At least seven children were diagnosed with cancer in a single California city of less than 16,000. Their families suspect that toxic chemicals from a Nestle factory are to blame.
Five of these children visit and live near primary school, three of whom were also treated for cancer last year. They are near a now-deactivated cell tower and a former Nestle plant suspected of causing carcinogenic TCE.
Cancer clusters like this one in Ripon are compelling, but it's a big challenge for scientists and lawyers to prove that environmental toxins are unlikely to cause high disease rates.
The families first teamed to shut down the cell tower, and have now doubled their efforts to urge the city to study the groundwater of the area, CBS reported.
At least seven children, including these two boys (left Kyle Prime) in Ripon, California, were diagnosed with cancer. The parents of the children now suspect that a carcinogen in the city's drinking water could be responsible for the illnesses of their children
. "My gut tells me something is causing problems here," Kellie Prime, whose son Kyle is one of the seven sick children, said CBS.
Kyle was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2016 at the age of nine.
He is now in remission, but his cancer has given Kyle and his mother the horrors of their lives, a memory that pursues and motivates Kellie.
"I looked him in the eye and saw the fear he had at the age of nine, and asked," Mom, I'm going to die, "" she recalled an April interview.
Kyle Prime (left) is currently suffering from kidney cancer, but the fight has been devastating for him and his mother, who are now struggling to investigate the extent of a carcinogen in the city's water.
fight too. It would force every parent to fight. & # 39;
She and the other parents first turned their attention to a cell phone tower on the Weston Elementary campus where Kyle and four other sick children went to school.
In the 2018-2019 school year, only 419 students were enrolled at the Weston Elementary.
The rate of childhood cancer at this particular school is almost 62 times higher than the national rate of 19.3 out of every 100,000 children under the age of 19.
If the national quota were limited to primary school children, the difference would be many times greater.
At first, the family believed that the children there might have been exposed to high radiation doses of a Spring cell tower on campus.
Watchdog organizations such as the Environmental Working Group (EEC) have been ringing alarms for years about the potential carcinogenic properties of mobile phone radiation (RF).
US authorities have rated the risk as minimal and the World Health Organization classifies it as only a potential risk.
According to CBS, the Sprint Tower functioned within the state's limits of radiation intensity, but eventually agreed with parents' request to turn off the tower.
The families first gave sprint a cell tower on the Weston Elementary campus, at the time of the accident five children and three employees were diagnosed with cancer
RF is not the only toxin that tracks Ripon.
Just a mile away from Weston is the former production facility of a Nestle plant, where the company produced decaffeinated coffee in the 1970s.
A chemical called trichlorethylene (TCE) used to make the product.
Unlike RF, TCE is a known carcinogen.
Although the factory closed in 1994, a 2002 lawsuit brought Nestle in to contaminate the Ripon groundwater well and ordered the company to pay $ 1 million to the city.
Last year, city drinking tests showed that TCE levels were up to 90 percent of the federal limit for the chemical.
A former Nestle facility, believed by Ripon families to be the source of the district's drinking water for the carcinogenic TCE, is only 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from Weston Elementary
The contaminated well has been According to Nestle, 30 years of cleanup had been done and four months later the city insisted that the drinking water was safe.
Kellie and the other parents are not so sure.
Cochran lawyers, who have in the past obtained cases and settlements against companies for water pollution, are not investigating the case, reported the bees from Modesto.
The city of Ripon told Modesto Bee that it was conducting further testing for one of its sources of contamination, and the District Water Authority has continued to request the Nestle test for residual TCE vapor in the soil.
Kellie Prime and the other families of pediatric cancer patients in Ripon want to continue until each stone has been knocked over in search of a carcinogen.
"I will not stop until it's done, until that thing" – whatever it is that explains the crabs that have met their son and others – "has disappeared," Kellie told CBS.