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Parents Blame Elementary School's Cell Tower After 4th Student Diagnosed With Cancer

RIPON (CBS13) — A fourth child has been diagnosed with cancer at a San Joaquin County elementary school, and parents believe it's because of radiation caused by a cell phone tower.

The towers are spread throughout the community, but it's this particular one that parents say needs to go.

"We had a doctor tell us that it's 100 percent environmental, the kind of tumor that he has," said Monica Ferrulli.

Her son Mason was the second child to be diagnosed with cancer in just three years at Weston Elementary. He was 10-years-old and walked by this cell phone tower daily.

"It's indescribable, it's really tough," she said.

"It's one of the hardest things that I've been through," said Joe Prime.

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Prime's son Kyle was the first, diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2016. And two more kids were diagnosed this year.

"It just seems like coincidence is no longer a reason for all this illness," Prime said.

They believe it's this cell phone tower that's harming their kids.

"Kids shouldn't be guinea pigs and we shouldn't be taking chances with the children's lives," Prime said.

The district has had several tests done saying the tower is safe and meets federal regulations. But some families weren't convinced and hired an expert.

"I wouldn't send my kids there at all, it absolutely is dangerous," said Eric Windheim, an electromagnetic radiation specialist. "Children are still developing and their cells are still being divided. It's the worst possible time in their life to be exposed."

He says it's not just a cell tower, it also transmits wireless frequencies.

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"Instead of only going 300 yards like regular Wi-Fi, Y-Max can go 30 miles," he said.

Parents want the mast removed, but the district won't budge. Parents say the district gets a kickback of $2,000 a month to have the tower for a telephone company, but the district so far has not commented.

"It's a real disappointment that it's taking moms of sick children and dads of sick children to come out and say something needs to be done," Prime said.

Ferrulli's son Mason has also since relapsed and is undergoing brain cancer treatments while a fourth child from has recently been diagnosed and taken out of school.

They say it's not just a battle now for their children, but a fight these parents say they won't give up.

"There's a lot of kids that we love that still go to the school, so we are fighting for them," Ferrulli said.

The district sent out a letter to parents saying that the electric magnetic frequencies are far below federal standards and have completed a thorough investigation and do not have any plans of removing the cell phone tower on campus.

ALSO: Swipe below to see a few items on's list of safe things that were once considered dangerous. Full list

The writers of the 1901 Boston Daily Globe article "Don't Wear Clothes: That is, if You Would be Entirely Healthy..." wrote: "If the doctors are to be believed, the wearing of clothes is more dangerous to human life than their utter absence would be." Doctors consulted for the article said that wearing cotton and linen as well as waistcoats and garters were "a permanent menace to life and health."
Licking Stamps
In the early part of the 20th century, long before stamps became stickers, The New York Times warned against the dangers of licking stamps. (photo credit: iStock)
We were always warned not to swallow gum because it could get stuck in your intestines for seven years. This is false. It'll pass through you like all other food, but it's still not a good thing to do. (photo credit: iStock)
The Color Purple
Interior decorators in the early 1900s wouldn't use purple. A Boston Globe article from 1903—titled "Dangerous Tints: Some Colors Will Drive a Person Mad if the Eyes Are Continually Looking at Them." (photo credit: Thinkstock)
In 1926, the Washington Post reported on a girl who perished after dancing the Charleston. (photo credit: iStock)
On the wrong platter, the tomato had the power to kill. Some European aristocrats became sick and died after eating tomatoes, earning the fruit the title "poison apple." The tomato itself wasn't deadly—but its high acidity caused it to "leach lead" from the pewter plate, resulting in lead poisoning. (photo credit: iStock)
Public Transportation Straps
Hanging onto public transportation straps were said to put too much physical strain on women's muscles and their internal organs. (photo credit: iStock)
Girls Playing Competitive Sports
The the 1920s, people used to think that in order for girls to stay desirable and get married, they need to refrain from practicing competitive sports (photo credit: iStock)
Dungeons & Dragons
In the 1980s, the popular role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, or D&D, came under fire when suicides and murders were loosely linked to the game. Here's a full list of complaints against the game. (photo credit: iStock)
Sitting Too Close to the TV
Long before flatscreen TVs, they used to emit radiation that could affect viewers' eyesight if they were exposed for a long time. in 1967, a "factory error" GE TVs to emit 10 to 100,000 times the amount of radiation health officials deemed acceptable. The problem was quickly corrected. Radiation is no longer a worry, but watching screens for prolonged periods can still strain your eyes. TVs are the least of our problems.
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