While advocates trivialize citizen concerns regarding wireless technology, calling them the "high tension wires of our time," others have referred to cell phones, Wi-Fi, and electrosmog as the asbestos and secondhand smoke of 2020. It is natural to wonder that if wireless technology such as smart meters can disturb sensitive electronic devices in homes, what they will they do to sensitive organs and systems in our bodies, especially the brain and nervous system, which are themselves electromagnetic systems.
The fact is people do experience symptoms, sometimes debilitating, in proximity to these devices. Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS) does exist, is well documented in Europe, and is estimated to affect 5 percent of the population, though those numbers are sure to rise as the level of electrosmog in the environment increases. Consider the possibility that such people may be today's "miner's canaries" and that their suffering may be the future for all of us who live in this "mine."
Humans aren't the only ones affected. It turns out, all living systems are extremely sensitive to low level electromagnetic fields. Animals avoid cell phone towers and electromagnetic fields, trees die back, and cows, where farmers have been paid to keep cell phone towers, have increased cancers, immune disorders, miscarriages, birth defects, and lower milk production.
Many studies can be found with serious implications for human health. I direct the reader's attention to Bees, Birds, and Mankind, Destroying Nature by Electrosmog by Dr. Ulrich Warnke, a world renowned bioscientist at Saarland University, specializing in environmental and biomedicine and biophysics. His research shows how and why wireless technologies disrupt the orientation and navigation of birds and bees.
Advocates do not take into account the cumulative effects of 24/7 exposure to the ever increasing levels of electrosmog in our daily environment. Also, many of the studies referenced are old, conducted when cell phone use was much lower.
Instead we should be asking a lot of questions. What goes into the manufacture and production of a technology and its products? What are the energy usages, toxicity, waste, and labor practices involved? What are the possible hazards or dangers posed to the physical, psychological, and social health of human and non human communities, indeed the whole natural world?
Only when we can answer these questions can we decide if it is truly worth having this in our world, and if so, how to make it safer, provide full disclosure to citizens with concerns or special needs, and preserve their right to maintain healthy environments at home, and in public areas.
Molly Rose has worked most recently as an early child educator and as an administrator for a non-profit. She lives in Palo Alto with her family.
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