NYT: "Fear, but Few Facts, on Hybrid [E.M.F.] Risk"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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nyt fear but few facts on hybrid e m f risk

The New York Times wants us to know that the possibility of deleterious health effects from hybrids' electromagnetic fields (E.M.F.) is not so unbelievable. (OH!) "With the batteries and power cables in hybrids often placed close to the driver and passengers, some exposure to electromagnetic fields is unavoidable. Moreover, the exposure will be prolonged — unlike, say, using a hair dryer or electric shaver — for drivers who spend hours each day at the wheel… Their [critics] concern is not without merit…" Not without merit? Is that the same as real? Scribe Jim Motavali ain't saying. Instead, an anecdote from E.M.F.-aware Civic Hybrid owner Neysa Linzer offers the proverbial money shot: "She said… her blood pressure rose and she fell asleep at the wheel three times, narrowly averting accidents. 'I never had a sleepiness problem before,' Ms. Linzer said, adding that it was her own conclusion, not a doctor’s, that the car was causing the symptoms." Toyota's Prius spokesperson responded to the concern by saying "What are you guys, nuts?" More specifically, "The measured electromagnetic fields inside and outside of Toyota hybrid vehicles in the 50 to 60 hertz range are at the same low levels as conventional gasoline vehicles. Therefore there are no additional health risks to drivers, passengers or bystanders.” [thanks to QuasiMondo for the link]

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Kman Kman on Apr 29, 2008

    Hey! It's the "Unintended Acceleration" of the new millenium! Cool! The culture of "no personal responsibility" is still alive and well. And I can't stand ye old media trick of simply adding a question mark at the end of a headline to cover their a$$es. E.g. "Is there an EMF risk?" The answer could be -- and usually is -- "no", but that doesn't prevent the unfounded rise in fear in the average person. We are so easily manipulated, it's scary. [Insert Iraq War deception here.]

  • Kman Kman on Apr 29, 2008

    LOL@ Qwerty! "Judging by the size of the driver, I think we can safely put to rest the idea that the Prius is not a mid-sized car." Slightly riské, but great.

  • Offroadinfrontier Offroadinfrontier on Apr 29, 2008

    "We" as a nation, yes. "we" as in me, not so much. One thing you learn, and you learn it at a young age in this country, is that skepticism is a necessity for survival. Instantly doubt 90% of what the media says and question anything that might even make sense. That, or just never pick up a newspaper, remote control, or keyboard/mouse..