The Ecologist, 19 September 2012
Behind the profit-fuelled rise of smartphones and tablets, microwave pollution is a serious assault on health.
Known for their beauty, aspens have been in decline across North America, with some dramatic losses in recent years. Aware of the rapid growth of radiofrequency (RF) radiation, particularly from mobile-phone ‘towers’, Colorado researcher Katie Haggerty had an inspiration: she planted three test plots of aspen seedlings. Carefully matched in all other respects, one plot was shielded from a nearby town’s RF radiation, one was ‘mock’ shielded, and the other was left unprotected. The difference, recorded in the International Journal of Forestry Research, was startling: the fully shielded saplings were vigorous and healthy, but both the ‘mock’ shielded and the exposed plants were small, lacked pigments, and had sickly leaves.
Such studies are but whispers on the wind compared to the billion-pound clamour of marketing campaigns telling us: “You must have smartphones!” (Must we?) “You can’t live without them!” (Really?)