Letter to the Editor: No Cell Towers Near Dedham Schools
Mother Brook Community Group opposes placing T-Mobile cell towers near the new Avery Elementary School.
Last year Dedham’s Town Meeting overwhelmingly defeated a town-owned land transfer proposal at Condon Park that would have paved the way to allowing T-Mobile to place a cell tower at the park. The transfer was defeated largely because Dedham’s Town Meeting representatives didn’t believe it was appropriate to place a cell tower, which emits electromagnetic frequencies, in places where children gather for extended periods of time.
T-Mobile’s answer has been to come back this year with another proposal to locate their tower (again, well outside of Dedham’s Wireless Overlay District) on top of the privately-owned AliMed building on High Street, directly across from Dedham’s new Avery School, and Dedham High School just beyond it. Because it’s privately owned land, Town Meeting representatives will not get a chance to vote on it – it is instead being decided by Dedham’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
We recognize that while many reports have found a significant correlation between the types of radiation emitted by these towers and human health issues, others have not - however, T-Mobile’s own study has.
In 2000, T-Mobil (the German parent company of T-Mobile) commissioned a report by a respected German research lab (EcoLog-Institut) to assess 220 previous scientific studies on the issue. Their findings regarding cell towers:
“In humans, harmful organic effects of high frequency electromagnetic fields as used by mobile telecommunications have been demonstrated for power flux densities from 0.2W/m2. Already at values of 0.1 W/m2such effects cannot be excluded. If a security factor of 10 is applied to this value, as it is applied by ICNIRP and appears appropriate given the current knowledge, the precautionary limit should be 0.01W/m2. This should be rigorously adhered to by all base stations near sensitive places such as residential areas, schools, nurseries, playgrounds, hospitals and all other places at which humans are present for longer than 4 hours.”
The full report and full recommendation can be found here.
There are more than the 220 studies used for this report, which show a correlation. But whatever the findings of any particular study, all agree that more scientific study is needed, and we have found nothing since to directly refute the findings of this, T-Mobile’s own commissioned report.
Further, it should be noted that other major international telecom companies operating in Dedham report “good” to “excellent” talk, data, and 4G coverage in the area T-Mobile is now targeting with their proposed tower, while respecting the boundaries of Dedham’s wireless district.
Dedham is not anti-business, but Dedham’s neighborhoods shouldn’t be made to make up for poor company decision-making, or a lack of corporate investment in better technologies to serve our area.
The Mother Brook Community Group agrees with Dedham’s Town Meeting representatives, and strongly opposes any effort to place cell towers near our parks and schools.
As many scientific studies, and T-Mobil’s own report have recommended, we respectfully urge the Zoning Board of Appeals to exercise precaution, protect the well-being of our children, uphold and defend Dedham’s zoning, remain fair to the other telecom companies serving Dedham who have invested in and respected our zoning, and reject this application for a variance.
We encourage all Dedham residents and other groups to learn more about this complex issue, and to attend the next Zoning Board of Appeals meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Town Hall.
Anyone concerned, but who can’t make the meeting, can do any of the following:
- Send comments, care of the ZBA, to Town Hall
- Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mother Brook Community Group