Friday, March 15, 2013

What were Fearmongerers doing in the 1950's?

Official safety standards often lagged behind reality.

WiFi promoters always say, "Only ionizing radiation is harmful!"

Do these people know that Ionizing X-ray used to be hailed as magic and considered perfectly safe, too? It was used for shoe-fitting in shoe stores for almost 40 years! It was only partially banned in the 1950's and more widely banned in the 1960's. Why did it take so long? Because the effects didn't show up right away and governments were slow to take Precaution. People were pressured to adopt "the latest technology" and the industry targeted children for marketing before long-term studies were in place to ensure its safety.

Sounds familiar? In the 1950's, fearmongerers were probably busy making lead aprons to protect themselves from ionizing radiation, while industry shills and “cutting edge” technologists laughed at them much like they do with tin-foil hats nowadays!

X-Ray Shoe Fitter

"The X-ray shoe fitter quickly became a fixture in American shoe stores, taking advantage of several developing social trends. By continuing to celebrate the amazing properties of X-rays and radium, popular magazines and newspapers of the 1920s reinforced the notion that the devices were modern, scientific, and infallible. In addition, since the early 20th century, the "scientific motherhood" movement had pressured American women to incorporate the latest medical and scientific innovations into their domestic duties to be considered successful mothers. At the same time, advertisers increasingly targeted children. The fluoroscope proved a powerful method of encouraging parents to bring children to their store: as the Canadian Shoe and Leather Journal put it in 1947, "Kiddies love it!"

"While the theoretical dangers of excessive radiation exposure were already fairly well known within the scientific field, actual data on shoe store exposure did not appear until the late 1940s. Towards the end of that decade articles in medical journals began to document the potential health effects of shoe-fitting fluoroscopes (skin and bone marrow damage; growth problems). At the same time, other research discovered that a high percentage of the nearly 10,000 fluoroscopes in use in the United States emitted dangerous levels of radiation for both customers and clerks. Various health and industrial hygiene organizations began recommending against using the devices. On November 24, 1950, Milwaukee became one of the first cities in the nation to regulate the operation and location of the machines, and in 1957 Pennsylvania became the first state to outlaw their use. By 1960, 34 states had banned the machines.

By then, shoe-fitting fluoroscopes were already on their way out, not so much because of regulations as because they had lost their marketing effectiveness. X-ray shoe fitters were now more likely to alienate well-informed customers than to attract them with promises of infallible technology."

As seen in this report by the European Environmental Agency, it took 30 years to discover the "certain" causal link between Cholera and contaminated water.

Incalculable deaths were caused by this delay.

We can continue to expose the children to the perfectly safe(?) non-ionizing radiation, just like it was done with the X-ray Shoes Fitter.

Let the children wait and risk their health, or act in Precaution for them? 

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Images and text excerpts from:  Thank you!