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Series of recalls of dangerous mobile phones
France Created: 10 Jun 2018
On June 8, 2018, the site « Le Lanceur” published a new article on the industrial and health scandal of Phonegate. It is the seventh article in 18 months that it has devoted to this public health issue. In December 2016, it was the first media to relay the alert launched by Dr. Marc Arazi.

A big thank you to the editorial team and the journalist Antoine Sillières for their investigative work. It is also the only media for the moment to have made the link to our action following the withdrawal and updates of four new mobile phones.

It must also be noted that public broadcasting has been totally absent for months with regard to this affair. Why? In any case, certainly not for not having received our press releases regularly and trying to contact them so that the newsrooms (France2, France3, FranceInfo, France5, RadioFrance, …) inform the tens of millions of users of mobile phones of the danger to their health.

In this new article, our attention was particularly drawn to a quotation attributed to Olivier Merckel, Head of the Unit for assessment of risks related to physical agents at ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety): “When the SARs of the tested phones show values lower than the limits, the health effects considered as proven by ICNIRP [International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection] are dismissed. For the general public, the safety factor applied by ICNIRP is 50. Thus the first effects considered by ICNIRP should not be observed at 2 W/kg but rather at 100 W/kg for an « average » that is representative of the general population. Beyond these well-known effects, the question is whether other effects could be observed at lower exposure levels”.

We strongly contest this figure of 100 W kg, which is purely and simply an invention that, to our knowledge, has never been included in any ICNIRP document or in any scientific document.

So we will write, in the next few days, to ANSES, to ask for clarification of this statement by Mr. Merckel. This is all the more worrying when we know that in October 2017, the Directorate General of Health (DGS) and the Directorate General for Risk Prevention (DPR) entrusted a mission to ANSES to assess the health risks to users of mobile phones whose SAR levels exceed the regulatory thresholds of 2 W/kg and may be greater than 7 W/kg.

In this regard, despite several requests, both the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Mr. Nicolas Hulot, and the Minister for Solidarity and Health, Mrs. Agnès Buzyn, have not yet transmitted to us the letter entrusting the mission to ANSES. In this matter, we can make the sad observation of a blatant lack of transparency.

We will come back to this in more detail in an article devoted to this key issue.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: PhoneGate Alert, 10 Jun 2018

French school students to be banned from using mobile phones
France Created: 8 Jun 2018
French school students will be banned from using mobile phones anywhere on school grounds from September, after the lower house of parliament passed what it called a “detox” law for a younger generation increasingly addicted to screens.

The centrist president Emmanuel Macron had promised during his election campaign that he would outlaw children’s phones in nursery, primary and middle-schools, until around the age of 15.

The new law bans phone-use by children in school playgrounds, at breaktimes and anywhere on school premises. Legislation passed in 2010 already states children should not use phones in class.

During a parliamentary debate, lawmakers from Macron’s La République En Marche party said banning phones in schools meant all children now had a legal “right to disconnect” from digital pressures during their school day.

Some in Macron’s party had initially sought to go even further, arguing that adults should set an example and the the ban should be extended to all staff in schools, making teachers surrender their phones on arrival each morning.

But Macron’s education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, brushed this aside, saying it wasn’t necessary to extend the ban to teachers and staff.

The minister said that the school phone ban for children would “make us all reflect on our phone use in society, including adults”.

But the leftwing MP Hervé Saulignac pointed out that, during the debate about children being dangerously addicted to phones and unable to concentrate on their studies, scores of lawmakers were sitting through the session absent-mindedly tapping away on their own phones.

Opposition parties warned that major questions remained about how to enforce the ban, which will affect millions of children. The details of how schools could put the law in place have been left deliberately open.

Politicians estimate that more than 90% of French children aged between 12 and 17 have a phone. Blanquer had previously suggested that children could place their phones in lockers when they arrive at school in the same way that government ministers “place their phone in a box before cabinet meetings”.

But some schools have complained that setting up individual lockers in huge schools would be costly, impractical and difficult to police. Rights groups warned that schools would not have the legal right to confiscate phones.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Guardian, Angelique Chrisafis, 07 Jun 2018

Santa Rosa continues 'pause' on Verizon small-cell project
USA Created: 7 Jun 2018
Santa Rosa is still unwilling to let Verizon Wireless install antennas and wireless equipment on city light poles, putting the carrier’s plans to boost network coverage in the city on hold indefinitely.

