Investigation Shifts to Water as Cancer Causing Agent in Ripon, CA


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UPDATE The fingers that once pointed upward at the monopole at Weston Elementary with scorn and accusation as the cause of cancer are now pointing downward at the water supply as the source of their troubles.  Parents of the stricken children have conducted their own investigation of the high rate of cancer in the area and, with the help of KOVR-TV’s investigative reporters, have found a more likely suspect in the case: trichloroethylene (TCE).

The reporters investigated records going back decades that monitored the local drinking water and found a Nestle’s plant in the ‘70’s produced quantities of TCE to manufacture decaffeinated coffee. 

The substance later turned up in the groundwater in the ‘80’s. The drug is a leading agent in causing kidney and liver cancer, according to the report.  One of the affected children has been diagnosed with kidney cancer and a neighbor was stricken with liver cancer, KOVR-TV reported.

Although the city is supposed to monitor the quality of the drinking water, KOVR-TV reporters found certain wells near the school were either missed or went unreported by local authorities.  

The monopole is gone, having been removed by Sprint as a conciliatory gesture to acknowledge the concerns of aggrieved parents. Neither Sprint nor the representatives from the Ripon Unified School District were available for comment.

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By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers

May 6, 2019

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