Wearing Your Smartphone – Not Too Smart?
Monday, November 11, 2013
NEW YORK - Wearable phones and computers are on loads of shopping lists as the holiday season approaches, but scientists are warning that research indicates they present likely health risks - especially from cell-phone radiation.
Dr. David Gultekin, a research physicist at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, showed that cell-phone radiation creates hot spots in cows' brains - a troublesome finding. Dr. Hugh Taylor, chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine, exposed pregnant mice to close-up cell-phone signals and observed the offspring behaving like children with attention deficit disorder.
"I think all these radiation-emitting technologies deserve a proper evaluation that includes not only exposure to adults but what happens to the fetus, the most vulnerable stage of life," Taylor said.
Many scientists question the accuracy of industry-funded research. They say money for government and foundation-funded research is scarce, and that when they report on the evidence of risk, the mainstream media - like those lab mice - have a short attention span.
Dr. Martin Blank, retired associate professor of physiology and cellular biophysics at Columbia University and a DNA expert, said research like that which found the DNA of mice altered by cell-phone exposure is more than enough to prompt action.
"When you get a situation where a problem arises, you invoke what's known as the precautionary principle," he said. "You take a certain amount of precaution as a result of a risk that has been identified."
Gultekin said wearable gadgets are brought to the marketplace with little concern for safety.
"When they're designing and developing a new product and introducing it, very rarely the health aspects of it is mentioned, or not mentioned at all," he said.
Advocates recommend keeping cell phones and other devices away from sensitive body parts and especially caution pregnant women against holding cell phones near their abdomens or in handbags carried near their bodies.
Just as the lies about the health threats from cigarettes were eventually exposed by someone from inside the tobacco industry, Dr. Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health, said he hopes the same will happen regarding the risks of electromagnetic fields.
"I've been waiting for a whistle-blower for the last five years since I've been involved in this issue, but haven't had any forthcoming, unfortunately," he said. "But if you know of any whistle-blowers and they want to send me documents, I can assure that they will be protected."
An educational forum for the public will bring together many of the leading experts on electromagnetic fields on Friday at the New York Open Center in New York City. More information is online at electromagnetichealth.org.
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