The City Council on Tuesday reaffirmed the “pause” it placed on the project in March, saying the way the company had managed the rollout of “small cell” wireless gear on wooden utility poles in the city was a cause for concern.

Mayor Chris Coursey said the company “did a really lousy job of outreach” to neighborhoods where gear has been installed on Pacific Gas & Electric poles, making him hesitant to partner with the company on the portion of the project involving city-owned poles.

“They ran, in my estimation, roughshod over some of these neighborhoods, in putting these things in, because they could,” Coursey said.

The council has found itself caught in the middle of a wider battle raging between wireless carriers seeking to deliver better wireless telephone and data services to the city and residents who worry about the aesthetic and possible health impacts of such equipment so close to their homes.

Councilman Jack Tibbetts called the evidence for health risks from the technology “inconclusive,” but said he represented residents of Santa Rosa, not Verizon, and needed to respect the fears of his constituents.

“I don’t want a resident to go to bed at night and put their head on a pillow worried about what’s going on outside their window,” Tibbetts said.

A half-dozen Verizon officials attended the Tuesday council meeting, an indication of how seriously the company takes the controversy.

Spokeswoman Heidi Flato said the carrier was disappointed with the outcome, but will “continue working closely with council members and city staff to overcome obstacles to implementing this much-needed wireless infrastructure.”

Danna Diamond, a company real estate specialist, told the council that the nation’s wireless telephone infrastructure is the “backbone of our society now,” allowing people to stay connected to their children and work from home. She said 52 percent of homes now have no landlines, 76 percent of 911 calls are now made from a cellphone, and 64 percent of those are made from inside a building.

As cellphone usage has exploded, carriers have needed to “densify their networks” by adding new transmission equipment closer to the users, and “small cell” technology, which operates at higher frequencies and are better able to deliver high-speed data.

“The average household has 13 connected devices,” Diamond told the council.

Verizon says its service in the city is spotty, especially inside homes in residential areas, and the new small cells will work in conjunction with existing larger “macro” towers throughout the city to improve coverage and capacity.

Much of the city has cell coverage, but with people using smartphones, the data demands on the network have increased, resulting in connection delays, explained Radha Sharma, senior real estate manager for Verizon.

It’s a case the company has been making to communities across the county. Last year, the company reportedly spent more than $10 billion on such installations.

“Small cells are needed to meet exploding consumer demand for data, drive innovation, create new jobs, and fuel new services and capabilities such as smart communities, connected cars, smart farming, and the Internet of Things,” Verizon explained in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission.

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The company had hoped to install about 70 small cells in Santa Rosa — 40 on wooden PG&E poles, over which the city has little say, and 30 on city street light poles, over which the city has total control.

The company moved forward with installing equipment on PG&E poles with little notice to residents, and the push back was fierce from both local residents and passionate anti-wireless activists.

Judith Monroy, a former resident of Link Lane, accused Verizon of “dishonestly and duplicity” when it quickly installed over the holidays a series of boxes and exposed wires on the PG&E pole outside her home, as well as a battery pack in a large metal cabinet.

“That was 20 feet from where I sit and read in my living room, maybe less,” she told the council.

Following publicity of such complaints, Verizon removed the battery cabinet and painted the gear brown to blend in better with the wooden pole.

Monroy said she nevertheless had difficulty selling the home earlier this year.

Bill Coset, a resident of the Neotomas Avenue area in Bennett Valley, advocated the city take a cautious approach, allowing the company to install a few of its small cells, then hiring a third-party to monitor them before allowing more.

“It just seems like we are giving Verizon a super-saturated coverage instead of adequate coverage,” Coset said.

Such concerns clearly influenced the council, which didn’t formally vote on the issue but made it clear it wanted to extend the pause. Only Councilman John Sawyer expressed concern about the move.

Sawyer said he worried less about the health impacts of wireless technology and more about allowing the city’s wireless infrastructure to stagnate, harming the city’s competitiveness.

“What concerns right now is the technological disadvantage that we might be placing ourselves in by not moving forward,” Sawyer said.

Councilman Chris Rogers said he, too, supported the pause, but wasn’t pleased about the city’s limited leverage over the company.

“Right now, at best, the pause has been bad for Santa Rosa, the reason being that it has not stopped the installation of these small cells,” Rogers said.

At last count, the city had approved 39 of 41 applications Verizon had filed for small cell installations on PG&E poles. City officials said they had little leeway in approving such requests, and are limited by state public utilities law to regulating installation issues, such as construction safety and traffic control.

