3:21pm Friday 20th August 2010
STEVE Thompson (SA Aug 12) claims that because natural electromagnetic radiation has been around since the year dot, those who question the wisdom of allowing ever-increasing levels of man-made radiation are talking nonsense. I question his logic. For instance, one could say that carbon dioxide, too, has been around since the Big Bang, but it certainly isn’t nonsense to advise against breathing in CO2-laden car exhausts for any length of time.
Mr Thompson goes on to say that ‘every child has a mobile phone which they hold to their heads without ill effect.’ Not so, I’m afraid, Dr Martha Linet of the US National Cancer Institute says ‘Studies on ionizing radiation have shown that children are most sensitive in terms of carcinogenic exposure to radiation.’ Magda Havas Ph D (Trent University, Canada) makes a forthright statement: ‘Electromagnetic pollution is harmful at orders of magnitude well below existing guidelines. The science is being ignored.’ To describe us as ‘potentially dangerous Luddites’ does nothing to further Mr Thompson’s argument. (This from the man who is on record as saying ‘all name calling is bullying and I totally deplore the practice!’) How SHOC asking only for a cautious approach, can be described as dangerous is a mystery to me. Perhaps Mr Thompson can enlighten us. If we are Luddites then we are proud to be associated with many others who must share that label, including Dr George Carlo, former head of the $28.5million mobile phone health research programme, and Sir William Stewart, former head of the UK Health Protection Agency, both of whom have been consistently urging caution.S As an analogy, let us suppose that cigarette smoking had been introduced for the first time in 2005, and had been quickly taken up by millions of people throughout the UK. There would be scant evidence in 2010 that it caused cancer, heart disease, emphysema etc. Over the next 20 years or so, evidence would begin to accumulate and the tobacco companies would undoubtedly spend huge sums trying to convince us that there was ‘no consistent evidence’ of a link. The government, heavily lobbied and receiving billions in taxes from tobacco sales, would be reluctant to curtail our smoking. We might hear ‘the man in the pub’ saying things like ‘My father smoked 60 a day all his life and lived to 86.’ As if that proved smoking was harmless. The current situation with electromagnetic radiation parallels that scenario.
Mr Thompson is rather like the man in the pub. I suggest he consider the following from a GP, Dr Mark Potter: ‘My rule is that where there is conflicting evidence about whether something is bad for you, it is unlikely to be that harmful, so stop worrying about it.’ But that was before a member of my family who lives on his mobile, had a rain tumour diagnosed.
BASIL JONES Stop Harming Our Children (SHOC) Grosvenor Road Old Town Swindon
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