Thursday, January 22, 2015
Milpitas school board studies effects of three cell towers in district
Cell phone towers at Alexander Rose Elementary School, Rancho Milpitas Middle School and Milpitas High School have been a source of concern for parents in the school district, many of whom were not previously aware there were such towers on campuses.
Last November, Crown Castle requested to renew a cell tower lease at Rancho. District staff, at the advisement of board and after hearing parents' concerns about the health effects cell towers might have on students, requested a radiofrequency environmental study before renewal.
The board also asked the consultant to conduct tests at Rose and Milpitas High.
Ulitmately, the district selected from the Federal Communications Commission's radiofrequency consultant list Dr. Jerrold Bushberg, vice president of the National Council on Radiaton Protection and Measurements. Bushberg is also a professor of clinical radiology at the University of California at Davis Medical School to conduct the studies.
At Milpitas Unified's Board of Education meeting Jan. 13, trustees approved a $10,980 contract for Bushberg to conduct the tests at the sites and present his findings at next week's meeting, Tuesday, Jan 27.
Parents have started a petition on change.org asking the district to not renew the contract because a "wide range of negative health effects are manifested on people who live near cell towers, however, study after study has shown that children are much more vulnerable than adults due to their developing brain and thinner skulls. This puts them at an increased risk for a wide range of health problems including leukemia, headaches, behavioral problems and DNA damage."
A number of parents told the Milpitas Post that unless there is scientific evidence to prove cell towers are safe, they do not want to take chances with their children's health and safety.
Parents also said Bushberg's history of ruling in favor of cell towers at other sites such as California State University at Fresno, does not bode well for the removal of the cell towers "if he is the lone unbiased third party expert."
The district receives about $100,000 a year from cell tower companies for allowing the towers on their campuses.Contact Aliyah Mohammed at email@example.com or 408-262-2454 or follow her on twitter.com/Aliyah_JM. Visit us on our social media sites at facebook.com/MilpitasPost and twitter.com/MilpitasPost.