Are wearables exposing us to unwanted health risks?

In the growing age of the Internet of Things (IoT), the increased exposure to radiation has become a topic of concern, and more articles are starting to pop up explaining this little understood topic.  Recently, Dr. Rajan Pandey discussed these health hazards, especially with wearable devices, beginning with an interesting comparison.

“Back when smoking was accepted for both men and women in the US, a majority of physicians smoked. Yet, there was rising public worry about the risks associated with the use of cigarettes. The marketing response of tobacco companies was to employ the aide of physicians who reportedly saw no problem with the use of cigarettes,” he said. “As these ads, using doctors, continued through the 1950s, executives in the tobacco industry used the physician image to put to rest any concerns the customers might have that their cigarette brands were unsafe.”

Today, he added, “we face this same sort of marketing agenda, in regards to fitness wearables.”

Dr. Pandey states that many of these fitness wearables are untested, unscientific and can cause anxiety. While these wearables are being paraded as the greatest new thing in the health industry, they may actually be imposing great risk.

Q: What are some of the health problems associated with these wearable devices?

Dr. Pandey: Radiation that is released by these gadgets can cause reduced sperm counts, eye irritation, headaches, reduced appetite, nausea, mood swings and sleep disruption.

In this day and age, there is a plethora of IoT gadgets and gizmos, which has become the norm in society. These devices have become so ingrained in the regular lives of people, despite the cost, and these people are surely paying a high price, in more ways than one.

Q: What is considered to be the cause of these wearable devices becoming such a massive health risk to people?

Dr. Pandey: The Electro-Magnetic Radiation (EMR) and radio signals, which are released continuously by these gadgets, have become one of the most toxic forms of pollution and a major health concern. With the constant use of cell phones and electronic devices, which offer near constant connectivity, hazardous toxins are wreaking havoc on the human body slowly and surely. EMR has actually been categorized as a slow poison by some countries.

Q: Aren’t many of these wearable devices designed to improve a person’s health?

Dr. Pandey: Fitness fanatics and beginners alike all use these gadgets geared toward exercise, such as Smart Watches. Cell phones are usually kept by their users in pockets.   Even when people aren’t using their devices, the devices are still interacting with towers, and the radiation that is released can be harmful to the area of the body that is close to the phone. All this may lead to interference with heart beat patterns, because the natural electrical pacemakers are disrupted by the radiation emitted from these devices.  Keeping a mobile phone in a pants pocket increases the chances of a reduced sperm count. Headaches, irritation to the eyes, reduced appetite, sleep problems and mood swings are all things that a person could suffer from due to overuse of these devices.

Wearables may pose highest risk to children

Dr. Pandey states that children are the ones at risk the most, due to their skulls being thinner, and their still developing nervous systems. And aside from the actual environmental toxins emitted from these IoT wearable devices, there is another danger produced.  People are so engrossed in their gadgets, they are not paying attention to the real world.  Many accidents are caused by drivers who are texting, or pedestrians who are walking, while simultaneously staring at their phones.  This issue has caused many cities across the country to incorporate laws forbidding the use of cell phones while driving.

Q: Is there any research to support the fact that these devices are harmful?

Dr. Pandey: There is existing information from the WHO panel that consisted of 31 scientists from 14 countries, in which the panel deduced that cell phones were “possibly carcinogenic” and the devices could be as toxic as certain pesticides. The WHO panel also recognized that the amount of distance a device is from a person’s head directly correlates with the level of pollution they are exposed to, so it is safer to text than make a phone call, where the phone would be touching a person’s ear.”

Wearable technology won’t be disappearing and will most likely continue to increase.  But adults and children alike need to limit the amount of time they spend connected to their devices.  Don’t keep these IoT devices near you when you don’t need to.  Try to minimize your exposure.

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