Plans by Verizon for small cell installations on 30 streetlights remain on hold, as do plans by Mobilitie for small cells on 20 streetlights. Mobilitie hopes to build a network to lease to a carrier.

AT&T has not applied to the city yet, but Eric McHenry, the city’s director of information technology, said he knows the company is active in the space, citing its recent deal to pay San Jose $5 million over 15 years to install small cells on 170 light poles.

Santa Rosa, by contrast, estimates that 200 small cells on city poles would generate fees of $70,000 per year, or about $1 million over 15 years.

Councilmembers urged city staff to explore ways to regulate small cells, which are considered 4G technology, especially given that 5G gear is considered to be right around the corner.

Julie Combs noted that she is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, and can reach up and touch the gear installed recently on a PG&E pole, gear she said she hopes the city can find a way to regulate, despite legal hurdles.

“It is remarkably ugly,” she said.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Press Democrat, KEVIN MCCALLUM, 06 Jun 2018

New 5G network with ubiquitous antennas raises health concerns among some
USA Created: 7 Jun 2018
As more and more devices become wireless, the push is on to provide networks on which they can quickly operate.

That’s why the industry is now laying the groundwork for the 5th generation network — called 5G as it’s more commonly known.

But, some are concerned about technology and the need for millions more 5G receiver/transmitters has reignited the debate over the safety of radio frequency radiation, which has caused organizations like the American Cancer Society to weigh in.

The 5G network will offer faster speeds for data and streaming but the way that technology will get to us has some worried about potential health concerns.

Right now, the industry is spending over $56 billion to create the network that will be at least 10 times faster than current 4-G and work on all kinds of wireless devices including appliances and self-driving cars.

Right now, 5G deployment is limited to test areas.

The new 5G network uses high-frequency waves to support faster speeds, but those signals don't travel as far as current wireless frequencies.

They also are more susceptible to blocking by buildings and other solid obstructions. So, to combat that, the 5G network will rely on "small cell" sites that are much closer together instead of using large cell phone towers spread apart.

Because the 5G signals don’t travel as far, that means 5G sites will be almost as ubiquitous as utility poles and with all those transmitters spewing radio frequencies, some are worried about the health effects.

Scientists are now racing to determine if 5G tech is dangerous.

At the moment, the government says research into health effects of radiation has been inconsistent.

According to the National Cancer Institute, "a limited number of studies have shown some evidence of statistical association of cellphone use and brain tumor risks, but most studies have found no association.”

The National Toxicology Program is now doing research into cell phone radiation. It’s released draft conclusions for two technical reports, one was for rat studies. There is also a report about mouse studies on radio frequency radiation.

To conduct the studies, The National Toxicology Program built special chambers that exposed rats and mice to different levels of radio frequency radiation for up to two years.

Exposure levels ranged from 1.5 to 6 watts per kilogram (W/kg) in rats, and 2.5 to 10 W/kg in mice.

The low power level for rats was equal to the highest level permitted for local tissue exposures to cellphone emissions today.

The animals were exposed for 10 minute on, 10 minute off increments, totaling just over nine hours each day.

The studies used 2G and 3G frequencies and modulations still used in voice calls and texting in the United States.

It did not use the frequencies used by 4G, 4G-LTE, and 5G networks for streaming video and downloading attachments because those systems use different cellphone signal frequencies and modulations.
As that research continues, the availability of 5G wireless devices is still a year or two away.

And because 5G signals aren’t as effective — cellphones are likely to get larger to hold the antennas necessary to make them work.

Some experts say some cellphones might even have an antenna stub sticking out of them — like those seen in the 1980s -- in order to make the 5G devices work effectively.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: CBS17, Steve Sbraccia, 05 Jun 2018

UBIQUITY - new film about Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
Netherlands Created: 7 Jun 2018
The internet is closing in on us to connect anyone, anywhere, anytime. But some people cannot stand the electromagnetic radiation from the wireless networks that surround us. They feel the pulse of the wireless world on their bodies. Are they the canaries in the coal mine?

Ubiquity is a feature documentary by Bregtje van der Haak and had its World premiere in the official competition of HotDocs 2018.

Click here to watch the trailer:
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BALDR Films, 07 Jun 2018

Top mobile phone firms warning shareholders over devices' possible cancer risks - but fail to tell customers
United Kingdom Created: 4 Jun 2018
Companies including Blackberry, EE, Nokia and Vodafone have told investors they could face legal action from device users if research eventually finds links between their products and cancer.

