Screen Time and Tech Safety Research
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American Academy of Pediatrics Issues New Recommendations On #ScreenTime and Exposure to Cell Phones // EduResearcher

American Academy of Pediatrics Issues New Recommendations On #ScreenTime and Exposure to Cell Phones // EduResearcher | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

"The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently issued two new sets of recommendations on media use for children.  At first glance, popular news headlines suggest elimination of the previous “no screens before age two” recommendations (see NPR’s American Academy of Pediatrics Lifts ‘No Screens Under 2’ Rule and KQED’s American Academy of Pediatrics Says Some Screen Time is Okay for Kids Under Two). However, close examination of the new guidelines reveal nuanced suggestions that maintain a primary focus on limiting tech usage. What appear to be obscured in public discussions are the same AAP organization’s recommendations issued just months earlier, specifically encouraging parents to reduce children’s exposures to cell phone radiation.

For ease of access, both sets of recommendations are provided in this post.
 

“Healthy Digital Media Use Habits for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers
Media in all forms, including TV, computers, and smartphones can affect how children feel, learn, think, and behave. However, parents (you) are still the most important influence.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages you to help your children develop healthy media use habits early on. Read on to learn more.”…


“What About Apps and Digital Books?

Most apps advertised as “educational” aren’t proven to be effective and they don’t encourage co-viewing or co-play that help young children learn. Also, most educational apps target rote skills, such as ABCs and shapes. These skills are only one part of school readiness. The skills young children need to learn for success in school (and life) such as impulse control, managing emotions, and creative, flexible thinking, are best learned through unstructured and social play with family and friends in the real world.

Digital books (“eBooks”) that have lots of sound and visual effects can sometimes distract children, who then “miss the story” and don’t learn as well as they would from a print book.

If you plan to read e-books to your children:

  • Choose e-books that don’t have too many “bells and whistles.”
  • Read e-books with your children (parent-child interaction around books is one of the most important factors to a child’s success at reading and literacy).

Why Limit Media Use?
Overuse of digital media may place your child at risk of:

  • Not enough sleep. Young children with more media exposure or who have a TV,computer, or mobile device in their bedrooms sleep less and fall asleep later at night. Even babies can be overstimulated by screens and miss the sleep they need to grow.
  • Delays in learning and social skills. Children who watch too much TV in infancy and preschool years can show delays in attention, thinking, language, and social skills. One of the reasons for the delays could be because they interact less with parents and family. Parents who keep the TV on or focus on their own digital media miss precious opportunities to interact with their children and help them learn. See Parents of Young Children: Put Down Your Smartphones.
  • Obesity. Heavy media use during preschool years is linked to weight gain and risk of childhood obesity. Food advertising and snacking while watching TV can promote obesity. Also, children who overuse media are less apt to be active with healthy, physical play.
  • Behavior problems. Violent content on TV and screens can contribute to behavior problems in children, either because they are scared and confused by what they see, or they try to mimic on-screen characters.

Other Tips for Parents, Families, and Caregivers

  • Do not feel pressured to introduce technology early. Media interfaces are intuitive and children can learn quickly.
  • Monitor children’s media. For example, know what apps are used or downloaded.Test apps before your child uses them, play together, and ask your child what he or she thinks about the app.
  • Turn off TVs and other devices when not in use. Background media can distract from parent-child interaction and child play, which are both very important in child language and social-emotional development.
  • Keep bedrooms, mealtimes, and parent-child playtimes screen free and unplugged for children and parents. Turn off phones or set to “do not disturb”during these times.
  • Avoid exposure to devices or screens 1 hour before bedtime. Remove devices from bedrooms before bed.
  • Avoid using media as the only way to calm your children. Although media maybe used to soothe children, such as during a medical procedure or airplane flight,using media as a strategy to calm could lead to problems with a child’s own ability with limit setting and managing emotions. Ask your child’s doctor for help if needed.
  • Develop a Family Media Use plan for you and your family.
  • Remember that your opinion counts. TV, video-game, and other media producers, and sponsors pay attention to the views of the public. Let a TV station know if you like a program, or contact video game companies if the content is too violent. For more information, visit the Federal Communications Commission(FCC) website.
  • Encourage your school and community to advocate for better media programs and for healthier habits. For example, organize a “Screen-Free Week” in your town with other parents, teachers, and neighbors.

Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org (American Academy of Pediatrics)

The related recommendations below on cell phone use were issued by the same American Academy of Pediatrics, yet appear to be receiving much less media attention.  American Academy of Pediatrics Issues New Recommendations to “Reduce Exposure to Cell Phones”: Nation’s largest group of children’s doctors responds to new government study linking cell phone radiation to cancer.

“In response to the U.S. National Toxicology Program study results finding exposure to wireless radiation significantly increased the prevalence of highly malignant heart and brain cancers in rodents, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued specific recommendations to reduce wireless cell phone exposure and updated their online resources for parents concerning cell phones and wireless devices.

“They’re not toys. They have radiation that is emitted from them and the more we can keep it off the body and use (the phone) in other ways, it will be safer,” said Jennifer A. Lowry, M.D., FAACT, FAAP, chair of the AAP Council on Environmental Health Executive Committee in the AAPs press release on the NTP Study Results.

“The findings of brain tumors (gliomas) and malignant schwann cell tumors of the heart in the NTP study, as well as DNA damage in brain cells, present a major public health concern because these occurred in the same types of cells that have been reported to develop into tumors in epidemiological studies of adult cell phone users,” stated Ronald L. Melnick, PhD, the National Institutes of Health toxicologist who lead the NTP study design and senior advisor to the Environmental Health Trust. “For children the cancer risks may be greater than that for adults because of greater penetration and absorption of cell phone radiation in the brains of children and because the developing nervous system of children is more susceptible to tissue-damaging agents. Based on this new information, regulatory agencies need to make strong recommendations for consumers to take precautionary measures and avoid close contact with their cell phones, and especially limit or avoid use of cell phones by children.”

The AAP has updated their Healthy Children Webpage on Cell Phones entitled Cell Phone Radiation & Children’s Health: What Parents Need to Know. The webpage reiterated children’s unique vulnerability to cell phone radiation stating, “Another problem is that the cell phone radiation test used by the FCC is based on the devices’ possible effect on large adults—not children. Children’s skulls are thinner and can absorb more radiation.”

