Electromagnetic Pollution and a Prescription for Survival

Article excerpt

(Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in Issue #66.)

An electronic smog is engulfing our society: A legacy of pleasure and luxury bestowed upon us by ingenious technology.

The dangers from electromagnetic fields are being created artificially by an over,flow of microwave ovens, television sets, electric appliances, and cellular phones.

But a costly price is being paid. Many diseases and disorders are now attributed to the consequences of radiation.

Fortunately, preventive measures are available: A diet that can fortify the immune system and reduce the ravages of radiation.

The following information has been gleaned from interviews and research pertaining to the dangers of radiation. It includes questions posed to scientists specializing in studying the phenomena of electromagnetic fields and their proliferation.

Q. What are radiation and radioactivity?

A. The universe abounds with radioactivity. Our bodies are alive because we possess an electrical system. Radiation is the transmission of energy. Modern living and the use of electricity have increased the electromagnetic field in which we exist.

Q. If radiation is a part of life and our heritage, what is there about it that should frighten us? Why consider a natural force a health hazard?

A. During the billions of years during which life evolved on the planet, radioactivity must have played a positive role; why the concern? Proliferation. We are surrounded by a flood of radiation unprecedented in the history of the human race.

The sun, once considered the essence of our existence, can also be hazardous to human health by overexposure to its rays. The expansion of electromagnetic fields creates contaminants (radioactive particles) that penetrate our air, food, the bloodstream, and our bones.

Q. How has the proliferation of radiation affected the workplace?

A. Consider how many devices and silent sources of electronic pollution have entered our modern factories, offices, hospitals, and homes. Practically all cause extra exposure to radiation: power plants, television tubes, and radar food irradiators, dental machinery, video display terminals, product scanners, -microwave ovens, electronic games, and-most worrisome of all-industry's need to replace every possible human function with an electronic "robot."

Don't overlook low-frequency radiation that surrounds us-radio and television towers, remote-control garage doors, satellites, high voltage electric lines, police radios, microwave ovens, citizen's band radios, and countless more being added periodically.

Q. How much does radon contribute to radioactivity in a house?

A. Uranium emits a radioactive gas that has captured the attention of environmentalists. Fortunately, it can be diverted by specially built exhausts that can be installed by a radon specialist or a qualified plumber.

Radon pollution is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Q. To what extent does cigarette smoking increase inhalation of radiation?

A. Researchers at Harvard University have discovered that cigarettes contain large amounts of radiation inherent in tobacco: The culprit is a fertilizer used by growers that contains phosphates rich in uranium. The uranium eventually decays to radium and, eventually to polonium-210, a substance that, when inhaled, can endanger tissue health and damage the immune system.

Q. We have been assured that limiting nuclear testing has reduced radioactive fallout and consequently has lessened pollution in the atmosphere. True or false?

A. False, according to Hans Bethe, winner of the 1967 Nobel Prize for Physics. He claims that underground nuclear testing does not eliminate radiation pollution. "People want to eliminate the danger of nuclear weapons by technical means. The wish is futile," he concluded. …

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