Top mobile firms are warning ­shareholders about the potential health risks of phones but keeping the information from customers.

Companies including Blackberry, EE, Nokia and Vodafone have told investors they could face legal action from device users if research eventually finds links between their products and cancer.

Yet they fail to warn users of any potential risk in their ads and packaging.

British Telecom, which owns EE, tells investors starkly in its 2017 annual report: “We can’t provide absolute ­assurance that research in the future won’t establish links between radio frequency emissions and health risks.”

And Nokia says: “There have been some research results that indicated the possibility that electromagnetic waves emitted from mobile devices and base stations have adverse health effects, such as increasing the risk of cancer.”

The news comes after we revealed brain cancer patient Neil Whitfield, 60, is the first Briton to sue a phone maker and could win up to £1million from Nokia if successful.

Mr Whitfield said: “If companies are warning investors there is a possible risk they should be warning people who use their phones and networks.

"They are being selective with the truth and have decided those with money are more important than the general public.”

The firms involved say they have a duty to warn shareholders of any risk, however unlikely.

A court in Italy recently ruled a link between tumours and mobiles and the International Agency for Research into Cancer says they are a “possible carcinogenic.”

And in France, Orange has recalled around 90,000 Hapi 30 phones because of the device’s radiation level.

Devra Davis, president of the Environmental Health Trust, said: “Financial threats from litigation are growing in step with scientific evidence linking phones to health damages.

"Further still, the Italian court ­decision indicates any firm that requires mobile use as a ­condition of work faces major liability.”

Blackberry and Nokia warn shareholders of possible legal action in reports to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Nokia says despite adhering to regulations “concerns over the adverse effects on health... could make it difficult to acquire and retain customers”.

Vodafone says there is “no evidence” of harm but adds: “A change to this view could result in... impacts.” Blackberry says “perceived risks” could affects sales and lead to legal battles.

Most studies find no link with cancer but others claim they increase the risk of brain cancer.

Mr Whitfield blames Nokia phones for giving him an acoustic neuroma on a nerve between his inner ear and brain.

"His case could open the floodgates and he said: “Phone companies don’t give a jot about health.

"I’m in the autumn of my life but I worry about the next generation who spend hours each day glued to their phones.”

Nokia is fighting his claim and said safety “has always been a key consideration”, adding: “All products comply with exposure guidelines and limits set by public health ­authorities.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Mirror, Grace Macaskill, 02 Jun 2018

Simon Cowell ditches phone for 10 months - and counting
United Kingdom Created: 3 Jun 2018
Simon Cowell has revealed he hasn't used his mobile phone for 10 months - saying the change was "so good" for his mental health.

The media mogul told the Mail on Sunday he became irritated with how often he was using his phone.

The 58-year-old said he has "become way more focused" and "aware of the people around me" since giving up his device.

He said being without his phone was a "strange experience" but "has absolutely made me happier".

"I literally have not been on my phone for 10 months," he said.

"The thing I get irritated with is when you have a meeting, everyone's on their phone - and I was probably in that place too. You can't concentrate.

"It has been so good for my mental health. It's a very strange experience but it really is good for you and it has absolutely made me happier."

A survey by Deloitte in 2017 found 55% of phone users check their device within 15 minutes of waking up - while 41% believed their partner used a mobile too much.

And in March, it was announced that an app that rewards students for time spent away from their phones is being released at 170 universities in the UK after proving popular in Scandinavia.

Other celebrities to have reportedly shunned mobiles include Elton John, Tyra Banks, Tom Cruise and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Have you ditched your mobile phone? Has it made you happier? Please share your experience with us by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

WhatsApp: +447555 173285
Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BBC News, 03 Jun 2018

Usædvanlig retssag: Jettes el-allergi kostede hende jobbet
Denmark Created: 2 Jun 2018
En anderledes, men måske udslagsgivende retssag finder sted i Retten i Sønderborg fredag, hvor det skal afgøres, om Ankestyrelsen traf den rigtige beslutning i forhold til Jette Paulsens el-allergi.

Lidelsen elektromagnetisk hypersensitivitet lyder måske som en konspirationsteori opfundet af en person i sølvpapirshat, men for Jette Paulsen er det virkelighed.

Overfølsomheden overfor elektromagnetisk stråling har nemlig gjort hendes liv meget besværligt.