The AAP issued the following cell phone safety tips specifically to reduce exposure to wireless radiation:

  • “Use text messaging when possible, and use cell phones in speaker mode or with the use of hands-free kits.
  • When talking on the cell phone, try holding it an inch or more away from your head.
  • Make only short or essential calls on cell phones.
  • Avoid carrying your phone against the body like in a pocket, sock, or bra. Cell phone manufacturers can’t guarantee that the amount of radiation you’re absorbing will be at a safe level.
  • Do not talk on the phone or text while driving. This increases the risk of automobile crashes.
  • Exercise caution when using a phone or texting while walking or performing other activities. “Distracted walking” injuries are also on the rise.
  • If you plan to watch a movie on your device, download it first, then switch to airplane mode while you watch in order to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure.
  • Keep an eye on your signal strength (i.e. how many bars you have). The weaker your cell signal, the harder your phone has to work and the more radiation it gives off. It’s better to wait until you have a stronger signal before using your device.
  • Avoid making calls in cars, elevators, trains, and buses. The cell phone works harder to get a signal through metal, so the power level increases.
  • Remember that cell phones are not toys or teething items.

Even though the cell phone manual contains specific instructions that say do not carry the phone next to the body, the US government does not publicize this information nor mandate companies inform the public, leaving most people unaware of potential hazards, unwittingly allowing their young children to play with them like toys,” stated Devra Davis MPH, PhD, president of the Environmental Health Trust pointing to the Berkeley Cell Phone Right To Know Ordinance being challenged in court this month.

In 2012, the AAP published Pediatric Environmental Health, 3rd Edition recommending, “exposures can be reduced by encouraging children to use text messaging when possible, make only short and essential calls on cellular phones, use hands free kits and wired headsets and maintain the cellular phone an inch or more away from the head.”

Since 2012, the AAP has supported the Federal Cell Phone Right to Know Legislation and has written letters to the FCC calling on the federal government to review and strengthen radiation standards for wireless devices in an effort to protect children’s health.

Links
AAP Healthy Children.org Cell Phone Radiation & Children’s Health: What Parents Need to Know

AAP responds to study showing link between cell phone radiation, tumors in rats May 27, 2016

2012 AAP Letter in Support of the Cell Phone Right to Know Act

2013 AAP Letter to the FCC calling for a review of RF guidelines

From: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/american-academy-of-pediatrics-issues-new-recommendations-to-reduce-exposure-to-cell-phones-726805.htm 

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For main post on EduResearcher, see: https://eduresearcher.com/2016/10/25/media/ 

For readers interested in additional updates and research on screen time, development, learning, and health, see here.

 

 

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Health and Safety Research Gaps in Policies and Practices Integrating Emerging Technologies for Young Children 

To download slides, click on title or arrow above. 


Links are as follows in order of the slides: 

http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/action/tell-fisher-price-no-ipad-bouncy-seats-infants 

 

The Silicon Valley Billionaires Remaking America's Schools 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/technology/tech-billionaires-education-zuckerberg-facebook-hastings.html 

 

Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair
Clinical Psychologist and Research Associate at Harvard Medical School https://childmind.org/bio/catherine-steiner-adair/ 

 

Video link may be viewed at: https://youtu.be/pjnFPo_mk6s 

 

Carter B, Rees P, Hale L, Bhattacharjee D, Paradkar MS. Association Between Portable Screen-Based Media Device Access or Use and Sleep Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.JAMA Pediatr. 2016 Oct 31. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.2341. [Epub ahead of print] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27802500?dopt=Abstract 

 

Screen Time Hurts More Than Kids' Eyes

http://www.healthline.com/health-news/screen-time-hurts-more-than-kids-eyes-101215 

 

New Media Consortium / Consortium for School Networking Horizon Report
http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2016-nmc-cosn-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf 

 

"American Revolution 2.0: How Education Innovation is Going to Revitalize America and Transform the U.S. Economy"  http://sco.lt/5JnF7B 

 

"Preschool is Good For Children But It's Expensive So Utah Is Offering It Online" https://www.washingtonpost.co m/local/education/preschool-is- good-for-poor-kids-but-its- expensive-so-utah-is-offering-it- online/2015/10/09/27665e52- 5e1d-11e5-b38e- 06883aacba64_story.html  

 

Philanthropy Roundtable's: "Blended Learning: Wise Givers Guide to Supporting Tech-Assisted Learning"

http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/file_uploads/Blended_Learning_Guidebook.pdf (Formerly chaired by B. DeVos)  

 

CyberCharters Have Overwhelming Negative Impact 

 

Ma, J., van den Heuvel, M., Maguire, J., Parkin, P., Birken, C. (2017). Is handheld screen time use associated with language delay in infants? Presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, San Francisco, CA. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170504083141.htm  

 

Jonathan Rochelle’s GSV/ASU PRIMETIME Keynote Speech pitching Google Cardboard for children in schools as proxy for actual field trips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNqYMI89umE 

 

Scientists Urge Google to Stop Untested Microwave Radiation of Children's Eyes and Brains with Virtual Reality Devices in Schools  http://sco.lt/8ZY5Zp // https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B12B4w0bwyQ_bzRTSUtfb2lORXM/view  Asus product manual

http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/ZenFone/ZE550ML/e10509_ze550ml_ze551ml_em_0601.pdf 

 

Telecom Industry Liability and Insurance Information 

http://sco.lt/6MrkcT 

 

National Association for Children and Safe Technology - iPad Information 

 

For infant/pregnancy related safety precautions, please visit http://BabySafeProject.org 

 

194 Signatories (physicians, scientists, educators) on Joint Statement on Pregnancy and Wireless Radiation http://sco.lt/7C2N3B 

 

Article screenshot from France: "Portables. L'embrouille des ondes electromagnetiques  

http://sco.lt/68rtCb

 

Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Policy

http://bit.ly/wirelessradiationUCLA102215 

 

"Show The Fine Print" 
http://ShowTheFinePrint.org 

 

Scientist petition calls for greater protective measures for children and pregnant women, cites need for precautionary health warnings, stronger regulation of electromagnetic fields, creation of EMF free zones, and media disclosures of experts’ financial relationships with industry when citing their opinions regarding the safety of EMF-emitting technologies. Published in European Journal of Oncology http://sco.lt/8SDDd3 

 

International Agency for Research on Cancer Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as Possibly Carcinogenic to Humans (2011)

 

For more on source of funding research, see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1797826/ and http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/jco.2008.21.6366 

 

Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council // Public Testimony https://youtu.be/8sCV1l7IfDY?t=7m15s

 

"Until now, radiation from cell towers has not been considered a risk to children, but a recent study raises new questions about possible long-term, harmful effects."  http://sco.lt/5tm5dx 

 

