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  • Should we be worried? The truth about everyday fears | Global

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See the news Should we be worried? The truth about everyday fears | Global from Source Guardian on 17/03/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.

Should we be worried? The truth about everyday fears | Global

As the miracles of technological innovation continue to improve our lives, they also make it more complicated. There are clearly more things to worry about, but which should we worry about more? And what about the anxieties that have been keeping us awake at night for years? Here, we weigh up the relative risks of 10 everyday threats – and give them a worry score.Mobile phonesCell phones communicate via radio frequency, a form of electromagnetic radiation. The word “radiation” makes you think of gamma rays, which sound terrifying. But visible light is also a form of electromagnetic radiation. So not all radiation is the same. If you talk on your mobile for a long time, you may notice your ear gets hot. The word “heat” is shorthand for “energy transfer”, and serious questions have been raised about the biological effects of exposure to this level of energy. There have been studies, but the results have been inconclusive and conflicting. The WHO has classified radio frequency fields generated by mobiles as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.Can you avoid it? You don’t have to carry a mobile phone, but, even so, it’s hard to avoid radio frequency fields.Could it harm you? It’s unlikely your mobile will give you cancer, but it isn’t yet clear how unlikely.Potential risk As the research isn’t clear, we have assigned a middling-level score.Worry score 2SugarWe eat a lot of added sugar. Way, way too much. Sugar consumption is linked to tooth decay, obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. These conditions lead to risk factors for other diseases, such as cancer, and blindness. Sucrose is naturally found in fruit. The problem arises when you remove the sugar and consume it in a different context. Fibre in fruit slows down absorption of sugar and limits how much you can eat in one sitting. By contrast, a fizzy drink has no fibre and can contain up to 12 teaspoons of sugar, which causes a huge spike in blood sugar. Can you avoid it? Not entirely.Could it harm you?Sugar is in most processed foods. You can cut back, but it is hard to cut it out completely.Potential risk Obesity, heart disease, diabetes and tooth decay are all common. They can also be very serious.Worry score 5General anaestheticAccording to NHS figures, death from general anaesthetic is very rare, occurring in around 1 in every 100,000 cases; in the US the statistic is the same. A history of smoking, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity and other conditions can also increase the risk of complications. Anaesthesia carries some risks but consider the alternative – few people would refuse the benefits and comfort of pain-free surgery.Can you avoid it? If you need surgery, there’s not much you can do to avoid it. To reduce risk, provide a full medical history and ask the doctor questions about anaesthetic choice.Could it harm you? General anaesthesia is safe for most people, most of the time.Potential risk The prospect of waking up during surgery is terrifying, and the side effects of general anaesthesia vary. In rare instances, it can kill.Worry score 2MicrowavesYou can’t beat the convenience of a microwave, but are they really safe? Yes, according to the UK Microwave Association, an organisation that represents manufacturers. In the UK and US, microwaves must not leak more than 5mW of radiation per sq cm at a distance of 5cm from the microwave’s surface. This amount of microwave radiation is far below the amount known to cause damage to people. To minimise exposure, step back from the microwave. Can you avoid it? Yes, you do not need a microwave to cook or warm up food. Could it harm you? Exposure to dangerous levels of microwave radiation is not likely.Potential risk Normal use of microwave ovens should not cause any health-related problems. There’s more chance that superheated food could cause burns.Worry score 1TicksThese small, parasitic arachnids bite their animal hosts and after they latch on to the skin of their victims, they feast on blood. Not all ticks transmit disease, but those that do can spread serious infections caused by bacteria, viruses and protozoa, including Lyme disease – of which it is estimated there are 2,000 to 3,000 new cases in England and Wales each year. Untreated, Lyme disease may result in pain and swelling of the large joints, heart abnormalities (Lyme carditis), and neurological symptoms such as confusion and memory problems.Can you avoid it? Dress appropriately, use insect repellent,...

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See the news Should we be worried? The truth about everyday fears | Global from Source Guardian on 17/03/2019 has been updated to day with the theme on feedixo.