Fredag begynder så en noget uvant, men måske ganske vigtig sag i Retten i Sønderborg.

Sygeplejersken Jette Paulsen har nemlig stævnet Ankestyrelsen i en sag, der omhandler hendes el-allergi og dagpenge.

Helt forfærdeligt
45-årige Jette kan ikke tåle mobilsignaler og trådløst internet. Det gjorde, at hun i 2014 blev sygemeldt og senere fyret fra sit arbejde som hjemmesygeplejerske.

Aabenraa Kommune afgjorde, at hun ikke kunne få sygedagpenge. Samtidig konkluderede hendes A-kasse, at hun ikke stod til rådighed for arbejdsmarkedet og derfor heller ikke kunne få dagpenge.

Begge afgørelser blev senere stadfæstet af Ankestyrelsen.

- Det har været forfærdeligt på rigtig mange måder. Jeg har følt mig ret magtesløs i systemet, siger Jette Paulsen til Ekstra Bladet

Jettes lidelse kaldes elektromagnetisk hypersensitivitet (EHS). Det betyder, at man er overfølsom overfor mobilsignaler og trådløst internet. Ifølge WHO er symptomerne blandt andet rødhed og svien i huden samt træthed, koncentrationsbesvær, svimmelhed og hjertebanken.

Elektromagnetisk Hypersensivitet (EHS):

* Symptomerne på EHS er rødhed, kilden og svien i huden, træthed, koncentrationsbesvær, svimmelhed, kvalme, hjertebanken og fordøjelsesforstyrrelser.

* Forekomsten af med EHS er højere i Danmark, Sverige og Tyskland end i Storbritannien, Østrig og Frankrig.

* EHS er ikke anerkendt af World Health Organization som en selvstændig klinisk diagnose, fordi det indtil nu ikke har været muligt videnskabeligt at finde en sammenhæng mellem EHS-symptomer og eksponering for wifi, mobiler og andet trådløs kommunikation.

* Siden 2000 har EHS været på Nordisk Ministerrråds liste over miljøsygdomme.

Kilde: WHO, Sundhedsstyrelsen og EHS-foreningen

Nu har hun altså stævnet Ankestyrelsen for deres afgørelse fra 2015.

Hvordan fredagens sag ender, kan få stor betydning for andre el-allergikere. Hun kunne heller ikke få dagpenge fra sin A-kasse, da de ikke mente, hun stod til rådighed for arbejdsmarkedet.

Sagen er den første af sin art i Danmark, og derfor kan dens udfald også få stor betydning for andre el-allergikere.

Uvidende læger
Jette fandt ud af, at hun lider af EHS, da hun skiftede job til hjemmesygeplejen og pludselig skulle tale i mobiltelefon mere end før.

- Jeg begyndte at få symptomer, som smerter inde i hovedet, nedsat hørelse, tinitus, hovedpine, koncentrationsbesvær og svimmelhed, siger hun.

I starten anede hun ikke, hvad der var galt, men efter mange søgninger på internettet, kom hun i kontakt med EHS-foreningen, der kæmper for at få sat lidelsen på dagsordenen. Her kom hun i kontakt med en speciallæge, der diagnosticerede hende med EHS. Hendes egen læge var noget skeptisk til at starte med.

- Min oplevelse af lægerne er, at de ikke har kendskab til det her, men da min læge fik forklaret al den forskning, der ligger bagved, ville hun godt anerkende diagnosen, siger Jette.

Nu lever Jette og hendes familie til daglig med det, hun selv betegner som EHS i svær grad, og det er ikke lige let.

- Vi har slukket vores trådløse internet og min familie bruger ikke deres mobiltelefoner, når jeg er hjemme. Selv bliver jeg meget påvirket af strålerne i det offentlige rum, derfor forlader jeg ikke så tit mit hjem, siger hun.

Accept af EHS
For Pernille Schriver, der er formidlingskoordinator i EHS-foreningen er fredagens sag også meget vigtig.

- Det er okay at have høfeber, allergi overfor jordbær eller nikkel, men det er ikke godkendt at være allergisk overfor el. Vi har ikke de samme rettigheder, som andre danskere, siger hun til Ekstra Bladet.

Kan symptomerne ikke være tegn på andre ting?

- Jo, det kan det, men hvis EHS ikke bliver italesat, så får man alt muligt andet medicin, men hvis det så viser sig, at man egentlig bare skulle slukke sin mobiltelefon, så er det jo lidt omsonst at begynde at proppe piller i folk i stedet for, siger hun.