For further reading, please see Captured Agency report published by Harvard’s Center for Ethics http://sco.lt/4qwS2r  or https://ethics.harvard.edu/files/center-for-ethics/files/capturedagency_alster.pdf 

 

Updates/posts/safety information on Virtual Reality:

http://www.scoop.it/t/emf-wireless-radiation?q=virtual 

 

Environmental Health Trust Virtual Reality Radiation Absorption Slides 

https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/Virtual-reality-Slides-1.pdf 

 

Healthy Kids in a Digital World:

http://commercialfreechildhood.org/healthykidsdigitalworld 

 

National Association for Children and Safe Technology http://nacst.org 

 

Doctors’ Letters on Wifi in Schools// 154 page compilation

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8Oub2Nx5eSLNEthQmNlb3ZGcTQ/view 

 

Insurance and Liability Disclaimers/Information from Telecom Companies https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/Telecom-10-K-Liability-and-Insurance-Companies-Slides-EHT-6-2016.pdf 

  

Most of the documents and articles embedded within the presentation above are searchable/accessible on the following page: http://bit.ly/screen_time
_______________________________

Document above is a pdf with live links. They are provided above for easier access. To download the original file, please click on title or arrow above. It is a large file so may take several minutes.  

 

 

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We tested apps for children. Half failed to protect their data. // Washington Post

We tested apps for children. Half failed to protect their data. // Washington Post | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By Serge Egelman 

"When parents download a learning or gaming app from the “Designed for Families” section of the Google Play store, they likely assume that those apps keep their kids’ data safe. After all, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prohibits website operators and app developers from tracking or collecting personal data from children under the age of 13.

Yet that assumption could be wrong. More than 50 percent of Google Play apps targeted at children under 13—we examined more than 5,000 of the most popular (many of which have been downloaded millions of times)—appear to be failing to protect data. In fact, the apps we examined appear to regularly send potentially sensitive information—including device serial numbers, which are often paired with location data, email addresses, and other personally identifiable information—to third-party advertisers. Over 90 percent of these cases involve apps transmitting identifiers that cannot be changed or deleted, like hardware serial numbers—thereby enabling long-term tracking.

To test app privacy, we created an automated test bed that allows us to download and install apps to a series of mobile devices, simulate the behavior of users (with limited additional testing by humans), and then monitor the traffic flowing in and out of the devices. By monitoring an app for just 10 minutes, we can tell whether it tracks the user’s behavior, discloses this tracking, or shares personal data directly with third parties. (Our test bed is limited to Android apps for the sole reason that the Android platform is open source.)

Members of my group decided to contact one developer of several apps with particularly egregious practices, all targeted at children under 13. We observed that many of its apps were sending a wide range of persistent identifiers and location data to an advertising and analytics firm. When we reached out to the company, it thanked us and indicated it was previously unaware of the problem. The company said it had removed the advertising firm's computer code from all its games. We reanalyzed several of its apps and confirmed that this was the case. Thus, for at least this developer, it appears as though invasive privacy practices were due to misuse of third-party code.

We suspect that most of the developers whose apps fail to protect data do not have nefarious intent, but rather fail to configure their software properly or neglect to scrutinize practices of the third-party advertisers they rely upon to generate revenue. When building an app, developers import ready-to-use code from many different third-parties, including advertising companies. While this code “reuse” results in time savings and fewer errors, app developers likely do not realize that they are liable for all code included in their apps, regardless of whether or not they were the ones who wrote it."...

 

For full post, see: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/07/27/we-tested-apps-for-children-half-failed-to-protect-their-data/?utm_term=.3ca7a2e04b60 

 

Serge Egelman is research director of the Usable Security & Privacy group at the International Computer Science Institute and an affiliated researcher at the University of California, Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity.  

 

See AppCensus privacy analysis tool at: http://AppCensus.mobi 

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What is Data Exploitation? // Privacy International

To view video on YouTube, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CKJtfLV6HU

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Supreme Court Says Fourth Amendment Applies to Cell Phone Tracking // Electronic Frontier Foundation

Supreme Court Says Fourth Amendment Applies to Cell Phone Tracking // Electronic Frontier Foundation | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it
By Andrew Crocker and Jennifer Lynch, June 22nd, 2018

"The Supreme Court handed down a landmark opinion today in Carpenter v. United States, ruling 5-4 that the Fourth Amendment protects cell phone location information. In an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court recognized that location information, collected by cell providers like Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon, creates a “detailed chronicle of a person’s physical presence compiled every day, every moment over years.” As a result, police must now get a warrant before obtaining this data.

 

This is a major victory. Cell phones are essential to modern life, but the way that cell phones operate—by constantly connecting to cell towers to exchange data—makes it possible for cell providers to collect information on everywhere that each phone—and by extension, each phone’s owner—has been for years in the past. As the Court noted, not only does access to this kind of information allow the government to achieve “near perfect surveillance, as if it had attached an ankle monitor to the phone’s user,” but, because phone companies collect it for every device, the “police need not even know in advance whether they want to follow a particular individual, or when.”

 

For years, the government has argued that the sensitive nature of this data doesn’t matter; the mere fact that it’s collected by phone companies makes it automatically devoid of constitutional protection."... 

 

For full post, see:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/06/victory-supreme-court-says-fourth-amendment-applies-cell-phone-tracking 

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The Inconvenient Truth About Cancer and Mobile Phones // The Guardian 

The Inconvenient Truth About Cancer and Mobile Phones // The Guardian  | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie

"On 28 March this year, the scientific peer review of a landmark United States government study concluded that there is “clear evidence” that radiation from mobile phones causes cancer, specifically, a heart tissue cancer in rats that is too rare to be explained as random occurrence.

Eleven independent scientists spent three days at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, discussing the study, which was done by the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services and ranks among the largest conducted of the health effects of mobile phone radiation. NTP scientists had exposed thousands of rats and mice (whose biological similarities to humans make them useful indicators of human health risks) to doses of radiation equivalent to an average mobile user’s lifetime exposure.

The peer review scientists repeatedly upgraded the confidence levels the NTP’s scientists and staff had attached to the study, fueling critics’ suspicions that the NTP’s leadership had tried to downplay the findings. Thus the peer review also found “some evidence” – one step below “clear evidence” – of cancer in the brain and adrenal glands.

Not one major news organisation in the US or Europe reported this scientific news. But then, news coverage of mobile phone safety has long reflected the outlook of the wireless industry. For a quarter of a century now, the industry has been orchestrating a global PR campaign aimed at misleading not only journalists, but also consumers and policymakers about the actual science concerning mobile phone radiation. Indeed, big wireless has borrowed the very same strategy and tactics big tobacco and big oil pioneered to deceive the public about the risks of smoking and climate change, respectively. And like their tobacco and oil counterparts, wireless industry CEOs lied to the public even after their own scientists privately warned that their products could be dangerous, especially to children."...

