Do You Suffer From "Electromagnetic Anxiety"?
Penelope Green writes in the New York Times with suggestions for reducing your exposure to EMF, or electromagnetic fields. Some people take the issue very seriously; In Canada, there is a university without wifi; in Sweden there are cellphone-free beaches for people suffering from electrosensitivity; some worry that hybrid cars might be a problem.
Given the state of knowledge about the issue, her suggestions don't seem particularly unreasonable.
How to make a tinfoil hat
She spoke with Louis Slesin of Microwave News, who gave her the following suggestions:
1. Don't ever use an electric blanket.
2. Make sure you know where your fuse/electric service box is and don't let anyone sleep near it.
3. Don't spend a lot of time within a yard of any appliance that's plugged in (move the clock radio away from your bed).
4. Don't let your kids watch food cook in a microwave oven.
5. Keep the Wi-Fi router as far away from your family as possible. "Tuck it in a corner or a closet," Mr. Slesin said.
6. Embrace the landline and get rid of the cordless phone.
7. Don't give any child a cellphone.
8. Get a wire -- as opposed to a Bluetooth -- headset for your cellphone.
But with only one exception, her readers were completely dismissive. "Funny how the article (or consultant) doesn't even mention what scientific evidence there is to support their claims." and "Clearly the advice is quite bogus."..."This is woo-woo pseudoscience. There is no science behind this. None. At all."..."Well, what about getting at least a basic understanding of science and technology? "....You know, if there is evidence that American schools are failing at teaching even basic science, this article is it...."I would strongly recommend you put a metal colander on your head."
Yet the big study that was going to put the issue to bed, the Interphone study of cellphone use, was considered by many to be inconclusive. Many believe that there still aren't enough data. Certainly after five years of reading about this stuff, I am not as dismissive as Penelope's readers. What about you?