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

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

As the miracles of technological innovation continue to improve our lives, make it even more complicated. There are clearly more things to worry about, but which ones should we worry about the most? And what about the anxieties that kept us awake during the night for years? Here we evaluate the relative risks of 10 daily threats and provide them with a score of concern.

Mobile phones

Cell phones communicate via radio frequency, a form of electromagnetic radiation. The word "radiation" makes you think of gamma rays, which seem terrifying. But visible light is also a form of electromagnetic radiation. So not all radiation is the same. If you talk for a long time on your phone, you may notice that your ear gets warm. The word "heat" is a shortcut to "energy transfer", and serious questions have been raised about the biological effects of exposure to this energy level. There have been studies, but the results have been inconclusive and conflicting. The WHO has classified the radiofrequency fields generated by mobile phones as "potentially carcinogenic to humans".

Can you avoid it? It is not necessary to carry a cell phone, but even so, it is difficult to avoid radio frequency fields.

Could it hurt you? Your cell is unlikely to give you cancer, but it's unclear how unlikely it is.

Potential risk Since the search is not clear, we have assigned a score at the average level.

Scoring concern 2


We eat a lot of added sugar. 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. Saccharose occurs naturally in fruit. The problem arises when you remove the sugar and consume it in a different context. The fiber in the fruit slows the absorption of sugar and limits how much you can eat in a single session. In contrast, a carbonated beverage has no fiber and can contain up to 12 teaspoons of sugar, which causes a huge blood sugar spike.

Can you avoid it? Not entirely.

Could it hurt you? Sugar is in most processed foods. You can cut it, but it's hard to completely eliminate it.

Potential risk Obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cavities are all common. They can also be very serious.

Scoring concern 5

General anesthesia

According to NHS data, death from general anesthesia is very rare, occurring in about 1 case per 100,000 cases; in the United States the statistic is the same. A history of smoking, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity and other conditions can also increase the risk of complications. Anesthesia involves some risks but consider the alternative: few people would reject the benefits and comfort of painless surgery.

Can you avoid it? If you need surgery, there is not much you can do to avoid it. To reduce the risk, provide a complete medical history and ask the doctor questions about the choice of anesthetic.

Could it hurt you? The general anesthesia is safe for most people, most of the time.

Potential risk The prospect of waking up during the intervention is terrifying, and the side effects of general anesthesia vary. In rare cases, it can kill.

Scoring concern 2


You can't beat the convenience of a microwave oven, but are they really safe? Yes, according to the UK Microwave Association, an organization that represents the producers. In the United Kingdom and the United States, microwaves must not lose more than 5mW of radiation per cm² at a distance of 5 cm from the surface of the microwave. This amount of microwave radiation is much lower than the known amount to cause harm to people. To minimize exposure, move away from the microwave.

Can you avoid it? Yes, you don't need a microwave to cook or heat food.

Could it hurt you? Exposure to dangerous levels of microwave radiation is not likely.

Potential risk The normal use of microwave ovens should not cause health problems. C & # 39; s more likely that overheated food can cause burns.

Scoring concern 1


These small parasitic arachnids bite their animal hosts and feed on the blood after being attached to the skin of their victims. Not all ticks transmit the disease, but those that do can spread serious infections caused by bacteria, viruses and protozoa, including Lyme disease – which is estimated to have between 2000 and 3000 new cases in England and Wales each year. Left untreated, Lyme disease can cause pain and swelling of the large joints, cardiac abnormalities (Lyme carditis) and neurological symptoms such as confusion and memory problems.

Can you avoid it? Dress appropriately, use insect repellent and do body checks when you are in areas shared by ticks.

Could it hurt you? Most ticks do not carry disease and a bite does not necessarily transmit diseases. Rapid removal can reduce the chance of disease transmission and antibiotic treatment for infections can resolve some tick-borne diseases.

Potential risk A tick bite can cause symptoms ranging from mild skin irritation that resolves several days to serious health problems.

Scoring concern 2


David Hockney had to be rescued by firefighters from an elevator a few weeks ago in Amsterdam, but his experience is not common. The probability of a lift falling on a tree is very low due to several safety mechanisms incorporated in the project. Simple common sense can further reduce the risk. Before entering an elevator, leave the passengers free and, if it seems packed, wait for the next one.

Can you avoid it? You can often take the stairs – and for a little exercise, you probably should.

Could it hurt you? The safety mechanisms incorporated in the elevators make it highly unlikely that one of them will fall out of control.

Potential risk Serious damage or death is the likely outcome of such an unlikely event.

Scoring concern 2

Theme park rides

Driving design and safety have come a long way since the first roller coaster days when cars sometimes flew off their tracks or could not stop. Based on data from a limited number of theme parks in the United States, the National Security Council reported 1,508 injured (0.8 injured per million rides) in 2015. Statistically, you are more likely to be injured while going to a theme park that in one.

Can you avoid it? Accidents caused by theme park rides are almost 100% avoidable: just don't drive them.

Could it hurt you? The possibility of suffering an injury during an amusement park ride is very low.

Potential risk Minor bumps and bruises are much more common than catastrophic injuries.

Scoring concern 3


The era of swashbuckling pirates who roam the high seas are long gone, but they still exist. Pirates of modern steamers embark ships, steal property or assault and seize crews. The coast of Somalia was a privileged location between 2008 and 2011, with hundreds of attacks and billions of dollars in stolen cargoes. After 2011, increased security resulted in a significant drop in attacks. Recent reports show that piracy is now concentrated in four areas: the Singapore Strait, the Sulu and Celebes Seas, the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Guinea.

Can you avoid it? If you plan your trip and stay away from dangerous waters.

Could it hurt you? Few people will ever encounter pirates on the open sea.

Potential risk A meeting with pirates can lead to a simple robbery or an escalation for kidnapping or murder.

Scoring concern 3

Asteroid shot

Our planet is flooded with dust and sand particles from space every day. Most of these materials burn in the Earth's atmosphere. An asteroid that hits it on the surface can cause minimal local damage or wipe out most of life on the planet, depending on its size. The Earth Impact Database lists only 190 confirmed earth impact craters dating from 2.4 billion years ago to the present. At present, no asteroids of any significance have been detected that are on a collision course with the Earth within the next 100 years. However the skies are still scanned. Keep an eye on the approaching asteroids to jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch

Can you avoid it? At the moment there are no technologies available to stop or alter the trajectory of an asteroid.

Could it hurt you? A large asteroid attack has the potential to wipe out all human life on Earth.

Potential risk The possibility of a strike over the life of anyone reading this is extremely low.

Scoring concern 1

Give birth in the hospital

Most women in the United Kingdom and the United States give birth in hospitals, but a growing number choose to have their children in birth centers or at home. There are growing concerns about the medicalization of childbirth and some fear that once they go to the hospital, they are more likely to receive medical interventions – assisted delivery and cesarean

Can you avoid it? In some cases it is much safer to have a child in the hospital, but in the end it is up to the mother where she wants to give birth

Could it hurt you? The chances of having a caesarean section or other medical intervention are higher once you are in the hospital, but the results are statistically better for the child.

Potential risk Although it can be painful and difficult to recover, it is very unlikely that a C section is fatal.

Scoring concern 3

Worried? by Lise Johnson and Eric Chudler is published by WW Norton & Co, £ 16.99


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