For full post, see:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/14/mobile-phones-cancer-inconvenient-truths 

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The Theranos Story and Education Technology // Inside Higher Ed 

The Theranos Story and Education Technology // Inside Higher Ed  | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By John Warner 

"Normally it’s Joshua Kim’s IHE blogger beat to read a book and go looking for the education parallels, but after tearing through Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by Wall St. Journal reporter John Carreyrou, I can’t resist infringing on his territory.

 

Bad Blood is the story of Theranos, a blood testing company which once promised to be able to run hundreds of tests on its proprietary device using only a pinprick of blood, rather than relying on the far more voluminous (and scary to so many) venous draw.

 

The public face of Theranos, founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes in her Steve Jobs-emulating black turtleneck was a charismatic public presence, wooing support from eminences such as George Schultz, Henry Kissinger, Rupert Murdoch, Betsy DeVos, Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton, Barack Obama, and current defense secretary James Mattis, who declared of Holmes, “She has probably one of the most mature and well-honed sense of ethics  — personal ethics, managerial ethics, business ethics, medical ethics that I’ve ever heard articulated.”[1]

 

Holmes was feted in Fortune and Wired, and Walgreens and Safeway invested tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in Theranos.

 

But Carreyrou reveals Holmes as a fraud. Through a combination of secrecy, lies, flattery, and intimidation, she maintained a fiction about having developed a truly revolutionary piece of technology which sounded like science-fiction, a desktop device that could diagnose disease. Even as Carreyrou was amassing a crushing amount of evidence which would expose the deceptions, Holmes used prominent attorney David Boies and his firm Boies Schiller to threaten Carreyrou and his sources with lawsuits and professional ruin.[2]

 

The Theranos “Edison” was “vaporware.” It never existed as anything beyond a theoretical prototype. When Theranos did manage to deliver accurate test results, it used devices produced by other companies. Elizabeth Holmes was claiming to investors her device was saving lives on the battlefield of Afghanistan even as they couldn’t get it to accurately measure Vitamin D levels in the lab.[3]..."

 

[concluding section]:

 

"Ultimately it was people inside of Theranos who took the “first do no harm” message of the Hippocratic Oath seriously who helped blow the whistle on Holmes’ fraud.

 

I’m thinking we should have a similar "first do no harm" threshold for introducing technology into the classroom.

How much ed tech would pass that muster?"...

 

For full post, see: 

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/just-visiting/theranos-story-and-education-technology 

 

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Stealth Virtual Reality Through the Application of Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology 

For full video, see here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKcuGL-wcXE 

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Addiction To Cell Phones: Are There Neurophysiological Mechanisms Involved? // Proyecto

Addiction To Cell Phones: Are There Neurophysiological Mechanisms Involved? // Proyecto | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238032691_Addiction_to_cell_phones_Are_there_neurophysiological_mechanisms_involved 

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UT Chemists Discover How Blue Light Speeds Blindness // University of Toledo 

UT Chemists Discover How Blue Light Speeds Blindness // University of Toledo  | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By Christine Billau

"Blue light from digital devices and the sun transforms vital molecules in the eye’s retina into cell killers, according to optical chemistry research at The University of Toledo.

 

The process outlined in the study, which was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports, leads to age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the United States.

Dr. Ajith Karunarathne examined toxic oxygen generation by retinal during blue light exposure.

“We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye’s cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it,” Dr. Ajith Karunarathne, assistant professor in the UT Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said. “It’s no secret that blue light harms our vision by damaging the eye’s retina. Our experiments explain how this happens, and we hope this leads to therapies that slow macular degeneration, such as a new kind of eye drop.”

 

Macular degeneration, an incurable eye disease that results in significant vision loss starting on average in a person’s 50s or 60s, is the death of photoreceptor cells in the retina. Those cells need molecules called retinal to sense light and trigger a cascade of signaling to the brain.

 

“You need a continuous supply of retinal molecules if you want to see,” Karunarathne said. “Photoreceptors are useless without retinal, which is produced in the eye.”

 

Karunarathne’s lab found that blue light exposure causes retinal to trigger reactions that generate poisonous chemical molecules in photoreceptor cells.

 

“It’s toxic. If you shine blue light on retinal, the retinal kills photoreceptor cells as the signaling molecule on the membrane dissolves,” Kasun Ratnayake, a PhD student researcher working in Karunarathne’s cellular photo chemistry group, said. “Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye. When they’re dead, they’re dead for good.”

 

Karunarathne introduced retinal molecules to other cell types in the body, such as cancer cells, heart cells and neurons. When exposed to blue light, these cell types died as a result of the combination with retinal. Blue light alone or retinal without blue light had no effect on cells.

 

“No activity is sparked with green, yellow or red light,” Karunarathne said. “The retinal-generated toxicity by blue light is universal. It can kill any cell type.”

 

The researcher found that a molecule called alpha tocopherol, a vitamin E derivative and a natural antioxidant in the eye and body, stops the cells from dying. However, as a person ages or the immune system is suppressed, people lose the ability to fight against the attack by retinal and blue light. “That is when the real damage occurs,” Karunarathne said."...

 

For full post, see:

http://utnews.utoledo.edu/index.php/08_08_2018/ut-chemists-discover-how-blue-light-speeds-blindness 

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Lack of Protections in Use of Digital Apps and Software Programs Puts Privacy of Students and Families at Risk // National Education Policy Center

Lack of Protections in Use of Digital Apps and Software Programs Puts Privacy of Students and Families at Risk // National Education Policy Center | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it
[Re-shared from the National Education Policy Center // NEPC Publication]

Press Release: http://nepc.info/node/8787

BOULDER, CO (August 15, 2017)
“Digital technologies used in schools are increasingly being harnessed to amplify corporate marketing and profit-making and extend the reach of commercializing activities into every aspect of students’ school lives. In addition to the long-standing goal of providing brand exposure, marketing through education technology now routinely engages students in activities that facilitate the collection of valuable personal data and that socialize students to accept relentless monitoring and surveillance as normal, according to a new report released by the National Education Policy Center.

