Pasco County parents in the Starkey Ranch community are fighting to prevent a cell phone tower from being built next to their children’s elementary school. The Pasco County School Board is set to vote on the plans, but parents argue that the tower’s close proximity to the school’s playground could put their children’s health at risk.
Parents like Erin Stroupe and Serena Arnold are concerned about the potential health effects of exposing their children to radiation emitted by the tower. “There’s radiation that’s admitted from these towers, and there are research studies that show that it is linked to some pretty serious health concerns,” Stroupe said.
While the American Cancer Society has stated that there is no strong evidence linking exposure to RF waves from cell towers to health effects, they do note that more research is needed to clarify any possible long-term effects.
Pasco School District’s Director of Planning, Chris Williams, has defended the decision to allow cell phone towers on school property, stating that the district has referred to the American Cancer Society, FDA, and FCC before approving towers. The district already has 11 towers on other school sites and makes between $20,000 and $30,000 a year from letting companies build towers on their property.
Despite Williams’ assurances, many parents at Starkey are not convinced and believe that the potential risks to their children’s health are not worth the financial benefits to the district. “I feel like we are talking about safe responsible decisions for kids all throughout the district. I hope that they heed our concerns and they really take time to understand the decisions they are making,” said Arnold.
For Tara Massaro, the issue is personal. Her eight-year-old son Angelo has already experienced issues at school, with another child hitting him repeatedly. She fears that the presence of a cell phone tower could add to his problems. “My son’s already going through a hard time with a bully in school,” Massaro said. “I don’t want to have to worry about radiation on top of that.”
As the Pasco County School Board prepares to make its decision, parents in the Starkey Ranch community are continuing to speak out and fight for what they believe is best for their children’s health and well-being.
- What is cell tower radiation? Cell tower radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation that is emitted by cell phone towers. It includes both radiofrequency (RF) and microwave radiation.
- What are the potential health effects of cell tower radiation? While there is some strong evidence linking exposure to RF waves from cell towers to health effects, some studies suggest that it could be linked to serious health concerns, such as cancer, neurological disorders, and reproductive problems.
- What are the NTP studies? The National Toxicology Program (NTP) conducted a series of studies on the potential health effects of exposure to RF radiation in rats and mice. The studies found “clear evidence” of a link between exposure to high levels of RF radiation and cancerous tumors in the hearts of male rats.
- What are the RI studies? The Ramazzini Institute (RI) conducted a similar study on the potential health effects of exposure to RF radiation in rats. The study found that exposure to high levels of RF radiation was linked to an increased risk of malignant schwannoma heart tumors in male rats.
- Are cell phone towers safe? The American Cancer Society has stated that there is evidence linking exposure to RF waves from cell towers to health effects, but more research is needed to clarify any possible long-term effects.
- How close is too close to a cell phone tower? The distance at which a person is exposed to RF radiation from a cell phone tower can vary depending on factors such as the tower’s height and power output. Generally, the closer a person is to a tower, the higher their exposure will be.
- How can I protect myself from phone radiation? Some people choose to reduce their exposure to phone radiation by using a radiation-blocking case for their cell phone, avoiding standing or spending prolonged periods of time near cell towers, and limiting their use of wireless devices.
- Do children face a greater risk from cell tower radiation? Children may be more vulnerable to the potential health effects of cell tower radiation because their bodies are still developing and their skulls are thinner, which may allow for deeper penetration of radiation into the brain.
- How can I find out if there is a cell tower near my home or school? You can use the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) system to search for cell towers in your area.
- What should I do if I’m concerned about a cell tower near my home or school? If you’re concerned about a cell tower near your home or school, you can contact your local government or school board to voice your concerns and ask for more information about the tower and its potential health effects.