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  • Dr Frantz Pierre-Louis & Lloyd Pierre-Louis

Technology/Electronics and Health

How could a modern man or woman live without the wonders of Internet? It is not hard to imagine the importance of technology/electronics in this day and age when we observe the huge place cell phones, tablets, among others take in the lives of children at home, at school, and everywhere they go. So, since the world of electronics was not as developed back then as it is nowadays, isn’t it interesting to take a look at its footprints, if any, on human health in general?

Thanks to electronics, it is now possible to relax listening to music, to pay the bills without taking not even one step towards the bank, monitor heart rate and biological indicators among others. How fantastic! Hence, electronics has a positive aspect on health… So, there is no problem, right? Wrong! In fact, one cannot deny the benefits of technology on health and human life on a functional point of view. However, many aspects of technology are darker than the pinky-easy impression generally portrayed to the common user.

As a matter of fact, electronic apparels and devices resulting from the development of modern technology could probably be dangerous to human health on a short-mid-long term. Cellular phones and other wireless devices expose humans to radiofrequency (not forgetting electromagnetic fields) which is potentially (probably) dangerous (suspected to cause hypersensitivity, cancer, among others). Thus, listening to music through a wireless device is relaxing indeed (release of feel-good hormones), but could paradoxically endanger people around who are exposed to the radiofrequency signals emitted as a result of this fun and “healthy” activity. Moreover, the disposal (at end of life cycle) of many electronic devices (defined as e-waste) destined to provide health benefits is a situation of health prevention concern at best in modern countries, but of public health catastrophe in poor countries at worst. Indeed, hazardous substances in electronic components such as lead and mercury from batteries could leak from that e-waste to contaminate the environment and affect the human health.

Before concluding, the best way to promote the primacy of health over unthoughtful use of technology is to take into account not only the obvious hazards such as electrocution risks, addiction through excessive, obsessive and unnecessary use of it, etc., but also potential risks already suspected but not clearly demonstrated medically yet.

Therefore, not also looking at the situation of technology and electronics on the flip side would be one of the biggest mistakes in the history of human evolution.

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