Monday, May 08, 2006

electronic "smog" causing cancers and allergies?

Independent Online Edition > Environment:

"Invisible 'smog', created by the electricity that powers our civilisation, is giving children cancer, causing miscarriages and suicides and making some people allergic to modern life, new scientific evidence reveals.

The evidence - which is being taken seriously by national and international bodies and authorities - suggests that almost everyone is being exposed to a new form of pollution with countless sources in daily use in every home.

Two official Department of Health reports on the smog are to be presented to ministers next month, and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has recently held the first meeting of an expert group charged with developing advice to the public on the threat.

The UN's World Health Organisation (WHO) calls the electronic smog 'one of the most common and fastest growing environmental influences' and stresses that it 'takes seriously' concerns about the health effects. It adds that 'everyone in the world' is exposed to it and that 'levels will continue to increase as technology advances'.

Wiring creates electrical fields, one component of the smog, even when nothing is turned on. And all electrical equipment - from TVs to toasters - give off another one, magnetic fields. The fields rapidly decrease with distance but appliances such as hair dryers and electric shavers, used close to the head, can give high exposures. Electric blankets and clock radios near to beds produce even higher doses because people are exposed to them for many hours while sleeping.

Radio frequency fields - yet another component - are emitted by microwave ovens, TV and radio transmitters, mobile phone masts and phones themselves, also used close to the head.

The WHO says that the smog could interfere with the tiny natural electrical currents that help to drive the human body. Nerves relay signals by transmitting electric impulses, for example, while the use of electrocardiograms testify to the electrical activity of the heart."

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