Håb for fremtiden
Tilbage står Jette med et håb om, at denne sag kan hjælpe hende videre.

- Jeg håber sådan, at jeg kan komme videre. Det har hele tiden været mit ønske at vende tilbage til arbejdsmarkedet i det omfang, jeg kan.

- Den tillid, jeg engang havde til vores samfund, er væk nu, men jeg har hele tiden håbet på en løsning, siger hun.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Ekstra Bladet, Astrid Mortensen, 31 May 2018

80% of 500 Women Know Negative Effects of EMF Radiations Caused by Home Appliances: Survey
India Created: 28 May 2018
Brightsandz Technologies, a leader in providing EMF shielding solutions for better health and environment, has released the findings of a survey conducted to measure the impact of harmful radiation emitted from electrical or domestic appliances installed or operating within the house on women’s health.

As per the estimates of the survey, 75% of 500 female respondents are high cell phone users as their call duration is above 45 mins per day whereas a study published by AIIMS in 2017 restricts the mobile phone usage threshold to 45 mins a day. Moreover, these 75% are also high laptop users who use laptops for approximately 4 to 8 hours in a day. The radiation exposure from laptop is 40 times higher than the human tissue and body threshold which makes them more prone to tissue damage leading to skin cancer.

Results of the survey also show that 80 % of 500 female respondents are well aware of the negative effects of EMF radiations on themselves and their families. However, a certain reluctance has been observed despite of this which can be related to over indulgence and convenience so much so that this has become a lifestyle.

In addition, AC stabilizers are also considered as one the significant sources of EMF in homes. Close to 70% of respondents have stabilizers placed in less than 5ft. of the head area in their bedroom which results in disturbed sleep patterns. EMF in bedroom disrupts sleep and body repair functions initiated by the hormone Melatonin leading to an unhealthy sleep pattern and fatigue.

Dr. Yogesh Deshpande, Mumbai, General Physician, “These days most of the electrical appliances have LED lights. LED lights emit at wavelength of 400-500 nano meter which suppresses the production of Melatonin produced by Pineal Gland. It results in poor sleep and the resting period. It is advisable that one should be cautious as most of the appliances has LED into them.”

“Also, another major concern is Microwave as it has EMF and affects women health if used frequently. The effect depends on the amount of electromagnetic radiation which is released. These radiations affect the hormonal secretions and DNA which can be a cause of malignancy. Some special precautions must be taken in pregnancy as it leads to the low weight baby & can affect the health of the foetus. As a precaution, one need to check leakage and should try to avoid maximum frontage of microwave by using ‘Timer’.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Dataquest India, Malavika Sacchdeva, 28 May 2018

High levels of screen time linked to cancer and heart disease
Scotland Created: 27 May 2018
Researchers at the University of Glasgow analysed the amount of time 390,089 people spent looking at TV and computer screens during leisure time.

They found that the association between a high level of screen time and poor health was almost twice as strong in those with low fitness levels.

Professor Jason Gill said the findings could affect public health guidance.

Discretionary screen time - watching screens during leisure time - is said to be a contributor to sedentary behaviour which is associated with higher risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease.

Professor Gill, one of the lead authors of the study, said: "Our study shows that the risks associated with sedentary behaviour may not be the same for everyone, with the association between leisure time screen use and adverse health outcomes being strongest in those with low levels of physical activity, fitness or strength.

"This has potential implications for public health guidance as, if the findings are causal, these data suggest that specifically targeting those with low fitness and strength to reduce their sedentary behaviour may be an effective approach."
Health promotion

The researchers analysed the behaviour of 390,089 people from the UK Biobank.

They found that higher levels of screen time were associated with a higher risk of "all-cause mortality" as well as a higher risk of both heart disease and cancer.

The findings were independent of physical activity, grip strength, BMI, smoking, diet and other major confounding factors, including socio-economic status.

Study author Dr Carlos Celis said: "If the discretionary screen time health associations we found in this study are causal, it suggests that people with the lowest levels of strength, fitness and physical activity could potentially gain the greatest benefit from health promotion interventions aimed at reducing sedentary behaviours.

"While fitness testing can be difficult to measure in healthcare and community settings, grip strength is a quick, simple and cheap to measure, so could easily be implemented as a screening tool in a variety of settings."

The study is published in BMC Medicine.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: BBC News, 24 May 2018

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