A cell phone tower on a Coachella Valley school campus is the focus of a major health study. About a year a ago teachers at Vista Del Monte Elementary School became concerned their campus was the reason for a cancer cluster.
Over a half dozen teachers reported getting cancer while teaching at the school located Near Indian Canyon Drive and Racquet Club Road.
As a result, the school district paid for a lengthy analysis of the dirty electricity and the cell phone tower in the middle of campus.
Leeka Kheifets, a professor of epidemiology at UCLA’s School of Public Health analyzed what people call dirty electricity, the magnetic and electric fields emitted from plugged in electronics. She also wanted to find out if the extremely low frequency electo-magnetic fields from the cell tower installed in 2004 were the cause of the cancers. Mold and water clarity issues were also examined
The study pointed out that staff had different kinds of cancers which led them to believe it wasn’t a cancer cluster. Mauricio Arellano,
Asst. Superintendent of Human Resources said, “We want people to feel safe when they are at work. If they’re concerned about something else, it makes work a little bit harder.”
After months of research, Kheifets gave the school the all clear. The study discovered all radio frequency measurements were 1000’s to to 100th of thousands times below what the Federal Communications Commission allows.
The magnetic fields in the classrooms were at .31 to .4 MG’s, way below the guidelines established by the International Comission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection. The mold and water checked out okay. In the final report she summed it up by saying, “Current measurements indicated very low average fields.”
Ever since Paul Ortega moved in across the street he’s been concerned. He said, “I’m not convinced the surveys have answered the questions.
The cell tower is rented to Sprint for $2,000 a month for 25 years. A new tower is also being built at Cathedral City High School. The district will receive $1,700 dollars a month.