 

In Asleep at the Switch: Schoolhouse Commercialism, Student Privacy, and the Failure of Policymaking, the NEPC’s 19th annual report on schoolhouse commercialism trends, University of Colorado Boulder researchers Faith Boninger, Alex Molnar and Kevin Murray examine how technological advances, the lure of “personalization,” and lax regulation foster the collection of personal data and have overwhelmed efforts to protect children’s privacy. They find that for-profit entities are driving an escalation of reliance on education technology with the goal of transforming public education into an ever-larger profit center—by selling technology hardware, software, and services to schools; by turning student data into a marketable product; and by creating brand-loyal customers.

 

Boninger points out that “policymaking to protect children’s privacy or to evaluate the quality of the educational technology they use currently ranges from inadequate to nonexistent.” “Schools and districts are paying huge sums of money to private vendors and creating systems to transfer vast amounts of children’s personal information to education technology companies,” explains Molnar."

 

https://eduresearcher.com/2017/08/16/sold/ 

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"Microwave weapons are prime suspect in ills of U.S. embassy workers: Doctors and scientists say microwave strikes may have caused sonic delusions and very real brain damage among embassy staff and...

"Microwave weapons are prime suspect in ills of U.S. embassy workers: Doctors and scientists say microwave strikes may have caused sonic delusions and very real brain damage among embassy staff and... | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By William J. Broad for the New York Times, September 1st, 2018

During the Cold War, Washington feared that Moscow was seeking to turn microwave radiation into covert weapons of mind control. More recently, the American military itself sought to develop microwave arms that could invisibly beam painfully loud booms and even spoken words into people’s heads. The aims were to disable attackers and wage psychological warfare.

 

Now, doctors and scientists say such unconventional weapons may have caused the baffling symptoms and ailments that, starting in late 2016, hit more than three dozen American diplomats and family members in Cuba and China. The Cuban incidents resulted in a diplomatic rupture between Havana and Washington.

 

The medical team that examined 21 affected diplomats from Cuba made no mention of microwaves in its detailed report published in JAMA in March. But Douglas H. Smith, the study’s lead author and director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a recent interview that microwaves were now considered a main suspect and that the team was increasingly sure the diplomats had suffered brain injury."...

 
 

For full post, see article on New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/01/science/sonic-attack-cuba-microwave.html 

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Mobile Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: A Meta-Analysis // Journal of Clinical Oncology 

http://ascopubs.org/doi/pdf/10.1200/JCO.2008.21.6366 

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Association of Digital Media Use With Subsequent Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Adolescents // Journal of the American Medical Association 

Association of Digital Media Use With Subsequent Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Adolescents // Journal of the American Medical Association  | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it
"Key Points

Question:  Is frequent use of modern digital media platforms, such as social media, associated with occurrence of ADHD symptoms during adolescence?

Findings:  In this longitudinal cohort survey study of adolescents aged 15 and 16 years at baseline and without symptoms of ADHD, there was a significant association between higher frequency of modern digital media use and subsequent symptoms of ADHD over a 24-month follow-up (odds ratio, 1.11 per additional digital media activity).

Meaning: More frequent use of digital media may be associated with development of ADHD symptoms; further research is needed to assess whether this association is causal.

Abstract

Importance: Modern digital platforms are easily accessible and intensely stimulating; it is unknown whether frequent use of digital media may be associated with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Objective: To determine whether the frequency of using digital media among 15- and 16-year-olds without significant ADHD symptoms is associated with subsequent occurrence of ADHD symptoms during a 24-month follow-up.

Design, Setting, and Participants: Longitudinal cohort of students in 10 Los Angeles County, California, high schools recruited through convenience sampling. Baseline and 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-month follow-up surveys were administered from September 2014 (10th grade) to December 2016 (12th grade). Of 4100 eligible students, 3051 10th-graders (74%) were surveyed at the baseline assessment.

Exposures: Self-reported use of 14 different modern digital media activities at a high-frequency rate over the preceding week was defined as many times a day (yes/no) and was summed in a cumulative index (range, 0-14).

Main Outcomes and Measures: Self-rated frequency of 18 ADHD symptoms (never/rare, sometimes, often, very often) in the 6 months preceding the survey. The total numbers of 9 inattentive symptoms (range, 0-9) and 9 hyperactive-impulsive symptoms (range, 0-9) that students rated as experiencing often or very often were calculated. Students who had reported experiencing often or very often 6 or more symptoms in either category were classified as being ADHD symptom-positive.

Results: Among the 2587 adolescents (63% eligible students; 54.4% girls; mean [SD] age 15.5 years [0.5 years]) who did not have significant symptoms of ADHD at baseline, the median follow-up was 22.6 months (interquartile range [IQR], 21.8-23.0, months). The mean (SD) number of baseline digital media activities used at a high-frequency rate was 3.62 (3.30); 1398 students (54.1%) indicated high frequency of checking social media (95% CI, 52.1%-56.0%), which was the most common media activity. High-frequency engagement in each additional digital media activity at baseline was associated with a significantly higher odds of having symptoms of ADHD across follow-ups (OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.06-1.16). This association persisted after covariate adjustment (OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.05-1.15). The 495 students who reported no high-frequency media use at baseline had a 4.6% mean rate of having ADHD symptoms across follow-ups vs 9.5% among the 114 who reported 7 high-frequency activities (difference; 4.9%; 95% CI, 2.5%-7.3%) and vs 10.5% among the 51 students who reported 14 high-frequency activities (difference, 5.9%; 95% CI, 2.6%-9.2%).

Conclusions and Relevance: Among adolescents followed up over 2 years, there was a statistically significant but modest association between higher frequency of digital media use and subsequent symptoms of ADHD. Further research is needed to determine whether this association is causal."

For link to original article, see: 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2687861 

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Scientific Evidence of Harm from Cell Phone Radiation: Two Years of Research // SaferEMR

Scientific Evidence of Harm from Cell Phone Radiation: Two Years of Research // SaferEMR | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it
By Dr. Joel Moskowitz
"An annotated bibliography which contains 92 papers published in scientific journals during the last two years that report evidence of harm from cell phone radiation exposure can be downloaded from:
This set of papers reflects various types of harm from exposure to cell phone radiation including reproductive harm, cancer, oxidative stress, DNA damage, and adverse effects on memory and brain functioning. These effects have been found in human as well as animal studies.
 
Although this is not a comprehensive review of papers published in the last two years, the preponderance of studies published during this period report adverse effects. 
 
This compilation represents a snapshot in time from a large body of research conducted over many decades. A review paper cited in the bibliography describes a new database of studies constructed by the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association (Leach et al., 2018). This paper reports that “As of September 15, 2017, the clear majority of 2653 papers captured in the database examine outcomes in the 300 MHz-3 GHz range. There are 3 times more biological ‘Effect’ than ‘No Effect’ papers.”
 
