Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Has the Smart Phone Replaced the Cigarette?

To see recent research on addiction to smart phones, 
social media and internet gaming: http://bit.ly/addictionsaferemr.

Consumer cultivation?

Child advocates urge Facebook to end Messenger Kids

Hamza Shaban, Washington Post, Jan 30, 2018

"More than 100 child advocates, civil society groups, medical experts and other individuals are urging Facebook to discontinue its Messenger app for kids, alleging that the software poses health and development risks to children.

Organized by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, nineteen groups, including Common Sense Media and Public Citizen, have signed a letter to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg that will be sent on Tuesday. The initiative is the latest example of critics opposing early adoption of digital technology and is playing out amid a broader backlash against the rising influence of Silicon Valley.

The signatories said children are not prepared for online relationships and lack an understanding of privacy and the appropriateness of sharing texts, pictures and videos. Citing research that suggests a link between social media use and higher rates of depression among teens, the letter states it would be irresponsible for Facebook to expose preschool-aged children to a similar service. In addition, the signatories expressed concerns over boosting the screen time of young children and said this would interfere with crucial developmental skills such as reading human emotion, delaying gratification and engaging with the physical world."



December 11, 2017

Is the smart phone the cigarette of the 21st century?

Yesterday cigarette companies published the following notice in major newspapers in the U.S. as part of a year-long counter-advertising campaign to comply with a Federal court order. 

What if the courts decide some day that the smart phone is the 21st century cigarette -- might we see the following smart phone ad?

July 6, 2015

During the past year, I've done several reviews of papers submitted to journals that examined smartphone addiction among young adults. The studies were conducted in different countries. The wireless industry claims to have sold more than one billion smartphones last year. Thus smartphone addiction is quickly becoming a global public health issue.  

Now for some anecdotal observations ...  Yesterday, I observed student cell phone-related behavior while walking across the UC Berkeley campus to do a lecture on the health risks of cell phones. More than half of the students I passed were carrying or connected to a smart phone. Eighteen students carried the smart phone in their hand while they walked and were not using it. Eighteen students were wearing a wired headset connected to a device in their pants pocket. I could not tell whether or how they were using this device (which was likely a smart phone) as I kept walking. Finally, seven students were on a phone call holding their smart phone next to their ear.

While waiting outside a lecture hall for the prior class to leave, I observed many undergraduates browsing their smartphones to fill the time before their next class. As the lecture hall emptied out, many students pulled out their smartphones as soon as they exited the hall. 

If we rolled the clock back to 1960, what would I have observed walking across campus?  Would many of the students I described above been smoking cigarettes?  Have we substituted one addiction for an another? Has the smart phone replaced the cigarette?

BTW, I am proud to say that the UC Berkeley campus, along with the other UC campuses, has a tobacco-free policy. I did not observe any tobacco use on my trek across campus.

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, March 5, 2015


To see recent research on addiction to smart phones, 
social media and internet gaming: http://bit.ly/addictionsaferemr

Donna Vickroy, Medical Xpress, Dec 27, 2017

Cellphone usage is the new smoking. It's time to follow France's example and stamp it out
Diane Francis, Financial Post, Dec 22, 2017

Phones in schools could be banned for public health reasons in France
Julia Glum, Newsweek, Dec 14, 2017  

Does smartphone addiction show up in teen’s brains?
Dennis Thomas, CBS News. Dec 4, 2017

Smartphone addiction could be changing your brain 
Sandee LaMotte, CNN, Dec 1, 2017

Hooked on your phone? 
Brit McCandless, CBS 60 Minutes, April 9, 2017

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

California’s Cell Phone Safety Guidance: 2017 vs 2009

January 4, 2018 (updated January 17, 2018)

In June, 2009, the Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control in the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) prepared a draft cell phone safety guidance document. Although the document reflected the consensus of the division, it was not released until May, 2017 pursuant to a court order--the outcome of a lawsuit filed under the California Public Records Act.

In December, 2017, the CDPH finally published their cellphone safety guidance document.

A side-by-side comparison of the contents of the original 2009 draft with the 2017 published version of the document appears below. The side-by-side can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/CDPHsidebyside.

For more information: 
Cell Phone Safety Guidance from the California Public Health Department 
California's Cell Phone Safety Guidance: Media Coverage

Monday, January 1, 2018

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety: 2017 Year in Review

EMR Safety addresses scientific and policy developments concerning the health risks from exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Since 2013, it has had over 1.3 million page views by visitors from more than 200 countries which attests to the worldwide concern about the impact of wireless radiation on our health.

During the past year, over half of visitors were from outside the United States with Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, Israel, Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden represented the most. About two-thirds of visitors were 25-54 years of age and 60% were male.

This site provides a curated collection of links to articles on cell phones and cordless phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi, Smart Meters and other wireless devices.  I summarize the peer-reviewed research on health risks associated with wireless radiation including cancer risk, reproductive harm and neurological disorders; and I expose the manufacturing of doubt about these risks by industry-linked scientists.

The following links were the most popular wireless radiation stories in 2017 including related posts and wireless product stories.

Most popular wireless radiation stories in 2017

Most popular wireless product stories in 2017

    AirPods: Are Apple’s New Wireless Earbuds Safe? (Blood-brain barrier effects)