laptop radiation

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by oceangirl10, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68040

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    I'm a bit confused by some of these numbers and dates. The first Gulf War was in 1990. If that Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses report came out in 2008, it was less than 20 years after the fact, not 40 years. 20 years seems to be a reasonably good turnaround time, considering the pace of research and the time it can take to connect the dots on causality.

    However, what do Gulf War Veterans's Illnesses have to do with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)? Are you saying that all those illnesses were shown to be MCS? My understanding is that veterans' exposure to the smoke of burning oilfields exposed them to real smoke inhalation, involving real, identifiable chemical irritants in measurable quantities. On the other hand, MCS is characterized by individuals claiming hypersensitivity to normally-low levels of chemical substances. In other words, they smell things others cannot, and further believe that smelling those things is proof that those things are harmful. In other words, "It smells bad to me, so it must be bad."

    Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
    What about EMF? In physics class I was taught that stood for Electro-Motive Force, or electromagnetic field. That covers a very wide range of energy levels and frequencies, some which can be harmful, many others that are not. All life on earth has evolved in the presence of the planet's electromagnetic field. Now, man-made electromagnetic fields are part of the mix, starting around the time of Thomas Edison (well, Morse and Bell, who pre-date Edison by a bit). Surely causality should have been established by now, more than 150 years later. Yet what we have instead are perennial suspicions that it must, somehow, be bad for us.

    The problem with Alternative Medicine (and plain old conventional medicine) is that, as earnest and honest as most practitioners may be, it is also a cloak for plain old quackery. If there is a patient out there in search of a treatment, there will undoubtedly be a charlatan or two (hundred) willing to agree with the patient's self-diagnosis and separate him from his money. The presence of someone offering a treatment is hardly proof that the treatment is valid or effective. That's a fundamental reason agencies like the FDA, medical licensing boards, peer-reviewed journals, etc. were created in the first place.

    Like monkeys with typewriters, or broken clocks that are correct twice daily, there will always be the occasional example of a disregarded voice in the wilderness who is proven right in the long run. However, the odds (and history) are very much against them. The numbers of such "misunderstood/ignored outsiders" are staggering, and their track record is dismal. It may be romantic for them to believe they are the exception and will someday be remembered as Galileo is today, but Galileo's observations and explanations are famous because they were widely duplicated and corroborated, in a very short period of time. While the Church tried to suppress his truth, it did not succeed for long. Like they say, the truth will out.

    Most people lose track of the fact that science is a process for finding truth. It arose out of philosophy, logic, evidentiary legal proceedings... It's not a system of beliefs. The scientific method exists to turn "I believe" into "true" or "not true," and if there is insufficient proof found for or against, then the hypothesis simply remains unproven. "They haven't proven me wrong" is not proof of being correct.

    The establishment will not get it right 100% of the time. There will be prejudice masquerading as "scientific judgement." There will be vested financial interests dead set on maintaining the status quo. There will be cases of academic fraud. Humanity strives for perfection, but humanity is also flawed. The existence of those flaws, however, is not proof that every disputed theory and claim is suppressed truth.

    Oh, and someone else said something earlier about exposure to blue photons from the sun.... that people spend most of their time indoors, so solar radiation doesn't count (or some such). With the exception of a limited number of species that live in caves or ocean deeps, nearly every creature on earth evolved (and survived) under the full light of the sun. This has been going on for billions of years. Our bodies evolved and adapted to survive broad daylight. The light from a 6" diagonal smartphone display pales by comparison (literally - try reading one of those screens in broad daylight). Some of us have again become cave-dwellers, but about two hundred years ago, your ancestors were likely engaged in agriculture. They didn't plow their fields by candlelight, and they rarely harvested under parasols. Our circadian rhythms evolved before we had firelight. It's not blue light vs. red/orange light; that's just nostalgia for a simpler era. It's blue light vs. no light at all. Anytime we stay awake after dark, we're bucking the system.
  2. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    What I meant was it was 40 years after the first publication describing the disease until the first study appeared addressing it. And it took a major catastrophe (the war) before anyone was interested in funding research.

    Yes. In terms of the immune system a huge overexposure to some irritant (chemicals, molds, EMF) breaks sensitive individual's immune systems so they are no longer able to fight exposures which normal immune systems are can easily handle.

