BOOKWORM: Electronic lifestyle can be a health hazard

“Zapped” by Ann Louise Gittleman, c. 2010, HarperOne, $25.99, 272 pages.

What are the risks you take in your life? Merely shutting off the alarm, making toast, taking a shower, even working can be bad for your health as you’ll see in the new book “Zapped” by Ann Louise Gittleman.

Take a look around and count the number of electronic devices in the room you’re occupying. Chances are, you’ve got more electronic equipment than you had five years ago. Surely, you own more electronics than you had two decades ago. And while you probably think you can’t live without your smartphone, coffeemaker, TV, radio, DVD player, alarm clock, electric shaver or cordless phone, Gittleman says it’s possible that you can’t live with them, either.

Because it takes electricity to move muscles and because our brains contain a bit of magnetic substance, we are, basically, walking electromagnetic machines. The problem is that the devices we live with today are bombarding us with unnatural magnetic fields and emissions that are overloading our bodies and attacking our immune systems. Some of them could make us sick. Some could be deadly.

Cell phones may cause cancer, despite recent assurances. “Dirty electricity” from the neighborhood may be wreaking havoc on your health. Sleeping near an electrical outlet may be dangerous and ceiling fans are a big no-no. Even lounging on the sofa can be dangerous, if it’s placed against a wall.

Gittleman says electricity and radiation, while undoubtedly useful and necessary parts of civilization, are causing an epidemic in fatigue, headaches, autoimmune disorders, nausea, respiratory problems, digestive disorders and allergies when they escape their confines – which they’re doing constantly.

So what can you do?

Keep your cell phone as far away as possible from your body. If you must talk on it, switch sides often. Turn off wireless routers when not in use; they radiate more than 500 feet. Keep your laptop off your lap. Talk to an expert about the lighting in your surroundings. Pay attention to any towers or electrical generators nearby.

Because it’s filled with an awful lot of new-agey, far-fetched-sounding information, “Zapped” is one of those books that’s easy to scoff at. But read awhile and what you’ll learn worms its way into believability until everything makes chilling sense.

Gittleman plugs in to the latest research to warn her readers about the dangers of merely existing in today’s society and she offers tips to minimize any danger you may face in your day-to-day life. If you want to go full-force in protecting yourself, you’ll also find recipes to help.

If you can’t live without cell phone or computer, and if you can’t wait for the latest gadget to be released, you owe it to yourself to read this book. What you’ll learn in “Zapped” may make you doubly alarmed.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives in West Salem, Wis., with her two dogs and 9,500 books.

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