News Column

Toxicity and Mobile Technologies

July 1, 2014

Docksai, Rick

Toxicity and Mobile Technologies Overpowered: What Science Tells Us About the Dangers of Cell Phones and Other WiFi-Age Devices by Martin Blank. Seven Stories. 2014. 271 pages. $23.95.

Mobile phones are incredibly useful, but what effects do they have on our long-term health? Martin Blank delves into this question and presents a heavily sciencebacked case for concern.

Like any electronic device, mobile phones emit electromagnetic radiation. As dozens of studies over the years have shown, recurring exposure to even small amounts of this radiation brings on higher incidence of numerous adverse health effects. Blank reviews a multitude of these studies, the findings of which include higher incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and mood disorders such as depression, all stemming from overexposure to radiation from telephones and telephone lines.

Concerns over phone-related radiation harms have arisen since the early 1980s, when researchers first noticed increased cancer rates in people living near telephone lines. The concerns heightened in the 1990s with the profusion of mobile phones, and have gained an even higher pitch in more recent years, not only because far more consumers now own mobile phones, but also because the amount of time that they spend on their phones in an average week has increased by five- or sixfold. Meanwhile, scientists who sound the alarm on the radiation's dangers get sidelined and silenced by telecommunications industry groups and the government officials who are beholden to them.

It's not only we humans who are at risk. Blank documents additional harms to birds, plants, and insects- three vital links to food chains everywhere-stemming from electromagnetic radiation exposure. All show damage to DNA and reduced ability to respond to stresses in the environment.

We don't need to give up our cell phones, Blank explains, but he advises us to modify our devices and how we use them. Otherwise, he warns, our radiation exposure and the health effects associated with it will only grow, as more electronic devices continue to populate our surroundings.

Electromagnetic radiation and its health risks are a complex subject, but Blank breaks it down effectively for lay audiences everywhere. Readers who want to know the hard science behind the issue will find an accessible and helpful resource in Overpowered. -RD

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Futurist, The

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