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  • Last modified 12 days ago (Oct. 10, 2019)

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A lesson in towering ignorance

This just in: A new study confirms that exposure to dire warnings about the threats posed by everyday items can be hazardous to your health.

To reduce this ever-present and growing peril, thoughtful communities around the world are banding together to eliminate what research has shown to be the greatest source of danger: the Internet.

Experts now recommend that all people limit their exposure to texts, email, social media postings, and all other Internet-infected communications systems.

Young people and those with influence over them are especially susceptible and should be blocked from ever communicating with anyone else because of the dangers posed by websites posted not by foreign powers intent on disrupting our elections but by domestic terrorists who have come to be known by their new scientific name — “crackpots.”

Don’t believe us? There’s a website that proves it. We should know. We just posted it.

The instantaneous way in which well-meaning but dangerously deceptive information can spread is mind-blogging.

As a society we’ve had to endure dangerous campaigns that tried to keep people from immunizing children because of a false rumor — disproved a thousand times over by legitimate research — that immunizations were linked to autism.

As a county we’ve had to endure similar false science about the supposed impact of wind farms. And now, as a city, we’re hearing about the supposed dangers cell phone towers might pose for children in nearby schools.

Yes, there are plenty of sites on the Internet — none of them run by legitimate scientists — that will support each and every one of these claims.

There also are many times that many sites — sites that are operated by experts, who actually understand the issues — attempting to debunk these rumors.

Truth is, the greatest health peril most humans face from electromagnetic fields probably comes from hair dryers. And the greatest health impact in general (other than alcohol, tobacco, and poor eating) probably comes from caffeine consumed in coffee, pop, and so-called energy drinks.

Anything with a screen — TV sets, computers, laptops, tables, smartphones — emits electromagnetic frequencies, as does anything with a motor or, for the most part that runs on electricity. The wavelengths involved with those sources of radiation actually are much more likely to cause the type of damage that cell towers are accused of. So are TV transmitters. KSN, KWCH and KAKE, not to mention police and fire radios, are much more likely to cause DNA damage and cancer.

A big danger lurking in each of our kitchens is not so much the microwave oven as it is the refrigerator, which also contains dangerous and environmentally damaging gases.

We’d better protect our kids from these things and go back to a Stone Age way of life, living in caves. Oh, wait a minute. There might be radon in our cave. So maybe we should stay outdoors in the sun. Oops, there’s ultraviolet radiation there, so we have to choose between lung cancer and skin cancer.

There goes sunbathing and, with the legitimate dangers of blue-green algae, almost all water sports.

If Internet-addled but well-meaning parents really want to protect their children, they should ban them from using phones, coffee, soft drinks, refrigerators, and hair dryers, and eliminate the single most dangerous feature of Marion High School: its parking lot.

The scientifically debunked dangers of cell phone towers are absolutely trivial compared to the very real danger of allowing teenagers to drive, yet the school outright encourages this by designating parking spaces for students.

Science isn’t a game of he said, she said. Just because something claims to be a study or is posted on a website doesn’t make it true, particularly when someone who doesn’t understand the study’s limitations conveniently cites it as evidence for something it was never intended to address.

What we do know about are cars. They’re extremely hazardous to our health, especially for teens. If people want to put effort into something meaningful, put effort into banning teens from using them.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified Oct. 10, 2019

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