Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Killing us softly

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Cell phones have been around since the 1980s and since their inception there have been numerous claims as to the health risks linked to their usage.

Doomsayers suggest electromagnetic radiation can cause genetic damage, brain dysfunction, brain tumours and other conditions such as sleep disorders and headaches.

I’m starting to believe there is more than a grain truth to these dire predictions. Since I’ve had a cell phone my hair has receded, my hearing has deteriorated, my eyesight has got weaker and my memory is a shadow of its former self.

I was about to sit down and write to the core people at Apple offering to settle out of court for a modest sum in American dollars when it occurred to me they would counter-claim that my original mobiles were probably made by either Nokia or Motorola. As they had only entered the market reasonably recently with the iPhone they could hardly be held accountable. Game, set and match to Apple even before I put pen to paper.

But there are lots of other rudiments bubbling just below the surface that are more injurious to our health than the humble cellular phone. Prominent among these is obesity and its attendant disease - diabetes. Sugar is the enemy element here and corporates to blame are KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Hell’s Pizza and just to make sure we succumb more quickly I understand Domino’s Pizzas are soon to relocate in Chapel Street.

And we’ve known about the dangers of cigarette smoking for a long time. The Smoke Free Environment Act was passed in 1990 and created a bureaucracy of consultants, lobbyists, medical specialists and service providers and there has been an almost total compliance with the legislation. But workers advocate Helen Kelly might have queered the pitch by demanding and getting medicinal cannabis. This will inevitably lead to recreational cannabis being legalised introducing a whole new coterie of smokers.

I gave up smoking when I was thirteen after failing to finish my first cigarette. My Hollywood hero at the time was Audie Murphy, a returned American serviceman and a vocal non-smoker. Had I idolised Humphrey Bogart it might have been a different story, particularly as he nearly wore the skin off his fingers making roll-your-owns at the superbly named Rick’s Bar in Casablanca.

Rolling-your-own is a mandatory feature of joint indulgence.

Alcohol, we’ve been reminded of late, is a major cause of various forms of cancer. As most people enjoy a tipple and given the outcome of 1920s prohibition experiment in America a government sponsored Alcohol Free Environment Act seems unlikely. But the risk still lingers.

And then into this cacophony of deathly prognostications walks Nigel Latta with a sobering TV documentary telling us the current superannuation is not sustainable because we are all living too long.

And so there are deadly diseases all around us and constant warnings of earthquakes, famine, wars and floods and yet we refuse to stop breathing?

Maybe we should just shut down all the pharmacies. A friend of mine was taking so many pills when he died they had to put child-proof lid on his coffin.

“Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do on a Sunday afternoon” - Susan Ertz


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