Ripon, CA -- As 5G technology begins to roll out across the country, it is being met by a massive wave of resistance over concerns that it can cause health problems. While 5G is still relatively new, concerns over 4G and older technology still persist as well. A school in California has taken things to the next level and removed a cell tower from their campus after several students and teachers were diagnosed with cancer.
Since 2016, four students and three teachers have been diagnosed with different forms of cancer at Ripon Elementary. Also, two smaller children -- too young to attend school -- who live near the school tower, have been treated for a malignant tumor and leukemia, and a 22-year-old former student has recently undergone surgery for a brain tumor.
“I think it is admirable,” Monica Ferrulli, a parent of one of the children with cancer said. “I was actually very hopeful at first but after going to school district meetings I had lost a lot of hope. We have eliminated one factor that could cause the students to be unsafe.”
Ferrulli's son, who attends Ripon elementary, spent two years trying to get the district to remove the tower after her son was diagnosed with brain cancer.
According to the Modesto Bee:
Various studies have concluded the electromagnetic fields created by cell towers can cause cancer. The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised parents to limit their children’s use of cell phones.
The school district and Sprint have cited independent tests showing the tower met safety standards. Parents have said it’s possible the different pediatric cancer cases near the school site could be tied to another cause.
According to Ferrulli, the school district has collected samples to test the soil and water at Weston.
On the website for Ripon Unified School District, administrators noted that Sprint is complying with their request, saying, “Sprint has turned off the cell tower at Weston Elementary School and is moving forward with leasing, permitting and deploying a new site.”
While the Sprint tower in Ripon is not 5G, concerns over this newer technology still persist and similar movements to block 5G have taken place across the country.
"The cell towers are called small cell towers, but they are not so small when they are in your front yard," said Donna Baron, a resident of Montgomery County, Maryland who is actively protesting the installation of 5G in her town.
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"This will cause cancer," she said.
Concerns over cell phone radiation have been around since the advent of the technology. It is a fact that cell phones emit radiation. It is also a fact that this radiation can be absorbed by the human body from prolonged exposure.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radio frequency fields from cell phones as possibly carcinogenic to humans. IARC interprets the classification as meaning there is limited evidence showing radiofrequency carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.
For perspective, IARC has classified the following other agents as "possibly carcinogenic to humans": Coffee, Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (power line frequency), and Talc-based body powder.
Because cell phone radiation exposure is relatively new and constantly evolving, long term studies are still ongoing.
The International Cohort Study on Mobile Phone Users (COSMOS) is conducting a study which aims to conduct long-term health monitoring of a large group of people to determine if there are any health issues linked with long-term exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phone use. The COSMOS study will follow approximately 300,000 adult cell phone users in Europe for 20 to 30 years.
As 5G has yet to be fully implemented, the data on its radiation is even less extensive. However, California’s Department of Public Health has issued warnings about potential health effects of personal cell phone antennas.
As TFTP previously reported, after years of being hidden from the public, cellphone radiation studies were released. In 2017, California Department of Public Health officials finally released a draft document outlining health concerns stemming from cellphone radiation — including multiple cancers and infertility.
“We have evidence of brain tumors and other head and neck tumors. We also have evidence of sperm damage in males, infertility in females,”explained Joel Moskowitz of U.C. Berkeley’s School of Public Health, who sued the state in 2016 under the California Public Records Act to obtain the information.