CURRENTS OF DEATH: Power Lines, Computer Terminals, and the Attempt to Cover Up Their Threat to Your Health by Paul Brodeur
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CURRENTS OF DEATH: Power Lines, Computer Terminals, and the Attempt to Cover Up Their Threat to Your Health

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here, Brodeur, who's previously tilted his pen at microwaves (The Zapping of America) and asbestos (Outrageous Conduct), lays out the evidence that electromagnetic fields--of the sorts that surround high-power wires, computer terminals, and even elect tic blankets--are having a detrimental effect on our immune system Brodeur offers up reams of government reports, scientific studies, newspaper accounts, and anecdotes from those in the field--all of which indicate a military/industrial/governmental cover-up of these dangers over the last two decades. He points to the fact that throughout the 1970's and 80's most scientists ignored evidence that 60-hertz magnetic fields can negatively affect humans. Utilities, the military, and the electronics industry were all too willing to assert that low-level electromagnetic fields were harmless, because they don't cook tissue in the manner that microwaves do. In the summer of 1978, for instance, the Air Force tried to sell Cape Cod residents on the safety of the PAVE PAWS radar transmitter by arguing that microwave radiation was safe ""as long as you don't turn brown or feel toasty."" As for video-display terminals, or VDTs, Brodeur says manufacturers were initially ignorant of the impact of low-level magnetic fields. ""Their continued reticence, however, appears to be engendered by a belated concern with the laws of strict product liability""--a concern that has grown as studies point to a link between VDT use and miscarriages. By the time Brodeur argues that our dependence on ""the benefits of electricity"" has made us impervious to its dangers, we are prepared to buy his case. But many experts are already charging that the case made here is overblown, and that only continued study will prove the extent of damage electromagnetic fields can create. At the very least, though, Brodeur has forced this issue out into the open, where it belongs.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1989
Publisher: Simon & Schuster