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Cell tower causes some concern for Catalina residents

CATALINA — Controversy brewed in Catalina Wednesday, centering around a cell tower on the property of the Golder Ranch Fire District.

Heidi Miller is a mother to two toddlers. They live about 100 feet from the tower.

“The only thing I think about is my children,” Miller said. “You can see this right outside their window, they sleep under it.”

Miller worries about the potential effects of radiation coming from the radio waves off of the tower.

Verizon contracted Golder Ranch Fire back in 2017 to get the tower and Pima County officials signed off.

“We thought it would be great for the community to increase the cell phone service simply because a lot of people don’t carry landlines anymore so their cell phones are the only way to access the 911 system,” Capt. Adam Jarrold with Golder Ranch Fire said.

“If you just think it’s all radiation, it might scare you,” scientist Gerald Bushberg said.

Bushberg is a clinical professor of Radiation Oncology at UC Davis. According to Bushberg, the power and frequency of the radio waves associated with the cell tower are low.

The professor calls this cell tower a plus for this community.

“Now more people, if there’s an accident or a lost child or whatever, there’s going to be more people that have better coverage to report something that doesn’t look quite right,” Bushberg said.

Elizabeth Kelley, the executive director of the Electromagnetic Safety Alliance doesn’t agree.

“I would not live here, it’s too dangerous,” Kelley said. “The exposure to the tower can affect reproduction, neurology and can cause cancer.”

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Eric Fink

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