Dr. Mercola Examines the Renaissance of Texting

Friday, October 24, 2008

The fourth quarter of 2007 marks the first time ever that American cell phone subscribers sent text messages more than they phoned! The volume of text messages has increased by 64 % since then, while the average number of calls has dropped slightly.

Phone companies have enticed users to text more by offering unlimited text messaging bundles. And teenagers are biting the offer the most, evolving into the most prolific texters. The most prolific being teenagers ages 13 to 17 sending or receiving 1,742 messages a month, with 18 to 24 year olds averaging a mere 790 messages.

Text messaging has become such an ingrained means of communication that Harris Interactive reported that 42 % of teenagers declare that they can text even with their eyes closed. Dr. Mercola observes that teenagers’ preference for texting has more to do with convenience than safety. And those without 24/7 access to the internet, text more than those who do.

According to Dr. Mercola texting may lessen the health risks associated with cell phone use by keeping your cell phone away from your head. However you may just be moving the health risks from your head to your waist if you keep your cell phone close to that area.

Texting however allows you get straight to the point by bypassing common pleasantries that govern human relations and allows the use of an abbreviated language that doesn’t bother with spelling, punctuation and grammar.

And this is where the debate starts.

There is rising concern among linguists that the short cuts used in text messaging and email will result in sloppy writing habits among young people, and consequently impact their ability to spell and write. Email has already had a big influence on our writing and consequently increased our tolerance for misspelled words and less than perfect punctuation.

As texting continues to grow in popularity, the impact on society could be detrimental. For instance, a report by Ireland’s Education Department that reviewed high school students’ English test results showed that "Text messaging, with its use of phonetic spelling and little or no punctuation, seems to pose a threat to traditional conventions in writing"

A report in American Speech however concluded that texting embodies "an expansive new linguistic renaissance,” and exhibits “the same dynamic, ongoing processes of linguistic change that are currently under way in contemporary varieties of English.”

Dr. Mercola concludes however that “This will undoubtedly remain a hot research topic in the years to come, but I suspect that an over-reliance on texting will have disastrous consequences for future generations”

Dr. Mercola Weighs the Pros and Cons of Texting

We live in a fast-changing world. And in this fast world, Americans are the frontrunners. Fast food and high tech gadgets are not just part of daily life; they have become a way of life. And when we talk about gadgets, one of the must haves is the cellular phone.

Cellular or mobile phones have changed the way people communicate. The advent of text messaging further emphasizes that shift. The popularity of texting has soared because it is cheap, fast and convenient. In the last quarter of 2007, American cell phone subscribers sent more text messages than used their phones for calls for the first time in history. Since then, the average subscriber’s volume of text messages has increased by 64 percent, while the average number of calls has decreased.

Texting has caught the fancy of teenagers, with those aged 13 to 17 sending or receiving 1,742 messages per month while 18-to-24-year-olds average 790 messages. A study conducted by Harris Interactive found that 42 percent of teenagers claim they can write text messages even while blindfolded.

Dr. Joseph Mercola has been educating people on the dangers of cell phones for nearly a decade now. For Dr. Mercola, the one major health benefit that you can get from texting is that it keeps your cell phone away from your head and may lower some of the health risks associated with cell phone use.

However, holding your phone near your waist instead of near your head will just move the risks to a different area of your body.

Text messaging has already been proven to cause harm on the road. According to a Nationwide Insurance study, almost 20 percent of drivers send and receive text messages while driving, including 66 percent of teenagers between ages 18 to 24. Because texting-related traffic accidents are on the rise, the states of Washington, California and New Jersey have already banned texting while driving and 16 others are expected to follow suit.

Is Texting “Dumbing Down” America?

Aside from the practical dangers, too much texting may destroy the next generation's ability to communicate effectively due to poor spelling and “text-speak.” Because texting is so convenient, communication may become more impersonal, leading to fewer face-to-face meetings and less time spent actually talking.

Linguists warn that text messages will cause sloppy writing habits among young people because of all the shortcuts they use, which may affect their ability to spell and write.

Ireland’s Education Department reviewed high school students’ English test results and reported that “text messaging, with its use of phonetic spelling and little or no punctuation, seems to pose a threat to traditional conventions in writing."

But also, a report in American Speech concluded that texting will not ruin the English language because it represents "an expansive new linguistic renaissance,” and reflects “the same dynamic, ongoing processes of linguistic change that are currently under way in contemporary varieties of English.”

Dr. Mercola believes that texting and the dangers of cell phone use will undoubtedly remain hot research topics in the years to come. Stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of medicine. Subscribing to the Mercola.com Natural Health Newsletter for free now!

Get the Lowdown on the Toxic Plastic Issue with Dr. Mercola

Friday, October 17, 2008

Two of the most successful industries in the world are the pharmaceutical industry and the chemical industry. The global market for pharmaceuticals was worth more than $693 billion in 2007. But despite all of its massive earnings from global drug and vaccine sales, “Big Pharma” was easily dwarfed by the global chemical industry, which earns almost $3 trillion a year.

Aside from having big money, these two industry giants have something else in common – they both produce health hazards!

