When, Exactly, Do We Panic?
- The bone marrow of a child’s head absorbs 10 times more radiation than an adult, while those of infants and toddlers will absorb even more.
- Every major well-designed study ever conducted has found that those who use cell phones regularly for half an hour a day or more for a decade have a doubled risk of brain cancer, and those who began using cell phones as teenagers have four to five times more disease, in less than 10 years.
- Most disconcerting are findings from the highly respected Prof. Nesrin Seyhan, the NATO-supported founding chairman of the Biophysics Department at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey, whose studies repeatedly show that prenatally exposed rats and rabbits have fewer brain cells.
I read this information with a pit in my stomach. Not because I let my children play with my phone (I do, of course), and not because I use my cell phone more than 30 minutes a day (I don’t hold it next to my head that long, but I use it, and often).
The pit was because I don’t know when to panic anymore. Everything is dangerous. Whatever you are eating/wearing/breathing/using to read this post is going to kill you. Have a nice day!
I could go with a “don’t worry, be happy” approach to health warnings. In some ways I do; in some ways, I just try to have a little faith.
Faith – in whatever it is you put your faith – does not translate to please sit on your rump, shoot radiation into your brain, eat trans-fats, guzzle a hormone-laced latte, and watch Jersey Shore, and do not worry, it will all be okay. Because you? You have faith!
Whatever you believe, I still think we have to do our part. We have to be responsible, active participants in our lives. So tell me, when do I panic about all the things I’m doing to harm my children? Is it now? I’m starting to think it’s now.
Our entire world is wireless, internet enabled, and radiating rays of one kind or another. Food is fake, chemically altered, genetically modified. The sun, it’s so bright, that I gotta wear shades, SPF 4 bazillion, and long sleeved shirts.
Things look kind of like this at our house:
- We don’t let the kids chew on our phones or even play with them that often. But occasionally, yes. They use the computer now and then. Not every day, but a lot of days. And they watch TV. Every day. The Cell-Computer-TV Trifecta: part radiation, part brain-rotting entertainment.
- We’re careful about food at our house. Not iron-fisted, but careful. We buy organic, and shop locally when we can. We cook. We also eat out sometimes, and accept times when we have little control, like at birthday parties or on Christmas when none of it counts (right?). Sometimes – brace yourselves – we order pizza or Chinese food. Yep.
- Mark and I make efforts to apply SPF to all four of us every day, and always for prolonged outside time. But I do let the kids go outside without sunscreen now and then. They wear hats, and sometimes even agree to sunglasses. But there are times when the hats get tossed aside.
Should I do more, and if so, how much more?
There’s this voice I hear when I’m trying to excuse potentially dangerous decisions. The voice sounds kind of lazy, kind of cranky, and says, We’re all dying of something some time, so just roll with it. Have a cheetoh! That lab rat only died because they fed it exclusively cheetohs. You? You also drink coffee and eat hamburgers, so you’re good.
And this much is true: I have no desire to live to a ripe old age, requiring my kids to agonize over my long-term care, or heaven forbid, change my diapers. No way. I mean, as long as I have my mental faculties and can get around, then fine. But the minute I break a hip or start to think I’m Rue McClanahan, I’d like for someone to “accidentally” “trip” me and send me tush over teakettle down the stairs.
We are all dying, and there’s something to be said for punching the clock before you become infirm. I have no designs on cheating death. Immortality is uninteresting. Immortality sounds exhausting.
But I absolutely don’t want my loved ones – my babies – to die a painful, cancer-ridden death because I let them play Peekaboo Barn. So tell me, how will I ever know if I’m doing enough?
When – tell me, please – when do I panic?
*Even though this article inspired some serious concern, I still got a kick out of the title: Cell Phones, Radiation & Your Child’s Health (Giveaway!). At a cursory glance, it screams, Radiation is fun! So Fun That We’re Giving It Away!
Thanks for a giggle, even if I never laugh again because I’m so worried about fried brains.
:: How do you process the never-ending barrage of new reports screaming, The Latest Everyday Object/Food/Activity That Will Put You In The Grave!! Tonight at 5, 6, and 10!