For a more comprehensive examination of the evidence regarding the effects of exposure to extremely low frequency fields as well as radiofrequency radiation, see Dr. Henry Lai's research summaries (1990-2017) which can be downloaded from the BioInitiative 2012 website."...
 
For full post, see:

https://www.saferemr.com/2018/08/cellphonestudies2years.html 

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5G Wireless Telecommunications Expansion: Public Health and Environmental Implications

5G Wireless Telecommunications Expansion: Public Health and Environmental Implications | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

Abstract
"The popularity, widespread use and increasing dependency on wireless technologies has spawned a telecommunications industrial revolution with increasing public exposure to broader and higher frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum to transmit data through a variety of devices and infrastructure. On the horizon, a new generation of even shorter high frequency 5G wavelengths is being proposed to power the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT promises us convenient and easy lifestyles with a massive 5G interconnected telecommunications network, however, the expansion of broadband with shorter wavelength radiofrequency radiation highlights the concern that health and safety issues remain unknown. Controversy continues with regards to harm from current 2G, 3G and 4G wireless technologies. 5G technologies are far less studied for human or environmental effects. It is argued that the addition of this added high frequency 5G radiation to an already complex mix of lower frequencies, will contribute to a negative public health outcome both from both physical and mental health perspectives.

 

Radiofrequency radiation (RF) is increasingly being recognized as a new form of environmental pollution. Like other common toxic exposures, the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF EMR) will be problematic if not impossible to sort out epidemiologically as there no longer remains an unexposed control group. This is especially important considering these effects are likely magnified by synergistic toxic exposures and other common health risk behaviors. Effects can also be non-linear. Because this is the first generation to have cradle-to-grave lifespan exposure to this level of man-made microwave (RF EMR) radiofrequencies, it will be years or decades before the true health consequences are known. Precaution in the roll out of this new technology is strongly indicated.

 

This article will review relevant electromagnetic frequencies, exposure standards and current scientific literature on the health implications of 2G, 3G, 4G exposure, including some of the available literature on 5G frequencies. The question of what constitutes a public health issue will be raised, as well as the need for a precautionary approach in advancing new wireless technologies."

 

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.01.016 

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YouTube Pulled 150,000 Videos of Children Over Predatory Comments // EnGadget

YouTube Pulled 150,000 Videos of Children Over Predatory Comments // EnGadget | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

"YouTube is taking extensive action after word broke that pedophiles were targeting videos of children with vile comments. The streaming service reported that it had taken down over 150,000 videos that had fallen prey to comment abuse, and had disabled comments for more than 625,000 clips. It also terminated the accounts of several hundred users behind those comments. You can read its full statement on the subject below.

 

The move comes just days after YouTube cracked down on child-exploiting videos, and just as it had to pull disturbing autocomplete results. It has been promising stricter enforcement of its policies on both the content of videos and their comments.

As with YouTube's reaction to hate videos, the takedowns and policy enforcement measures are welcome, but also relatively late -- they're coming as advertisers are pulling out and the damage has already been done. The tougher enforcement should reduce the chances of a situation like this going forward, but the rash of discoveries suggests that there may need to be more proactive campaigns that catch abuse before it makes headlines."...

 

https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/28/youtube-pulls-150000-child-videos-over-comment-abuse/ 

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Absorption of Wireless Radiation In The Child Versus Adult Brain and Eye From Cell Phone Radiation or Virtual Reality // Environmental Research 

Wireless radiation absorption in child vs adult brain & eye from cell phone conversation or virtual reality // Fernandez C, de Salles AA, Sears ME, Morris RD, Davis DL. Absorption of wireless radiation in the child versus adult brain and eye from cell phone conversation or virtual reality. Environmental Research. Jun 5, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.05.013

Highlights
• More cell phone radiation is absorbed by children's inner brain tissues than adults’.
• Children's radio-frequency radiation exposure should be reduced.
• Further research to evaluate the risks to the eye from use of VR is urgently needed.
• It is biologically relevant and feasible to reduce the standards’ averaging volume.
• Current methods to determine wireless device compliance should be revised.

Abstract
Children's brains are more susceptible to hazardous exposures, and are thought to absorb higher doses of radiation from cell phones in some regions of the brain. Globally the numbers and applications of wireless devices are increasing rapidly, but since 1997 safety testing has relied on a large, homogenous, adult male head phantom to simulate exposures; the “Standard Anthropomorphic Mannequin” (SAM) is used to estimate only whether tissue temperature will be increased by more than 1 Celsius degree in the periphery. The present work employs anatomically based modeling currently used to set standards for surgical and medical devices, that incorporates heterogeneous characteristics of age and anatomy. Modeling of a cell phone held to the ear, or of virtual reality devices in front of the eyes, reveals that young eyes and brains absorb substantially higher local radiation doses than adults’. Age-specific simulations indicate the need to apply refined methods for regulatory compliance testing; and for public education regarding manufacturers' advice to keep phones off the body, and prudent use to limit exposures, particularly to protect the young.
 
[Excerpts]
 
"In summary, compared with adult models, children experience two- to three-fold higher RF doses to: 1) localized areas of the brain when a cell phone is positioned next to the ear; and 2) the eyes and frontal lobe when a cell phone is used to view virtual reality. These findings raise serious questions about the current approach to certify cell phones; particularly the use of the SAM. "
 
"Our modeling demonstrates clearly that localized psSAR varies significantly for critical components of the brain. Younger models absorb proportionally more radiation in the eyes and brain – grey matter, cerebellum and hippocampus—and the local dose rate varies inversely with age. This reflects the fact that the head is not homogeneous. Indeed, localized heating up to 5 Centigrade degrees has been detected as a result of mobile phone radiation studied ex vivo in cow brain using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance thermometry (Gultekin and Moeller, 2013)." 
 
"Our findings support reexamination of methods to determine regulatory compliance for wireless devices, and highlight the importance of precautionary advice such as that of American Academy of Pediatrics (2016). The Academy recommends that younger children should not use cell phones, and that prudent measures should be taken to eliminate exposure (e.g. using devices for amusement or education only when all wireless features are turned off – in “airplane mode”) or to minimize exposure (e.g. texting or using speakerphone), and that cell phones should not be kept next to the body. Use of wires/cables in schools and homes circumvents needless exposures of children to radiation from both devices and Wi-Fi routers. There is also an urgent need for research to evaluate the risks to the eye from use of cell phones in virtual reality applications." 
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Sentiment Analysis of Informal Textual Communication in Cyberspace // Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Sentiment Analysis of Informal Textual Communication in Cyberspace // Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

"Abstract

The ability to correctly identify the existence and polarity of emotion in informal, textual communication is a very important part of a realistic and immersive 3D environment where people communicate with one another through avatars or with an automated system. Such a feature would provide the system the ability to realistically represent the mood and intentions of the participants, thus greatly enhancing their experience. In this paper, we study and compare a number of approaches for detecting whether a textual utterance is of objective or subjective nature and in the latter case detecting the polarity of the utterance (i.e. positive vs. negative). Experiments are carried out on a real corpus of social exchanges in cyberspace and general conclusions are presented.

