COMMERCE (CBSLA.com) — Firefighters rallied outside a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday morning in Downtown Los Angeles over cell phone towers they fear pose serious health risks to dozens of L.A. County fire stations.
Crews at the Commerce fire station have dinner right under a tower recently placed in the area. L.A. County Fire Capt. Lewis Currier tells CBS2/KCAL9 they worry about the exposure.
“We have 10 times the cancer rate of a lot of cancers, and leukemia, than the general population. We don’t need more exposure,” Currier said.
Lauren Barron grew up in Commerce and lives a mile from the tower. She says she received a notification in the mail only after it went up.
“[I’m] newly married. Kids are hopefully in the future, and knowing I’m subjecting myself to an area that has that type of risks is just unfair and, you know, as a future mother it’s just unbearable to think,” she said.
One hundred seventy-seven cellphone towers are expected to be erected around L.A. County, mostly near police and fire stations, where firefighters say at least a dozen have already gone up.
A spokesperson for LA-RICS, the agency tasked with installing the new towers, says they are meant to improve communication during emergency responses by integrating communications with dozens of police and fire departments; and they wouldn’t have be placed if they were thought to be dangerous.
A public service announcement has meanwhile been created asking the Board of Supervisors to stop the towers from going up.