The global chemical industry produces about 6 billion pounds of bisphenol A (BPA), a vital component of a wide variety of plastic products, generating at least $6 billion in annual sales.

Studies done by the Environmental Working Group found that BPA is present in more than half of the canned foods and beverages sampled from supermarkets across the U.S. BPA is also present in hard, clear plastics for baby bottles and food storage containers.

Scientists Frederick Vom Saal and Wade Welshons were the first to report the first hard evidence of BPA’s adverse effects on health. The two discovered that miniscule amounts of BPA caused irreversible changes in the prostates of fetal mice.

How BPA harms your health

BPA can contaminate food when the chemical bonds that it forms in plastic are unraveled when heated, washed, or exposed to acidic foods. The chemical imitates the sex hormone estradiol and because your body is extremely sensitive to sex hormones, small amounts of BPA can induce profound changes.

Other researchers followed Vom Saal and Welsons’ lead and conducted their own investigation. Of the 115 published studies on the low-dose effects of BPA, 94 of them reported harmful effects on mice and rats, linking the chemical to serious human disorders, including:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Early puberty
  • Obesity,
  • Abnormal sexual behavior and disrupted reproductive cycles
  • Structural damage to the brain, and
  • Learning and behavioral problems

Chemical Cover-up

Chemical companies funded 11 studies to investigate the BPA controversy, ALL of which cleared the chemical from any harmful side effects. An advisory panel from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) upheld the agency’s decision that BPA is safe and can remain in food packaging, including infant formula containers and baby bottles.

Once again, the FDA had the chance to truly safeguard your health and instead, chose to side with the big chemical companies, allowing BPA to roam free.

The Scientists & Engineers For America Action Fund blasted the FDA verdict, saying that the agency based the decision on two large multigenerational studies funded by the American Plastics Council and the Society of the Plastics Industry, and “reaffirmed the trade associations’ ability to control what is considered to be reliable, credible science.”

How to Make Your Home BPA-free

The good news is, despite the FDA verdict, some companies have yielded to consumer demand and pressure and are now offering products that don‘t contain BPA.

Dr. Joseph Mercola, founder and editor of Mercola.com, the world’s leading natural health website, has long criticized the chemical industry for allowing dangerous substances to find their way in your home, and the FDA for protecting the interests of business, rather than your health.

Dr. Mercola recommends the use of glass, instead of plastic to store your water and avoid BPA. For Dr. Mercola, glass is the safest and most inert way to store your water and is far better than any plastic.

Amazon.com now has a BPA-free section, including water bottles, baby bottles, and sippy cups. Rubbermaid is now offering BPA-free food storage containers and water bottles, and Brita is also selling BPA-free pitchers and water filtration products

The Children‘s Health Environmental Coalition offers tips on how to spot plastic household products with and without BPA. Consumer Reports describes its BPA test results and also provides advice on choosing safe plastics. The Z Recommends blog posted an updated guide in February that lists children‘s feeding products that don‘t contain BPA. Other BPA-free products have even appeared on eBay.

None of these websites or groups are affiliated with Mercola.com. Dr. Mercola just makes it a point that any piece of information vital to your good health would be made available to you!

You don’t have to wait for the FDA to get it right and issue a warning. You can stay informed and become aware of the things to avoid and the things to do in order to stay healthy through Dr. Mercola.

Visit Mercola.com now and learn more about how to safeguard your health!

Dr. Mercola : Moving From Plain and Simple Vanity to a Vision of Total Health as We Age

Dr. Mercola knows that the onset of age is scary. But there’s no denying that there’s nothing we can really do to stop aging. Well, we can try turning back the hands of time. But all that will get you is a clock that you can’t depend on for the exact time. Kidding aside, as we get older our physical appearance and state of health changes as well.

Consumers are flocking to doctors’ offices in hopes of erasing the little signs of age:

  • The receding hairline
  • The expanding waistline
  • The skin that has lost its radiant glow
  • The sagging skin… the list goes on
Many baby boomers are noticing these tell-tale signs of aging in front of their mirrors, on their weighing scales, and in the job market. While many people concerned with aging do so for reasons of vanity at first, how these patients look is a reflection of how their body’s systems, organs, tissues and cells are functioning.

We’ve yet to hear of someone who welcomes aging. But whether we like it or not “grey days” will come. But we can choose to age gracefully and flaunt a more youthful look.

Dr. Mercola Introduces Effective Anti-Aging Tips That Bring Back Youth Glow and Exuberance

The Anti Aging Tele Clinic helps us to discover effective ways to slow down the aging process. Who likes graying hair, a receding hairline, a sagging face, protruding belly and most of all a flawed memory?

Dr. Mercola understands that we all want youthful looks and an energetic constitution all the time. Aging cannot be avoided but it can be slowed down by following a healthy lifestyle.

There are ancient therapies and modern treatments that dramatically reduce the effects of aging. But before learning anti aging tips for healthy skin and body; and a strong memory, we need to understand and accept the fact that:

  • Aging is a natural process
  • It is a continuous process
  • It increases with time
  • It cannot be stopped but can be slowed down

These are fundamental truths – yes, but there are ways to make aging a pleasant process. And that’s by being on top of your health as you age.