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Name: Chelle
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Question:
With all the cellular phones, computer, radars, ham radios, TV's, beepers, microwaves, satellites systems, etc.: Are our airwaves electronically polluted?



Replies:
This could be a problem if all the people using the devices did not cooperate to keep out of each other's way (or off of each other's wavelength to be more accurate). The Federal Communications Commission regulates the airwaves, giving legal authority to commercial operators to use only certain broadcast frequencies in certain areas - that is why radio stations all have different numbers on the dial. That is really more a problem of overcrowding, rather than "pollution". There is some debate over whether all these devices (or any of them) may have a negative effect on human health. Questions have been raised about a link between miscarriages by pregnant women and the use of video display terminals, for example.

The evidence is too weak to really answer the question, because some other factor (such as on-the-job stress) may have been at work, rather than the electronic "pollution". At any rate, in the office where I used to work, the labor union got a job-rule passed saying that people could not be seated closer than two feet to a screen from the front, or four feet from the back of a video terminal. Better safe than sorry, I guess. This question is still under study.

Don Libby



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