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  • In 2005, Ann Louise Gittleman was diagnosed with a benign tumor of the parotid, one of the salivary glands located just below the earlobe. Itfs a very rare tumor most often caused by ionizing radiation from x-rays, which she hadnft been exposed to. But, she had been addicted to her cell phone, and on it constantly, for years.

    In 2008, researchers in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that individuals who kept their cell phone against one side of their head for several hours a day were 50 percent more likely to develop parotid tumors.

    Unfortunately, like most Americans, she was under the false assumption that cell phones and other household electronics were safe. Now, she knows better. And it is even more crucial to be aware of the danger to children.

    Paul J. Rosch, MD, clinical professor of medicine and psychiatry at New York Medical College and emeritus member of The Bioelectromagnetics Society says, "Children are more severely affected because their brains are developing and their skulls are thinner. A two-minute call can alter brain function in a child for an hour, which is why other countries ban or discourage mobile phone use under the age of 18."


    In fact, the very electronic and digital innovations that have made modern life more convenient and efficient are also exposing people to thousands of artificial electromagnetic frequencies and wavelengths never before experienced by human beings. There are simple ways to reduce exposure in the rooms where Americans spend the most time in-the bedroom, family room, and home office:

    Remove Wi-Fi and cordless phone chargers in the bedrooms
    Cordless phone chargers emit radio frequency power even when not in use. The pulsed digital signals are more damaging than the analog signals, and they should not be anywhere near the head of the bed. Baby monitors should not be placed closer than six feet to the crib.

    Walls do not stop magnetic fields
    The backs of refrigerators produce large electromagnetic fields which go through walls-so if a family room shares a wall with the refrigerator, the sofa should not be against that wall. It is also recommended to stay out of the kitchen when self-cleaning ovens are operating; these oven settings use very high wattage to burn debris off the oven walls.

    Don't cradle your laptop
    It may be called a laptop, but pregnant women especially should keep a good distance. Even before birth, children are exposed to electro-pollution in the womb. Since a fetus spends 40 weeks essentially floating in a sack of water (a well-known conductor of electricity), it is particularly vulnerable.

    Consumers need to be more aware. San Francisco became the first city in the nation to adopt an ordinance requiring retailers to inform consumers about the radiation levels of mobile phones at point of sale. This and similar measures should be implemented in every retail outlet selling mobile phones (and other electronics) throughout the country.

    Everyone's at risk when it comes to electro-pollution, the new invisible pollutant. It was once thought cigarettes, lead paint and tanning beds were safe. Electro-pollution has the potential of being even more deadly for people now, future generations and our planet.