I really like science, I like the self-correcting part of science even more.
Mobile phones and other wireless devices that produce electromagnetic ﬁelds (EMF) and pulsed radiofrequency radiation (RFR) are widely documented to cause potentially harmful health impacts that can be detrimental to young people. New epigenetic studies are proﬁled in this review to account for some neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral changes due to exposure to wireless technologies. Symptoms of retarded memory, learning, cognition, attention, and behavioral problems have been reported in numerous studies and are similarly manifested in autism and attention deﬁcit hyperactivity disorders, as a result of EMF and RFR exposures where both epigenetic drivers and genetic (DNA) damage are likely contributors. Technology beneﬁts can be realized by adopting wired devices for education to avoid health risk and promote academic achievement.
Sounds pretty alarming, no? Should we worry? Well, no.
The respected journal Child Development recently published a commentary that attributed a number of negative health consequences to RF radiation, from cancer to infertility and even autism (Sage & Burgio, 2017). It is our view that this piece has potential to cause serious harm and should never have been published. But how do we justify such a damning verdict? In considering our responses, werealized that this case raised more general issues about distinguishing scientiﬁcally valid from invalid views when evaluating environmental impacts on physical and psychological health, and we offer here some more general guidelines for editors and reviewers who may be confronted with similar issues. As shown in Table 1, we identify seven questions that can be asked about causal claims, using the Sage and Burgio (2017) article to illustrate these.
Exposure to nonionizing radiation used in wireless communication remains a contentious topic in the public mind—while the overwhelming scientiﬁc evidence to date suggests that microwave and radio frequencies used in modern communications are safe, public apprehension remains considerable. A recent article in Child Development has caused concern by alleging a causative connection between nonionizing radiation and a host of conditions, including autism and cancer. This commentary outlines why these claims are devoid of merit, and why they should not have been given a scientiﬁc veneer of legitimacy. The commentary also outlines some hallmarks of potentially dubious science, with the hope that authors, reviewers, and editors might be better able to avoid suspect scientiﬁc claims.