ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Ballwin is one of the latest cities asked to be home to an AT&T 5G cell phone tower. The 5G technology is promoted as being a more reliable network and provides faster service, but not everyone is on board.
Amy Weinstein and Ken Dubinsky bought their Ballwin home nine years ago. The cell phone tower would be built just yards from the back of their home. The couple is fighting to get the 5G tower put in a different location. While the impact the 100-foot tower could have on their property value is a concern, it's not their only fear.
“My wife is a cancer survivor, my daughter is a cancer survivor. It’s just a case that, I don’t want to hear in 20 years that oh they have discovered there are health risks. There’s just too much unknown to take that chance," said Dubinsky.
According to the American Cancer Society, "at this time, there’s no strong evidence that exposure to RF waves from cell phone towers causes any noticeable health effects. However, this does not mean that the RF waves from cell phone towers have been proven to be absolutely safe. Most expert organizations agree that more research is needed to help clarify this, especially for any possible long-term effects."
Ken and Amy started a petition, gathering about 70 signatures so far from concerned neighbors and nearby businesses.
Ballwin's city administrator, Eric Sterman, sent News 4 the following statement:
“We understand there have been concerns raised by our residents and business owners. While we empathize, the City has limited authority to regulate these communications towers. In 2014, Missouri Senate Bill 650 passed and states that an authority is not allowed to take certain actions against a wireless communications service provider. The passing of this bill placed restrictions on local governments with respect to cell towers, regardless of the generation of the network (3G, 4G 5G, etc.). So, as a City, we have little control and our options are limited.”
Ballwin's Board of Aldermen was supposed to discuss the cell tower at Monday's meeting, but AT&T has requested the issue not be discussed until September 28th.
Ken and Amy said if Ballwin approves the tower, they will look to move.
“Not only is it gonna be ugly to look at, you just don’t know the what unknowns there are about it," said Weinstein.
News 4 reached out to AT&T for a comment and explanation on why the issue is being tabled for now, but is still waiting to hear back.