    There is a bit of controversy about the usage of the term MCS. My definition is that MCS susceptible individuals get physical symptoms from exposure to chemicals at levels that don't affect anyone else.

    Not really. It's not that they smell things that others cannot, they get physical symptoms from levels of chemical exposure which do not affect normal immune systems. I don't remember any MCS susceptible person saying "I smelled it, then I got sick". The people I talk to generally say they got sick, tried to find out why, and then identified the chemical causing the problem. It is true that after they have identified the problem they then become more sensitive to smells that they previously wouldn't have recognized. "I smell jet fuel, so I need to get out of here before I get into trouble".

    For the majority of the population yes. But for a very small population it causes illness. And the fact that their bodies are severely affected implies that the basis for sensitivity is part of the human DNA. We need to stay alert.

    Yes, it is a real problem. I assume that most people don't particularly want to use alternative medicine. Go to your doctor, get treated, cured, and forget about it. The problem is that treatments for some conditions in conventional medicine, like EMF, don't exist. That drives people to alternative medicine. If they are lucky they find someone who has a treatment that works but hasn't been proven yet. In other cases they are just throwing their money away.

    With the explosion in alternative medicine ( there is now more interest in these alternative therapies, to sort out the wheat from the chaff. My local hospital and medical school, associated with a major university, have now established an alternative medicine clinic. That's a good sign.

    True. Chemical sensitivity was in the wilderness, but I guess it is proven to exist now. EMF sensitivity is way in the backcountry.

    Yes, it is a wonderful thing. But it takes time, and funding. Some people don't have the time to wait. I look forward to the day when MCS and EMF have been studied and effective treatments developed. Don't expect that to happen in my lifetime.

    Somewhat off-topic, but I met one individual who became sensitized to light - ANY light. Can't remember the symptoms (migraines?), but she had to live her life wearing a blindfold. Luckily that was only one case. So as you say, don't think we have to worry about that one.
  3. ApfelKuchen, May 4, 2019
    Last edited: May 4, 2019

    ApfelKuchen macrumors 68040

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    The problem with MCS, as I see it, is that it's essentially a sensory issue - even if the individual has the heightened ability to sense "irritants" (chemicals, electromagnetic fields, etc.) in their environment, is their reaction to that stimulus physiological, or psychological? Even my referring to them as "irritants" imports bias to the discussion. Do they develop lesions or cancers as a result? Does their body produce an immunological response (as we see in allergies)?

    I'll grant that society is all too willing to dismiss anything that's "only in their minds." After all, "stress kills." Scratch an imagined itch, and you still can bleed. While there may be times when removing the irritant seems preferable to retraining the mind, and retraining the mind may not always be possible, I still think we have to make a distinction between something that makes someone "feel bad" and something that causes physiological harm.

    I think this discussion has been failing to distinguish the difference between the physiological and psychological. One person argues that there is no proof electromagnetic radiation in typical environmental levels is physiologically harmful. Another argues that there are people who may be able to sense electromagnetic radiation at levels the typical person cannot. It's apples and oranges.

    Does a person's ability to sense EMF prove that EMF is physiologically harmful? No.

    While some would like to consider the hyper-sensitive to be equivalent to canaries in coal mines, that has to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes disliking the smell of a cigar is simply disliking the smell. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the Freudian allusion. I'm not discounting the proven health effects from second-hand smoke.)

    The human mind is a marvelous thing. I think we're all aware that the mind can choose to ignore many sensory stimuli, such as routine background sounds, the presence of dust, or the touch of our clothing on our skin. However, if a person chooses to be aware of those stimuli, he/she may become intolerant of them. Once aware, they find them impossible to ignore. The question, in the case of the hyper-sensitive, may turn out to be, "How effective can de-sensitization training be for this person?"
  4. Painter2002 macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2017
    Austin, TX
    *Mods*. This discussion may need to be moved to the “Community Discussion thread. It seems to have gone pretty far off the original topic about possible radiation from laptops to just a generic group discussion of whether or not EMFs are harmful.
  5. Mendota macrumors 6502


    Jan 9, 2019
    My mother suffered from Macular degeneration and she never looked at a computer screen in her life. Nor did she have a flat screen TV. This particular eye condition is more of a hereditary and nutrition issue. My mother's was slight, by my aunt in law has a very severe case. Both of them would be about 100 years old at this point... So they were certainly not victims of the computer age.

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