Ripon School Investigation Turns Up Carcinogens in the Soil Vapor


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The Modesto Bee and CBS’ KMAX-TV (“Good Day Sacramento”) both ran stories late last week finally exonerating the cell tower industry of being the cancer-causing agent in Weston Elementary’s school children. Inside Towers reported on the flap in March as a series of “experts” were dutifully quoted by various media outlets as to the harmful effects of tower-generated microwave emissions. The stories were subsequently picked up and used throughout the U.S. and the world (the London Examiner, for one) by local groups and residents fighting tower structures on school grounds. The monopole’s owner, Sprint, under pressure, took down the tower to appease residents.  

In May, the focus shifted away from towers as the groundwater in Ripon was tested by the Regional Water Board and found to contain high elements of TCE, a residual chemical from a Nestle’s factory that had been operating near the school. Further studies released earlier in September have cited the soil vapor containing PCE, a carcinogenic solvent found in dry-cleaning as a leading contributor to local cancer-causing occurrences. 

KMAX-TV said the PCE is not related to the Nestle’s plant but found near sewer pipes in the area. The report entitled the Interim Report on Soil Vapor and Groundwater Investigations Former Nestle Ripon Site by Hayley Aldrich was released by the school district on September 8.

By Jim Fryer, Inside Towers Managing Editor

October 1, 2019

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