WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Hundreds of people are petitioning for the removal of a cellphone tower in Williamson County. Right before the school year started, the tower was placed close to Trinity Elementary School.
From health concerns to a lack of transparency, neighbors spoke to News 2 about their frustrations.
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“I think the most concerning thing is the tower appeared overnight,” Heather Bulan said.
On Monday night, neighbors spoke out during the Williamson County Board of Commissioners meeting.
“Parents have been left in the dark, the community is shocked and scared and we know many parents are going to keep their kids home because of the hazards,” Lee Wilson said Monday evening.
This comes after more than 730 people signed a petition for the tower to be removed.
A few weeks ago, neighbors also met with the company, Vogue Towers. Neighbors were told that the tower is in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines.
The FCC said there’s no reason to believe cell phone towers near homes or schools are a safety hazard.
“Those guidelines are in question; they haven’t been updated since 1996,” Bulan said.
Bulan began her own research into the possible health effects surrounding electromagnetic radiation. “American Cancer Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, they all say we need more research and that’s all we are asking for.”
Until then, neighbors are asking that the tower be removed and placed at least 1,500 feet away from the school.
Bulan told News 2 that the tower sits 587 feet from the school.
She said neighbors also want to prevent the company from building near any other school in the district. “We want more studies, but the sad and ironic thing is this is the study, it’s putting [towers] up and seeing what happens and we are just not comfortable with that.”
News 2 reached out to Vogue Towers. The tower company responded, writing: “Vogue has performed additional studies and presented by a third party consultant that are experts in the country to perform RF testing and have provided confirmation that everything is within, and very much below, the required legal limits of any emissions that would come from the wireless carriers on the structure. We just completed a second study that showed the tower at the existing location and then at a projected distance of 1,500 to which there is really no difference.”
Bulan told News 2 they would prefer any radiation studies be done by a third party that both residents and Vogue Towers can mutually agree upon.