ENCINITAS, Calif. -
Parents of children who attend a North County charter school are growing concerned about the dangers of radiation from cellphone antennas. Some are concerned to the point of withdrawing their children.
The antennas are on the grounds of the El Camino Christian Fellowship which leases space to the charter school, Innovation Centre Encinitas.
Michael Schwaebe showed 10News the instruments he used that indicate to him that there is excessive radiation. The numbers are below federal guidelines, but Piper Lacy, one of the parents, told 10News said, "This is legal, but that does not mean it is safe."
Several parents, though they love the school, have left. Sonya Goodwin is one of them.
"I've taken her out because I don't know in ten years if I might regret keeping her in this amazing community," she said.
There are three sets of cellphone antennas in the parking lot and another dozen are clustered in the church bell tower. The antennas face away from the classrooms but building biologist and engineer Schwaebe said there is fringe radiation at work.
"Even if it isn't a direct push, there are side aspects and there's definite radiation in that classroom," he said.
School was not in session on Tuesday but the senior pastor at the church, Larry Peltier, said an expert from UC Davis tested the area and declared it safe.
"I have not had concerns in the past… neither am I concerned about it now other than there are parents here in the charter school we lease to that have concerns so that concerns me on their behalf," said Peltier.
Some of those parents are looking at a bigger picture as well.
"Regulations we have in this country are completely outdated," Lacy said.
Nitya Rawal added, "I pulled my son out of school two weeks ago, but I would like to see no cell towers in any schools in San Diego."
There is growing debate over radiation dangers worldwide and this is just one school where it has become an action issue.