Thursday, October 13, 2016

NBC: Are Kids at Risk? Scores of Chicago-Area Schools Allow Cell Towers on Their Buildings, Grounds

NBC News: Are Kids at Risk? Scores of Chicago-Area Schools Allow Cell Towers on Their Buildings, Grounds

Parents, citing unknown risks, want more testing on potentially-harmful radiation levels in classrooms


Dozens of schools across the Chicago area are leasing their property to telecom companies to erect cellular towers and antennas on school buildings and grounds, NBC5 Investigates has discovered. Until now, radiation from cell towers has not been considered a risk to children, but a recent study raises new questions about possible long-term, harmful effects. Phil Rogers reports. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016) 

NBC5 Investigates filed Freedom of Information Act requests with 409 public school districts across the Chicago area, and found that 139 local schools rent space on their grounds, buildings and smokestacks for cellular antennas. Over 90 of those are Chicago Public Schools – most of them elementary-level -- where kids may attend for as many as nine years. CPS reaps about $5 million in rental fees from those towers every year.

“Our kids are sitting in these classrooms for seven hours a day for nine years, 180 days every school year,” he notes. “Nobody knows what happens if you get a very low dose for nine years.”

The Beverly parents were especially alarmed by news of a recent study from the National Toxicology Program, which seemed to show a direct link between cell phone RF and cancer. Fagan said no parent would allow a Starbucks to be located in the school offering free coffee, if it would mean constant exposure to caffeine.

“Parents would descend on that school with torches and pitchforks,” he said. “I don’t know why microwave radiation gets a free pass when there’s way more evidence to support that it causes disease than caffeine does.” 

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