Your parents always told you that staying indoors with your face glued to the TV set would do little to improve your health. Well, it looks like they finally have some evidence to back up their claims: a new study conducted by scientists at the Imperial College London has demonstrated that electrical fields from various electronic devices - including computers and televisions - can cause asthma, influenza and several other respiratory diseases. This so-called "electro-smog" has long been denounced by campaigners worried about the rapid proliferation of cell phones, Wi-Fi systems and other gizmos in our increasingly connected society.
The team of researchers found that electrical fields given off by the devices could charge millions of tiny particles in the air, including bacteria, allergens and pollutants. The charge made it easier for them to adhere to the tissue of the lung and respiratory tract, prompting infections and a host of debilitating diseases. Gadgets emitting high electrical fields were the greatest source of concern: the most charged particles would typically hit tissues with the highest speed, causing them to become deformed and to stick more stubbornly. Furthermore, the scientists also found that the fields could reduce concentrations of charged oxygen - which, when absorbed by the human body, can ameliorate biological functions and eliminate pathogens.
Aside from the obvious (don't spend all your time with your face glued to the monitor), they suggested that people ensure that all their electrical equipment be earthed, that they avoid synthetic materials and that they unplug devices not being used. Shouldn't be too hard to follow, right?
See also: ::E-waste Recycling is Serious Health Threat in China, ::Watching Your Wd/wh
Image courtesy of nateOne via flickr