We are bathed in all kinds of invisible energies. From cosmic rays to radio waves, we have no choice in the matter. Well, we do have some choice, but not much.
In the 1960’s my father was a computer whiz. He deliberately flunked out of college so that he could leave and join the Navy. There he learned much of what there was to know about electronics. Despite his higher educational choice, he was very smart and soon became the guy who’d fly off to the Pentagon to fix the computers they used for war games and firing nuclear missiles from ships. In part due to his influence, I grew up passionately immersed in the sciences, including computers. While I was notorious for my endless questions, the possibility of unintentional harm, questioning the reassuring understanding of the experts, had yet to enter my consciousness.
My first awareness of the sea of electromagnetic radiation we swim in came from a sixth grade take-your-child-to-work day. I do not remember much about that day, excepting one particular room. Some of the most sensitive work they did at this company was performed inside a room that had to be insulated from electromagnetic radiation. The room was unlike any other I have been in or seen at any time in my life. The room was made of copper and surrounded by wire coils constructed to block EMR. The strangest part of the experience was that inside this metallic echoing room it seemed surprisingly and strikingly peaceful and “quiet”. I was just 10 years old and blindly in love with science and technology. It was startling, unexpected and, as I became more questioning over the years, disturbingly laden with potential concerns.
EMR is another of the ways in which we have profoundly changed our environment in recent decades. It is not terribly surprising then, that we are more than a bit ignorant as to the impacts of the changes. For years research evidence has bounced back and forth on the ill effects of cell phones on our brains. Most of that concern has been whether cell phones increase the risk of cancer.
The results of medical research are usually considered dubious if the outcome is unexpected, particularly if those results challenge fundamental scientific “understanding”. There are MANY ironies in this. First, the reason we follow scientific methods is precisely to overcome our biases. Why then do we disbelieve our own results? Second, third, fourth and fifth (ad infinitum), scientific discoveries proving that we were previously totally wrong are common. That is how science advances. That is why we do science.
We now have clear evidence that cell phone radiation does in fact alter brain metabolism. A study of 47 individuals was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association a week ago showing a 7% increase in the metabolism of glucose (the brain’s energy source) in the parts of the brain closest to the cell phone antenna.
The study did not show that this caused cancer or was harmful in any way. Actually there is evidence that electromagnetic radiation to the brain can cure otherwise incurable depression, so this cell phone jazz could be positive. I think the odds are against that. Certainly now, the evidence of a measurable biological affect should help us stifle our biases pooh poohing this issue. It should also make you think a bit about your own EMR radiation exposures from cell phones, etc.
I suggest reading the book, DISCONNECT, by Devra Davis as food for thought. She is a serious researcher formerly at Johns Hopkins and the National Cancer Institutes. Another of her books, THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WAR ON CANCER, despite it sensationalist title, is an excellent source of information on environmental causes of cancer. DISCONNECT is not as good, but still worth your time.