Is electricity killing us?

I think I’ve found my feet now (they were behind the sofa all along) so it’s about time I asked a serious question. This has bothered me for sometime, so here it is :-

At the moment I am sat at work in front of a computer. To my left is my land-line phone, to my right my mobile phone. Within a 5 foot radius of my desk are at least 10 other computer terminals. Above my head are headache-inducing lights and below my feet are reams of cable. At lunch time it is likely that I’ll listen to my personal stereo for an hour, after heating my lunch in the canteen microwave… [take a deep breath] So I’ve been wondering if this wonderful modern world of ours will be the death of us. There are tests doing the rounds with regard to mobile phones warming the brain, but as far as my biology class took me I recall that the brain is run on something akin to electricity, no? If I can tell that my mobile is ringing whilst I have my walkman on because it ‘affects’ it, what is all this electricity doing to my brain? :frowning:

Don’t worry so much about the electricity Stimp.

Just pay attention when you eat your lunch. Don’t eat hot dogs as there has been no definitive answer as to the contents of them.

Obviously they pose more of a threat to you than electricity. I mean, think about it. Could something that allows your Playstation to function actually be bad for you. It would take a sick and twisted god to do something like that.

Not much. While there is no consensus as yet on whether the electro-magnetic fields generated by the appliances you mention have a harmful effect on human health, the very fact that there is no consensus after thousands of studies seems to imply that the effect is either small or zero.

You are on the right track, though, to worry more about household/office appliances (low voltage, high current, close proximity) rather than high-tension cables (high voltage, low current, at least several metres away).

… are there really accepted levels of rodent hair in hotdogs?? this reminds me of a comedy one-off called ‘paul calf’s video diary’ :-

They are eating pies…

“What meat is this? Red, white?”
“Well, sort of brown.”

But seriously, I feel like I need to go and sit in a field sometimes. Maybe if we all sat in fields for an hour a day, away from electricity, we wouldn’t be so stupid as a human race… wait, did I just right “But seriously”!

Tell you what Stimpy, we need a bold volunteer to tell the electric company to shut off the power. They need to dump all the battery powered devices. too! Let’s go back to the early 1800’s.

But not me, I’d die without my stuff and will kill you if you try and take it.

you’re right Jimpy, i’d miss my brand spanking dvd player more than i’ll miss the dog when he finally pops his clogs. but if it took so long for ‘them’ to tell us that smoking was bad for you [duh, inhaling smoke is bad for you? who’d have guessed?], how long before we’re firing batteries up our noses without a care in the world to run phones that are just pads on our fingertips… and then they spring it on us that this shit is bad for us, but our brains are too mushed to care!!!

I think that High power electricity probably does some damage. EMF genarated by powerlines,RF from your cellphone etc.But we live longer with the good that electricity provides.Just think, you don’t have to go home after a day working as a blacksmith and chop wood for a fire so you can eat supper.You don’t have to read by candlelight so your eyes are probably going to last longer.Millions of everyday things that electricity provides that make life easier on your fragile body.

All the evidence is that electrical or magnetic fields have no harmful effects. However some people continue to insist they do; often citing the same studies that concluded there’s no danger and generally demonstrating a poor grasp of statistics.

No one has ever found a direct causitive agent which links electricity with any health problem (surprisingly, the same is true of smoking). In the absense of this, you could prove a link with statistics. If you can demonstrate that people who are exposed to electricity have certain health problems at a significantly different rate than people who aren’t exposed, you can assume a link exists even if you don’t know what it is. This is why smoking is considered a proven health risk. However, no study has ever shown an similiar statistical link involving electricity.

You can’t prove causation only with statistics.

Also, there are some known mechanisms to link smoking to cancer; for example, a chemical in tobacco “tar” has been shown to cause mutations in lung cells.

I’ve actually looked into this a little. What I found…

The National Research Council’s "Possible Health Effects of Exposure to Residential Electric and Magnetic Fields (Oct 96) talks about how Congress, in 1991, asked the National Academy of Sciences to review the scientific literature on the effects from exposure to low-freq EM fields (mainly by powerlines) and to determine if there is a scientific basis for possible adverse health effects. Their conclusion was that the current body of evidence does not show that powerlines are a hazard. (at least, there is no conclusive evidence)

Better yet, here’s what Cecil says…