Some time ago, I made a big to-do about smart electric meters and the fact that they might be hazardous to our health. The general response I got was: you got to be kidding. Sometimes from the more heavily invested the response is: there is insufficient evidence to make that conclusion. The World Health Organization concluded that electromagnetic fields from cell phones and wireless devices could possibly cause cancer. The general response was: yeah right, you got to be kidding. Researchers found that babies born to women who are exposed to strong electromagnetic fields during pregnancy had three times the risk of developing asthma compared those whose mothers were not exposed to strong electromagnetic fields. I haven’t heard yet but I suspect that the general response will be: you got to be kidding.
It’s not a joking matter. When 33 percent of children born to women with the highest electromagnetic field exposure develop asthma this is serious. It’s even serious for those with lower levels of exposure where the percentage was only 13 percent. Only 13 percent? I admit it’s difficult to understand how that could happen because electromagnetic fields are very illusive. You can’t hear them, see them, smell them, or taste them. You certainly can’t touch them. Based on the number of people denying their effects, they obviously don’t exist. They must be like the ghosts that come out around Halloween. Yet late at night when all the lights are off I am amazed at how many little red, blue, and green lights that are ON in my house. Some blinking – some not – but all of them trying to tell me something and the ones associated with cell phones and wi-fi stuff are telling me that I’m being irradiated.
What if electromagnetic fields really do exist and they cause all of these health problems? We will be in big doo-doo if that’s the case. Electrical/electronic devices are such a necessary part of our lives that shutting even some of these OFF will be like going back to the Stone Age. Never the less we know that low-level electromagnetic fields effect cell functions and we know that high level electromagnetic fields can warm up your coffee, cook your hot dog, and do-in gremlins if they happen to take refuge in your microwave. We also know that they can cause cataracts. Dr. Ken Atkinson even has a patent on a whole body microwave to destroy cancer cells.
Even with all that we know … we still don’t know what levels are safe, or even if there is a level that is safe. We don’t know if some individuals are more sensitive to RF than others and we don’t know if the type and frequency of modulation has any affect. We only seem to know or at least acknowledge the thermal effects of RF energy. But the thermal effects of RF energy are different than simply applying heat by conduction or convection. The material properties are changed by radiation. For example, microwaved coffee doesn’t taste the same and blood warmed by a microwave is destroyed and cannot be used for patient transfusions.
For a short article with some very interesting reading about cell phone and RF safety check out this wikipedia write-up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_radiation_and_health … and may the RF not be with you!
S Buchholz says
I read through the wiki page cited and found it to be nowhere near as alarmist as this blog. Contrary to your intimation, I suspect that those who are directly involved in work in the field (IYW "more heavily invested") are concerned about understanding the effects of EM radiation on the human body, and choose to continue to work in the field based on their reasonable assessment of the data.
Where is the citation to the reference of the asthma study? At this point I'm tempted to file it with the connection between immunizations and autism.
I expect to read about the pushback from the dangers of smart meters from the local news station; I would hope that the people involved in reporting issues related to the industry would adopt a more reasoned response. There is no question, exposure to high power EM radiation is very dangerous, but to date the studies of long term exposure to radiation levels below the defined safe limits tend to show that there is no risk.
WOW! If it wasn't for EM fields we would all live to 120 and the increase in human longevity in the last 100 years is an illusion. I would like to see the study you cited about asthma. I started in the EMC field in 1963 and have such scare stories almost from the time I started. I am aware of no studies about non thermal effects of EM radiation on human health the have been validated by the scientific community. Give me a break! and no I don't have skin in the game.
Joel Richard says
"The material properties are changed by radiation. For example, microwaved coffee doesn't taste the same and blood warmed by a microwave is destroyed and cannot be used for patient transfusions."
Microwave ovens cause the water molecule to rotate generating friction heat. Only once the heat is sufficient does it begin to damage cellular organisms. In the case of a Microwave the amplitude of the signal is about 60 dBm or more.
The only way RF can cause damage to us is by creating enough friction heat to destroy cells inside us.
Even in the case of a cell phone being held to ones head for exaggerated periods of time, the actual energy absorbed is ridiculously low. The additional heat generated would be unnoticeable.
A basic understanding of the signal levels in which we are exposed is enough to understand how insignificant the risk is to the average person.
Seriously, Fear mongering is all this is and it is irresponsible to repeat unsubstantiated claims such as these.
You don't need to be close either. When will we pay attention to the large EM source 149,600,000 km away from us! There is direct evidence that without shielding this source causes burns and cancer in humans! 100% of humans with asthma are exposed to this source!
I am truly sorry I took the time to click this link!
ITEM Media says
Read Ron Brewer's response to the comments above in his latest post, "Do We Only Believe Things that Match Our Opinion?"
P. Trybus says
From Paragraph 1: "Researchers found that babies born to women who are exposed to strong electromagnetic fields during pregnancy had three times the risk of developing asthma compared those whose mothers were not exposed to strong electromagnetic fields."
From Paragraph 2: "When 33 percent of children born to women with the highest electromagnetic field exposure develop asthma this is serious."
It may be serious, but the conclusion is clearly incorrect!! The first paragraph says the RISK increases by a factor of 3, not the actual incidence of asthma. Does not compute!! You go from a RISK of developing asthma in a normal population to a prediction of 33% incidence of asthma in the EM exposure. This conclusion is complete nonsense!!!
Re Asthma, how about looking at what these people are eating as well, it's proven that E numbers in food cause problems, especially for children but the food manufacturers still ram them down out throats..
Maybe a study of Radio Hams should be taken. They tend to operate in the near field and at levels above the ICNRP guidelines for exposure.
Having been to Dayton this year they seem to be aging well..