Why electric cars may be hazardous to your health

(Hãy luôn luôn tìm kiếm sự tư vấn của bác sĩ có trình độ với bất kỳ vấn đề y tế. Không bao giờ bỏ qua lời khuyên chuyên môn hoặc chậm trễ trong việc tìm kiếm nó. Nếu nghĩ rằng có thể có vấn đề khẩn cấp, hãy gặp bác sỹ ngay lập tức)

A few of my clients who are elec­tri­cally sen­si­tive can tol­er­ate a few gas-powered vehi­cles, but become very ill when­ever they drive or ride in a hybrid or elec­tric car.

Elec­tric cars are safe - aren’t they?

Elec­tric cars may be “safer” for the envi­ron­ment, but not nec­es­sar­ily safer for your long-term health.

While battery-operated alarm clocks and small elec­tron­ics are safer than ones that plug into the wall out­let, when you talk about a battery-operated elec­tric car, it’s an entirely dif­fer­ent ani­mal. Elec­tric cars do run on bat­tery cells, but they con­tain a car­load of elec­tri­cal wiring and com­put­er­ized sys­tems to make the car run smoothly and effi­ciently. This trans­lates into high elec­tri­cal and mag­netic fields that can be haz­ardous to those with elec­tri­cal sensitivities.

The offi­cial jury is out on whether hybrid cars emit mag­netic fields that are dan­ger­ously higher than those given off by reg­u­lar gasoline-powered vehi­cles, but then again, the so-called jury is also still out about whether EMFs of all shapes and sizes, includ­ing radio fre­quency radi­a­tion, are bio­log­i­cally harm­ful. Using the ICNIRP stan­dards in  to say any­thing is safe is pretty much like say­ing if you don’t inter­nally com­bust after 30 sec­onds inside a hybrid car, then it must be com­pletely safe to spend a third of your life in it, as many hybrid own­ers do, because their jobs require them to be in the car for sev­eral hours a day. It’s basi­cally the same kind of mis-representation of “What is Safe?” that the Amer­i­can pub­lic has been fed over the pro­lif­er­a­tion of wire­less tech­nolo­gies.

Eco-friendly does not equal healthy

A few of my clients who are elec­tri­cally sen­si­tive can tol­er­ate a few gas-powered vehi­cles, but become very ill when­ever they drive or ride in a hybrid or elec­tric car. As the canaries of a grow­ing envi­ron­men­tal ill­ness epi­demic, these “test sub­jects”, in my opin­ion, are proof enough that the con­cept of the elec­tric car is fun­da­men­tally flawed because it does not take into account the poten­tial toll on human health this “eco-friendly” inven­tion might take.

So while the elec­tric car move­ment may sat­isfy the polit­i­cal sen­si­bil­i­ties of tree-huggers and “green energy” advo­cates, I’m not an fan of elec­tric cars because I see poten­tial dam­ag­ing long-term health effects for peo­ple who spend a lot of time in these cars.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch

In fact, as part of my work as an EMR con­sul­tant, I’ve heard that clas­sic cars from the 60’s era and ear­lier can be some of the low­est emis­sion for EMFs because these cars didn’t have any of the fancy elec­tronic fuel injec­tion sys­tems, computer-controlled con­soles and mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems, and elec­tric seat adjust­ments. Every­thing was old school mechan­i­cal or ana­log. With the advent of the com­puter chip, cars became per­haps “smarter,” more “con­ve­nient”, and “safer”–particularly with the advent of our high-tech air bag and safety restraint sys­tems, which I’m all for–but they aren’t nec­es­sar­ily health­ier for you in the long term.

In the end, it’s always a trade-off: mod­ern con­ve­niences like mobile con­nec­tiv­ity, sen­sors that adjust almost every­thing, nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems that tell you where you want to go, fewer car­bon emis­sions, and reduc­tion of con­sump­tion of fos­sil fuels in exchange for a cumu­la­tive cloud of invis­i­ble con­t­a­m­i­nants whose dev­as­tat­ing cumu­la­tive health effects are just now begin­ning to surface.

Green energy isn’t cheaper

This may be the biggest under­state­ment of the year, con­sid­er­ing the boat­load of money the gov­ern­ment has spent try­ing to build green energy and con­vert peo­ple to alter­na­tive energy sources. I am a pro­po­nent of green and sus­tain­able liv­ing. I also believe new “green tech­nol­ogy” comes with another hefty price tag–not just a mon­e­tary one.

Take CFL light bulbs, for instance. They cost about three to five times more than an incan­des­cent bulb, and they also give off a mag­netic field of around 10 mG within about a twelve to fifteen-inch radius of the bulb. Put a CFL light­bulb in your reading/crafting lamp, and you’re likely expos­ing your brain to a high AC mag­netic field for long peri­ods of time. Break the bulb, and you have a haz­ardous waste spill in your home. But aren’t you glad you’re sav­ing a penny on your elec­tric bill and don’t have to change them for five years?

Sure elec­tric cars don’t use as much gas. They don’t emit as many carbon-based by-products. But they ARE pol­lut­ing your per­sonal envi­ron­ment with higher lev­els of esmog.

My point is that green energy may be cleaner in one respect, but it is not with­out it’s trade­offs in result­ing electro-pollution, which has long-term dam­ag­ing effects that can’t be ignored, even for the aver­age healthy per­son. And it cer­tainly isn’t cheaper when you fac­tor in all the poten­tial health costs. I believe alter­na­tive energy cer­tainly has a future, but I also think the peo­ple who develop these tech­nolo­gies must con­sider other health aspects of their cre­ations, so they don’t just swap one kind of pol­lu­tion with another.

The dragon of new tech­nolo­gies that sup­port elec­tric cars

One of the most glar­ing defi­cien­cies in the elec­tric car is the short dis­tance it can travel before need­ing to be recharged. A group of researchers at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity have begun devel­op­ing a “high-efficiency charg­ing sys­tem that uses mag­netic fields to wire­lessly trans­mit large elec­tric cur­rents between metal coils placed sev­eral feet apart. The long-term goal of the research is to develop an all-electric high­way that wire­lessly charges cars and trucks as they cruise down the road.”

You prob­a­bly can guess that the word­ing of this intro para­graph already gives me cold sweats. Terms like “mag­netic fields,” “wire­lessly,” and “large elec­tric cur­rents” raise all sorts of ques­tions as to the safety of this tech­nique. It does not make me feel any bet­ter to know that an MIT team exper­i­ment­ing with the same tech­nol­ogy, called mag­netic res­o­nance, observed that “the mag­netic field appeared to have no impact on peo­ple who stood between the coils.”

Which means, of course, that there is a strong mag­netic field being gen­er­ated. Mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing can cause a huge cri­sis for ES indi­vid­u­als, so the state­ment that the field appeared to have no impact on the human guinea pigs is about as com­fort­ing as say­ing they didn’t explode or melt.

The rest of the arti­cle goes on to envi­sion how the entire national high­way sys­tem would be out­fit­ted with mag­netic res­o­nance coils, all gen­er­at­ing mag­netic fields that would charge your car bat­tery as you drive.

And though kudos should be given to the research direc­tor who stressed that deter­min­ing safety of the tech­nol­ogy was first and fore­most, he admits that 3% of the energy trans­fer could be lost as “poten­tially harm­ful radiation.”

Given the country’s track record of using out­dated and far too lenient stan­dards for deter­min­ing safe expo­sure, I won­der what con­clu­sions they will come to about this new poten­tial form of pol­lut­ing every high­way in the coun­try. And the expense of “revamp­ing” the entire high­way system.

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