Keywords: Opinion Mining, Sentiment Analysis, Conversational Systems, Virtual Reality, Virtual Human, Emotional Profile"

 

For full post, see: 

http://www.ofai.at/~marcin.skowron/papers/2010_Engage2010_lexicon.pdf 

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California Health Officials Release Guidance For Limiting Exposure to Cellphone Radiation // EduResearcher 

California Health Officials Release Guidance For Limiting Exposure to Cellphone Radiation // EduResearcher  | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

"The California Department of Public Health has recently issued guidance for reducing exposure to radiation emitted from cell phones. An emphasis within the document includes children’s heightened vulnerabilities to cumulative hazards of long term exposure. The document was originally drafted in 2009 by the Department of Public Health’s Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control and underwent numerous revisions, yet remained hidden from public view until now (for more on the lawsuit that led the Sacramento Superior Court to order the release of the draft documents, see here). 

 

The recommendations outlined by the California Department of Public Health are similar to those issued by the Connecticut Department of Public Health in May, 2015. Below is the official press release issued on December 13th, 2017:

 

“SACRAMENTO – As smartphone use continues to increase in the U.S., especially among children, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today issued guidance for individuals and families who want to decrease their exposure to the radio frequency energy emitted from cell phones."...

 

For full post, see:

https://eduresearcher.com/2017/12/18/childhealth/ 

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Towards 5G Communication Systems: Are There Health Implications? 

Towards 5G Communication Systems: Are There Health Implications?  | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

Abstract
The spread of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) is rising and health effects are still under investigation. RF-EMF promote oxidative stress, a condition involved in cancer onset, in several acute and chronic diseases and in vascular homeostasis. Although some evidences are still controversial, the WHO IARC classified RF-EMF as "possible carcinogenic to humans", and more recent studies suggested reproductive, metabolic and neurologic effects of RF-EMF, which are also able to alter bacterial antibiotic resistance. In this evolving scenario, although the biological effects of 5G communication systems are very scarcely investigated, an international action plan for the development of 5G networks has started, with a forthcoming increment in devices and density of small cells, and with the future use of millimeter waves (MMW).

Preliminary observations showed that MMW increase skin temperature, alter gene expression, promote cellular proliferation and synthesis of proteins linked with oxidative stress, inflammatory and metabolic processes, could generate ocular damages, affect neuro-muscular dynamics. Further studies are needed to better and independently explore the health effects of RF-EMF in general and of MMW in particular. However, available findings seem sufficient to demonstrate the existence of biomedical effects, to invoke the precautionary principle, to define exposed subjects as potentially vulnerable and to revise existing limits. An adequate knowledge of pathophysiological mechanisms linking RF-EMF exposure to health risk should also be useful in the current clinical practice, in particular in consideration of evidences pointing to extrinsic factors as heavy contributors to cancer risk and to the progressive epidemiological growth of noncommunicable diseases."

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29402696 

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Microwave Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) Produce Widespread Neuropsychiatric Effects Including Depression // Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy 

Microwave Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) Produce Widespread Neuropsychiatric Effects Including Depression // Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy  | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

 

Highlights:
* Microwave EMFs activate voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) concentrated in the brain.
* Animal studies show such low level MWV EMFs have diverse high impacts in the brain.
* VGCC activity causes widespread neuropsychiatric effects in humans (genetic studies).
* 26 studies have EMFs assoc. with neuropsychiatric effects; 5 criteria show causality.
* MWV EMFs cause at least 13 neuropsychiatric effects including depression in humans.

Abstract
Non-thermal microwave/lower frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) act via voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation. Calcium channel blockers block EMF effects and several types of additional evidence confirm this mechanism. Low intensity microwave EMFs have been proposed to produce neuropsychiatric effects, sometimes called microwave syndrome, and the focus of this review is whether these are indeed well documented and consistent with the known mechanism(s) of action of such EMFs. VGCCs occur in very high densities throughout the nervous system and have near universal roles in release of neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones. Soviet and Western literature shows that much of the impact of non-thermal microwave exposures in experimental animals occurs in the brain and peripheral nervous system, such that nervous system histology and function show diverse and substantial changes. These may be generated through roles of VGCC activation, producing excessive neurotransmitter/neuroendocrine release as well as oxidative/nitrosative stress and other responses. Excessive VGCC activity has been shown from genetic polymorphism studies to have roles in producing neuropsychiatric changes in humans. Two U.S. government reports from the 1970s to 1980s provide evidence for many neuropsychiatric effects of non-thermal microwave EMFs, based on occupational exposure studies.  18 more recent epidemiological studies, provide substantial evidence that microwave EMFs from cell/mobile phone base stations, excessive cell/mobile phone usage and from wireless smart meters can each produce similar patterns of neuropsychiatric effects, with several of these studies showing clear dose–response relationships. Lesser evidence from 6 additional studies suggests that short wave, radio station, occupational and digital TV antenna exposures may produce similar neuropsychiatric effects. Among the more commonly reported changes are sleep disturbance/insomnia, headache, depression/depressive symptoms, fatigue/tiredness, dysesthesia, concentration/attention dysfunction, memory changes, dizziness, irritability, loss of appetite/body weight, restlessness/anxiety, nausea, skin burning/tingling/dermographism and EEG changes. In summary, then, the mechanism of action of microwave EMFs, the role of the VGCCs in the brain, the impact of non-thermal EMFs on the brain, extensive epidemiological studies performed over the past 50 years, and five criteria testing for causality, all collectively show that various non-thermal microwave EMF exposures produce diverse neuropsychiatric effects.

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891061815000599 

 

 

 

 

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How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: The Disinformation Campaign-- and Massive Radiation Increase-- Behind The 5G Rollout // The Nation [Investigative Report]

How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: The Disinformation Campaign-- and Massive Radiation Increase-- Behind The 5G Rollout // The Nation [Investigative Report] | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie

"Things didn’t end well between George Carlo and Tom Wheeler; the last time the two met face-to-face, Wheeler had security guards escort Carlo off the premises. As president of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), Wheeler was the wireless industry’s point man in Washington.

