BY MATTHEW LYSIAK
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Call it reading, writing and radiation.
Parents at Public School 185 in Bay Ridge are outraged that six cell phone towers were erected directly across the street from the school over a recent weekend.
"I'm scared of what we don't know," said Elizabeth Juliano, whose 5-year-old son attends the school. "Without evidence either way, we should err on the side of caution. This is just stupid."
Calls from concerned parents flooded the local community board only hours after the towers were erected.
"They installed them when no one was around in hopes of falling under the radar," said Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann of the towers, which appeared on the rooftops at 8701 Ridge Blvd. "Within hours, my phone was ringing off the hook with angry parents afraid that radiation . . . was going to give their kids cancer."
Scientists have said health risks from cell phone towers are slight because of low radiation levels - but that hasn't stopped people from being wary.
This most recent uprising could radiate throughout the five boroughs as state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge) may push legislation that would ban tower installation within 500 feet of schools.
"I strongly denounce the installation of a cell phone tower directly across from PS 185 and am reviewing my options legislatively," Golden said.
Golden first introduced the legislation almost two years ago, after parents of St. Anselm's School fought the construction of a Sprint/Nextel tower to be placed atop a nearby building at 8300 Fourth Ave. St.
Anselm parents also didn't know the tower was coming until a crane showed up late one night.
The legislation failed but the accompanying public relations were successful in halting the construction. Golden said the new towers across from PS 185 - two of which are pointed directly at classrooms - may be the final straw.
But the science on cell towers shows that signals emitted are no more likely to cause cancer than a television set. That's because the type of radiation emitted from the towers, which is more like radio waves than X-rays, is harmless, said Verizon spokesman David Samberg.
"[The cell phone industry] has been around for over 20 years, and no one has ever found that these signals can hurt people," Samberg said. "As for notification, we work transparently with the building owner, and if they request that we speak to the community, we do so gladly."
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