Better Safe Than Sorry?
I once had an editor (not a Care2 editor) chide me for wanting to write about electromagnetic fields and how to avoid them. In a holier-than-thou tone of voice, he said that they don’t write about controversial health topics until the science about the health impact is clearly resolved.
Well, hello. What do you think? Was he right?
We live in a business culture where manufacturers can put toxic chemicals on the market–such as pesticides and solvents made of petroleum distillates–until they are proven unsafe. Only then are they removed.
Isn’t the editor buying into the existing system to wait until the proof is in the toxic pudding?
My approach is to write about any product that has some health concern flags raised so that we, consumers who care about our health and the health of our families, can learn enough to take a precautionary approach. An example would be with food dyes, which are coming off the market one by one as they are shown to be neurotoxic and carcinogenic. Why not be cautious and skip food dyes with your kids until the expected outcome comes to pass and they all are removed? My daughter survived with cake frosting made of blue from blueberry juice and red from raspberries. And she ingested antioxidants to boot.
Regarding the electromagnetic fields (EMFs), a poll taken in the early 90s noted that EMFs have garnered enough fear to rank them as the number one health fear in the United States. Wouldn’t you rather know some good news about how easy it is to live away from them (while we wait to find out if they are killing us or not) than to hear nothing? For example, it is just as easy to move your bed away from the wall it shares with the refrigerator in the kitchen on the other side. Just 3 to 6 feet away from such an appliance and the fields drop off considerably. Why not rest easy knowing that if EMFs are shown to cause leukemia, you’ve avoided them?
I’d like to know what you think about the editor’s decision to axe the story about easy ways to reduce your exposure to EMFs. And yes, I would have been careful to say that the jury is out about just how sick they may make us.