The articles are by Hillorie S. Morrison, who seems to be the same Hillorie S. Morrison who represented T-Mobile at the November 17, 2009, Whitman PTSA Meeting and who will again represent them at the January 26, 2010, meeting at Whitman. (I think she also represented the cell phone company in 2005 in an unsuccessful attempt to install a cell tower at Pyle Middle School.)
Both articles are from a 1997 American Bar Association newsletter and were written by Ms. Morrison when she was a senior planner with Baltimore County. Ms. Morrison frankly raises concerns that cell phone industry guidelines do not take into account possible harm from the nonthermal effects of long-term, low-level exposures.
Ms. Morrison thoroughly reviews the then-current scientific data and concludes that:
Even though the anticipated [health] effects fall within the levels of safe exposures according to industry guidelines, the standard is considered by some scientists to provide a false sense of security. (emphasis added). Of particular concern is the impact of long-term exposures, that is, intermittent
or continuous exposures to weak RF [radiofrequency] fields over a period of months to years.
Ms. Morrison reported that American scientists had conducted studies that concluded:
certain populations—including the very young, the very old, and the chronically ill—are more susceptible that the general population.
Ms. Morrison also reports that:
since biological effects are a function of the frequency and energy level of a particular form of electromagnetic energy and the characteristics of the affected organism (species, mass, affected tissue-types), it is difficult for scientists to determine “safe” levels. (Emphasis added.)
Ms. Morrison cites with apparent approval the fact that several school districts around the country had prohibited cell towers on school property, quoting one school board finding:
there was no clear health basis to proscribe [cell tower] sitings . . . [but] other than rental income, who would a public agency go out of its way to expose children to an agent which is not necessary for their education and was not thoroughly studied?
Because of these concerns, Ms. Morrison recommended a government policy of what she called “prudent avoidance” of placing cell towers at schools.
If this is the same Hillorie S. Morrison as will be representing T-Mobile on Wednesday, perhaps she can share with the Whitman community what scientific studies have been performed in the 13 years since she wrote the articles that make her now advocate for locating cell towers at schools.
This commentary submitted to the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, Maryland. The writer wishes to remain anonymous.