Electrosmog – Are We Getting Too Much?

They claim phones are safe, and that they have scientific proof, SO WHAT IS KEEPING THEM FROM GIVING "GUARANTY´S" FOR SAFETY"?


“Electrosmog” – Are We Getting Too Much?

September 19, 2005

There's no getting away from it: we are bombarded with electromagnetic radiation from remote control devices, cell phones and other sources. But is the bombardment harmful? It depends who you ask. Ergonomics enters the issue when it comes to taking action. A switch that turns off the radiation can claim ergonomic credentials. So can a warning device. People worried about when to take action represent a ready market for an "electrosmog" meter released recently in Britain.

London-based Sensory Perspective says its new Electrosmog Detector meters potentially harmful pollution - described as electrosmog -- from nearby wireless technologies. The hand-sized battery-powered meter has a speaker that signals if there is a large concentration of activity in the wireless spectrum between 50MHz and 3000MHz. The company regards cordless phones, cell phones, wireless computer networks, baby alarms, microwaves and other appliances as polluting.

It cites studies implicating so-called electrosmog in a host of conditions, including one the British Department of Health, the Health Protection Agency and the World Health Organization call electrosensitivity or electrohypersensitivity (EHS). Adverse health effects attributed to EHS include chronic fatigue, depression, headaches, epilepsy, behavioral changes in children, disrupted sleep patterns and skin complaints. The company said its research shows that between 3 percent and 5 percent of the general population could be at risk from radiation pollution.

The July 27 issue of The Ergonomics Report™ ergonomicsreport.com, a publication for professionals requiring in-dept coverage of current ergonomics issues, focused on the potential harm of cell phones. It cited 1998 research linking cell phone use with high blood pressure, and a Swedish study published in 2002 that linked analog cell phones and brain tumors.

Yet as many other studies dismiss the harm findings, as suggested by the title of the July 27 The Ergonomics Report™: "Are Cell Phones Dangerous? It's Still An Open Question."

Cell phone manufacturers are loud in their denials:

"Years of scientific research reaffirm there are no health risks associated with wireless phones," said Nokia spokesman Keith Nowak.

From Motorola: "Scientific experts review this issue on a continual basis.

Their conclusions have been consistent over many years: the radio signals from wireless telephones, two-way radios or other portable communications devices pose no known health risk."

A study published this year in Psychosomatic Medicine 67:224-232 debunks a study that suggests some individuals are more susceptible to the emissions than others. Dr G. James Rubin and his research team at the Mobile Phone research Unit at King's College in Britain write: "the symptoms reported by 'electromagnetic hypersensitivity' sufferers can be proven experimentally, suggesting the presence of the condition is unrelated to weak electromagnetic fields."

The continuing dispute is fertile ground for scaremongering. Issued by a manufacturer of devices purported to shield users from harmful phone radiation, the scare runs like this: "Don't accept the industry denials that mobile phones are safe. Mobile phones could be the cigarettes of the 21st century with similar legal battles ahead!"

Though researchers may argue forever about the potential for harm, they don't dispute electromagnetic radiation exists. The ergonomic value of an effective meter is that it can provide anyone worried about radiation the kind of information they need to decide if they want to escape - by turning off devices in the vicinity or moving to another spot.

Sources: Sensory Perspective; The Ergonomics Report™

-- Jennifer Anderson



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September 2005

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