The New Apple iPhone - Blessing or Curse?

By: Darlene Hull

In just a single weekend, Apple Inc. managed to sell over 500,000 units of its new Apple iPhone. The anticipation was huge, and while there were a few minor glitches - mostly resolved now - the general consensus is that they were worth waiting for.

The advance of this micro-technology in the form of cell phones, mp3 players, PDA's etc., is creating an amazing dependency on pocket-sized devices, and not just for the techies: stay-at- home-moms, children, even retired grandparents are jumping into the new trend with joyful - and addictive - abandon. We've come a long way, baby!

With all this advancement, however, there is still this minor niggle in the back of my brain that is forced to ask, "but is it really safe?" The verdict is still out on this one, with no one so far able to categorically say that this huge increase in brain and eye cancer is NOT related to cell-phone use; that this little hand-held device and the cell phone towers that power it are NOT causing an increase in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and that these are NOT the issue behind increased infertility, new learning disorders, mysterious illnesses, or even confused bees that can no longer find the hives they've just left.

This new technology behind the Apple iPhone will probably have little or no affect on the retired grandparents as the length of exposure is relatively short. However, young children who are growing up with this micro-technological dependency may well be exposing themselves to some very unpleasant risks. Professor Sir William Stewart, the chairman of the Radiation Protection Division of the Health Protection Agency, said: "I don't think we can put our hands on our hearts and say mobile phones are safe. If there are risks - and we think there may be risks - the people who are going to be most affected are children, and the younger the child, the greater the danger."

The cell-phone companies are assuring us that it's all very safe, to the point where they are now gearing their marketing to younger and younger generations of children, yet they are still putting clauses in their contracts absolving them of any responsibility should there really be issues. And there is also the fact that over sixty people in the medical profession world-wide believe the link between cell-phone use (and other forms of electromagnetic smog) and "mysterious illness" is a big enough risk that they have created the "Freiburger Appeal" requesting that certain precautions be put in place to protect ourselves as much as possible from the effects of the "new pollution" of these EMF's.

Personally, I love the convenience of these new gadgets and can't wait for the day when I, too, can afford the latest model of the Apple iPhone to replace my much used and much loved iPod. However, I hope that by that time someone has come along with the courage and funds to get to the bottom of the question of safety so that the only concern I'll have on that day is finding the time to listen to all the great stuff on my new device.

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