SEATTLE - Some residents in West Seattle are putting up a fight against a plan to erect 12 new cell phone antennas in the middle of the Alki Beach neighborhood. Dozens gathered at Alki Beach on Thursday night to try to protest the additional antennas.
"We've got 69 cell towers within one square mile of Alki," Alki resident Eric Sico said. "This is actually the highest concentration of cell towers in Seattle."
Residents claim the antennas could harm the health of children at a nearby school and park. They say there are already enough cell phone antennas in the area, and adding more puts people's health at risk.
"Basically cancer rates are three times higher within one quarter mile of a cell tower," Alki Beach resident Eric Sico said.
Verizon Wireless wants to install the antennas on top of an apartment building which is just blocks from Alki Elementary School and Schmitz Park.
In a statement Verizon said that the same apartment where they are proposing new antennas has hosted antennas for the last 12 years (with a different provider). All of their work complies with FCC standards and Verizon says they need to put up the additional antennas to keep up with the increased demand for data.
Verizon said 70% of 911 calls are made from mobile devices and they need to ensure the signal is strong whenever people need to use their cell phone. The U.S. government and the cell phone industry say there is no danger from wireless antennas.
The neighborhood group has filed an appeal with the city to stop the new antennas. That decision is expected in July.