base station in Brisbane's Bardon.
Hundreds of parents and residents met last week to galvanise action against the telecommunications giant's plan to place the station on an apartment block just 170m from Rainworth State School.
Telstra claims it is replacing an existing tower which is closer to the school, but residents say the new device emits 22 times the radiation.
Residents are tying pink ribbons on fences to symbolise cancer fears, and plan to join hundreds of parents in a meeting tonight with Telstra at the school.
Rainworth State School P&C president Sandra Boland said there were no long-term studies into the effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation from the 3G network stations, and parents were not willing to put their children's health at risk.
"If there is any doubt – and I think that is the bottom line – no one wants to take the risk," she said.
Local resident and pediatrician Fiona Macfarlane said there were people within the scientific community who believed electromagnetic radiation could cause memory loss, poor concentration, sleep disorders, tremors, fatigue, rashes and immune system problems, with children more susceptible.
She said there were also links to cancer.
Federal Member for Ryan Michael Johnson is backing the infuriated community.
A Telstra spokeswoman said the company acknowledged some people were "genuinely concerned about possible health effects" and they were "committed to addressing these concerns responsibly".