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5G coming to Chico

The City of Chico is going 5G, even though some people worry it may make them sick.

Posted: Jul 3, 2019 3:13 PM
Updated: Jul 3, 2019 5:26 PM

CHICO, Calif.- "I'm on my phone to check the weather in the morning, I use it at work, to get coffee, at the bank. I think it's just a part of the evolution of technology and it's just kind of ingrained in our lives now," said Jamie Engel who lives in Chico.

The more than 300 million cell-phone-dependent Americans now have from the federal government.

This year the FCC gave cell phone companies the right to install 5G equipment across the nation.

If a city doesn't create guidelines, companies can do whatever they want.

"We had to pass legislation on an emergency basis to make sure we occupied that space," said Chico Mayor Randall Stone.

The plan is to designate about 100 locations across the city, primarily on street lights, hat providers can rent to put their equipment on.

"It's exciting that we're going to have access to better technology like that," said Jonathan Espinoza, who lives in Chico.

Not everyone agrees.

"I've heard about people actually moving from their houses because their neighborhood has 5G," said one Chico man.

His fears?

"Shorter wavelengths penetrate skin and your body harder than longer wavelengths.. there are just a lot of links to bad health problems because of them and how they affect you," he said.

The EPA says "At very high levels, radio frequency energy is dangerous... Cellphones and wireless networks produce RF, but not at levels that cause significant heating."

The mayor says it's out of his hands.

"We can't at all take into consideration features of radiation, permeation through the body. Those were absolutely factors we were precluded from discussing or debating over," said Mayor Stone.

"If it's proven over that 15 year period of time maybe we look into finding something else, but as of now our society kind of runs on it, so I think we should risk it," Engel said.

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