The recent activities at a school in Ripon, California toward a Sprint tower and its perceived cancer-causing RF emissions have gotten traction with parents across the country, having been cited in zoning meetings in Aurora, Colorado and Germantown, Tennessee as reported by Inside Towers. Four students and three teachers at the Weston Elementary School have been diagnosed with cancer. The backlash has been strong enough for Sprint to agree to remove the tower.
“We do understand and respect the views of the community. We’re committed to being good neighbors,” Adrienne Norton of Sprint Corporate Communications said last week. Although Norton added, “It’s actually operating at less than one percent, hundreds of times below federal limits.”
The Ripon Unified School District, in response to the claims, has had the site tested twice over the past two years with results backing Sprint’s claim and showing the tower well under FCC standards. The latest study by William Hammett, P.E. of Hammett & Edison, a consulting engineering firm in San Francisco, concluded the following in late January of this year:
“The measurement equipment used was a Wandel & Goltermann Type EMR-300 Radiation Meter with Type 18 Isotropic Electric Field Probe (Serial No. C-0010). The meter and probe were under current calibration by the manufacturer. The maximum observed power density level for a person at ground near the site was 0.000032 mW/cm2, which is 0.016% of the most restrictive public limit. The three-dimensional perimeter of RF levels equal to the public exposure limit did not reach any publicly accessible areas.”
The Weston parents hired their own consultant, Eric Windheim, of Windheim EMF, an “Electro Magnetic Radiation Specialist” with credentials from the International Institute for Building Biology & Ecology who found widely different readings, prompting him to say, “he wouldn’t send his kids to that school.” On his website, Windheim, certified by the aforementioned New Mexico-based “institute” in 2015, after “12 months, four certification seminars, 21 courses of study and 14,000 air miles” touts his effectiveness at lowering EMF in the home. Using his “smart meter,” Windheim said he recently, “lowered a 10 mG magnetic field found on the pillows of the master bed to a very low and safe level of .25 mG. It is a real challenge, a lot of fun and clients feel better as the result!”
“He’s a tin hat,” said Lawrence Behr of LBA in an interview with Inside Towers, “part of the EMF Cult crowd.” Behr is the President of LBA Group, a 56-year old engineering consulting firm and is also Director of the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers.
Behr said Windheim’s results were inaccurate due to both using substandard meter-reading equipment and poor extrapolation of his findings.
“He didn’t understand the math much less the instrument,” Behr said. “His math was off, and once it was corrected, it comes out to fitting FCC standards. But this is coming from a guy who has been quoted to say, ‘he doesn’t believe in FCC standards’, since he has his own EMRS non-FCC recognized version.”
Behr said Windheim’s meter readings (from a meter costing around $1,200, about one tenth the price of that used by LBA and Hammett & Edison) showed spikes of 3500MHz. Sprint, Behr pointed out, operates all of their sites between 1800 and 2500 MHz. and that Windheim was likely incorporating a WiFi signal into the mix, which can add 10-to-15 percent to the readings and possibly more, depending on the time of day (parents picking up kids at closing, etc.). Behr and his staff use two kinds of meters, the NARDA and EMCTD precision RF survey meters, which have a weighted scale that tells you what the percentage is from various sources.
“It’s a very unprofessional study,” Behr said of Windheim’s work, adding those findings, if and when they are brought up in court, have very little or no chance of succeeding.
By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers
April 4, 2019