 

Carlo was the scientist handpicked by Wheeler to defuse a public-relations crisis that threatened to strangle his infant industry in its crib. This was back in 1993, when there were only six cell-phone subscriptions for every 100 adults in the United States. But industry executives were looking forward to a booming future.

Remarkably, cell phones had been allowed onto the US consumer market a decade earlier without any government safety testing.

 

Now, some customers and industry workers were being diagnosed with cancer. In January 1993, David Reynard sued the NEC America Company, claiming that his wife’s NEC phone caused her lethal brain tumor. After Reynard appeared on national TV, the story went viral. A congressional subcommittee announced an investigation; investors began dumping their cell-phone stocks; and Wheeler and the CTIA swung into action.

 

A week later, Wheeler announced that his industry would pay for a comprehensive research program. Cell phones were already safe, Wheeler told reporters; the new research would simply “re-validate the findings of the existing studies.”

 

George Carlo seemed like a good bet to fulfill Wheeler’s mission. He was an epidemiologist who also had a law degree, and he’d conducted studies for other controversial industries. After a study funded by Dow Corning, Carlo had declared that breast implants posed only minimal health risks. With chemical-industry funding, he had concluded that low levels of dioxin, the chemical behind the Agent Orange scandal, were not dangerous. In 1995, Carlo began directing the industry-financed Wireless Technology Research project (WTR), whose eventual budget of $28.5 million made it the best-funded investigation of cell-phone safety to date.

 

Outside critics soon came to suspect that Carlo would be the front man for an industry whitewash. They cited his dispute with Henry Lai, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington, over a study that Lai had conducted examining whether cell-phone radiation could damage DNA. In 1999, Carlo and the WTR’s general counsel sent a letter to the university’s president urging that Lai be fired for his alleged violation of research protocols. Lai accused the WTR of tampering with his experiment’s results. Both Carlo and Lai deny the other’s accusations.

 

Critics also attacked what they regarded as the slow pace of WTR research. The WTR was merely “a confidence game” designed to placate the public but stall real research, according to Louis Slesin, editor of the trade publication Microwave News. “By dangling a huge amount of money in front of the cash-starved [scientific] community,” Slesin argued, “Carlo guaranteed silent obedience. Anyone who dared complain risked being cut off from his millions.” Carlo denies the allegation.

 

 

Whatever Carlo’s motives might have been, the documented fact is that he and Wheeler would eventually clash bitterly over the WTR’s findings, which Carlo presented to wireless-industry leaders on February 9, 1999. By that date, the WTR had commissioned more than 50 original studies and reviewed many more. Those studies raised “serious questions” about cell-phone safety, Carlo told a closed-door meeting of the CTIA’s board of directors, whose members included the CEOs or top officials of the industry’s 32 leading companies, including Apple, AT&T, and Motorola.

 

Carlo sent letters to each of the industry’s chieftains on October 7, 1999, reiterating that the WTR’s research had found the following: “The risk of rare neuro-epithelial tumors on the outside of the brain was more than doubled…in cell phone users”; there was an apparent “correlation between brain tumors occurring on the right side of the head and the use of the phone on the right side of the head”; and “the ability of radiation from a phone’s antenna to cause functional genetic damage [was] definitely positive….”

 

Carlo urged the CEOs to do the right thing: give consumers “the information they need to make an informed judgment about how much of this unknown risk they wish to assume,” especially since some in the industry had “repeatedly and falsely claimed that wireless phones are safe for all consumers including children.”...

 

For full post, see:

https://www.thenation.com/article/how-big-wireless-made-us-think-that-cell-phones-are-safe-a-special-investigation/ 

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Online Sexual Victimization In Youth: Predictors and Cross-Sectional Associations With Depressive Symptoms // European Journal of Public Health 

Online Sexual Victimization In Youth: Predictors and Cross-Sectional Associations With Depressive Symptoms // European Journal of Public Health  | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it
"Abstract
Aim
The aim was to analyze (i) the prevalence of online unwanted sexual solicitation (USS) victimization, (ii) predictors of online USS and (iii) the associations between online USS and depressive symptoms in Swedish pupils in grades 7–9.

Methods

An electronic questionnaire was disseminated in 2011 in schools in a municipality in the northern part of Sweden. Total n = 1193 (boys n = 566; girls n= 627). Logistic regression models were fitted to test the cross-sectional associations between predictors of online USS and depressive symptoms, respectively.


Results

One third of girls and every fifth boy reported online USS victimization. In boys, predictors associated with online USS were offline bullying and sexual harassment victimization. Only offline sexual harassment victimization was associated with online USS in girls. Girls victimized by online USS had about twice the likelihood to report depressive symptoms compared to non-victimized girls. There were no associations between online USS and depressive symptoms in boys. While offline bullying was associated with depressive symptoms in both genders, offline sexual harassment victimization increased the likelihood to report depressive symptoms in girls only.

Conclusions

Online USS was common among Swedish youth, particularly among girls. Schools, parents and internet safety educators should look at co-occurrence of different forms of victimization as offline victimization was a predictor of online USS. Online USS was associated with depressive symptoms in girls and may hence be a factor driving gender inequity in mental health in youth."

 

Dahlqvist, H. Z., & Gådin, K, G. (2018). Online Sexual Victimization In Youth: Predictors and Cross-Sectional Associations With Depressive Symptoms.  European Journal of Public Health, Accessible online at:  https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cky102

 
 
 
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Young Children Are Spending Much More Time In Front Of Small Screens // NPR

Young Children Are Spending Much More Time In Front Of Small Screens // NPR | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/10/19/558178851/young-children-are-spending-much-more-time-in-front-of-small-screens?platform=hootsuite 

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Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age // Dr. Richard Freed

Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age // Dr. Richard Freed | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

"A practical guide to building your child’s bond with family and fostering school success amid the allure of digital screens

Kids’ obsessive use of video games, social media, and texting is eclipsing their connections with family and school—the two most important contributors to their well-being. The result: a generation of kids who suffer from soaring rates of emotional and academic problems, with many falling prey to an epidemic of video game and internet addictions.

 

In Wired Child, learn why a bevy of social media friends won’t keep teens from feeling empty inside and turning to cutting for relief. See how our kids have become smartphone experts who struggle in reading, math, and the other educational basics that colleges consider in deciding admissions. And discover how many “child-friendly” technologies are depriving kids of joy in the real world, putting them at risk for device addictions."...

 

http://richardfreed.com/ 

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