The Beyond Politics Podcast

What if I told you that there is clear, convincing, peer reviewed, and widely accepted research showing that things in the world around us that run on electric power could be hurting us in ways that we don’t even fully understand? It’s true.  My uncle Dr. Martin Blank — professor at Columbia University — was for decades one of the world-leading scientists when it came to the effect of the radiation that comes from all of the things that run on electric power on the cells in our body. After he died, his son decided to carry on his work. He joins the show today to describe the science — both what we know and what we don’t know — and to offer some practical, common sense (and mostly free) solutions for mitigating risks.  He also hosts the Healthier Tech Podcast, a show about how best to live in balance with our increasing reliance on tech. From the July 1 episode of the Beyond Politics Podcast.

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Matt Robison 0:01
Welcome to be on politics broadcast on WKXL available wherever you get your podcasts today, what the technology in the world around us could be doing to our bodies, and what we can do to protect ourselves. What if I told you that there’s clear, convincing, peer reviewed and widely accepted research showing that things in the world around us that run on electric power could be hurting us in ways that we don’t even fully understand? It’s true. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. And you’re right. Turning on the news or surfing social media, it’s hard to avoid seeing claims that any number of things out there bad for you, it’s pretty easy to become numb to all of it, especially when there are different people saying different things, and a world of half cocked conspiracy theories and pseudoscience out there. we’ve all gotten a real time lesson in just how hard this can be over the last year and a half during the COVID pandemic. Yes, the risks of COVID are real, yes, masks help prevent transmission. But no, Bill Gates didn’t implant microchips in vaccines, the best that most of us can do is listen to reputable scientists, and reputable science. And that’s where this story begins. And it’s a personal one for me. My uncle, Dr. Martin Blank, a professor at Columbia University, was for decades, one of the leading scientists in the world when it came to the effect of the radiation that comes from all the things that run on electric power, and the cells in our body. After he died, his son, my cousin, decided to carry on his work. He’s not a physical chemist like his father. But he collaborated on his father’s book called overpowered. And he’s worked with material science experts to come up with some practical, common sense solutions to mitigating some of the risks we face. And he also has a great new podcast, the healthier tech podcast, which is all about the broader topic of practical solutions and easy steps we can take to live with the technology that’s in the world all around us. R Blank. Welcome to be on politics. Man, thank you so much for having me. Well, it’s a pleasure to have you and look, let’s get the disclaimer stuff out of the way upfront. Yes, we are related. But no, I have no financial interest in anything you do. I just grew up with your father, as my uncle, he was a deeply respected researcher for 50 years at Columbia University, leading university in the world, known around the world in his field as as a as a chemist. And so for me, I’ve been exposed that’s a bad word in this context, to his work really my whole life. So where are you? So let’s see if we can kind of take our listeners here, through the story of kind of what we know about the health risks of powered devices of electromagnetic radiation of emf. So let’s start. What is EMF? So great question. great starting point. EMF stands for electromagnetic fields. It’s a form of energy that’s composed of electricity and magnetism, hence, its name electromagnetic fields. There are certain forms of emf that are natural that we’re all familiar with, like sunlight. sunlight is a form of emf, it’s basically one of the one of the only forms of emf that humanity and all life on Earth evolved to exist with, then you have certain forms of emf with more energy than sunlight. Those are things like x rays, and gamma rays. And they are incredibly harmful, even in very, very small doses. Which is why when you go to the dentist and you get your x rays done, they put a lead jacket on you and huff it out of the room while it’s happening, right. Because this stuff is so damaging, that you need as little of it is possible, the damage can be instant, then you have forms of emf with less energy than sunlight. And these include what we use for wireless communication so that radio waves and microwaves that are used for cell phones and Wi Fi, previously used for radio and television and radar. And then even with even less energy, you have what’s called extremely low frequency fields or elf. And these are emitted by anything that runs off of power. So that includes obviously power lines, but light bulbs, refrigerators, all home appliances, anything that runs off of power amidst elf. So based on that description, you can see that every piece of modern technology is a source of this type of emf that that we’re discussing. Now. It’s a field and what that both scientifically means, although I’m not a scientist either, but what that scientifically means and what it sort of implies and just plain English is. It’s all around us. Yes, we’re constantly

bathed in electromagnetic radiation, electromagnetic fields. But my understanding is that there’s a very important property of electromagnetic fields that has to do with the distance that you are from the source of the emission of radiation. What is what is that relationship wonder? So

R Blank 5:23
yeah, that’s a great point. It’s one of the key points that I try to communicate when I talk to people, that the power of emf diminishes exponentially with distance. So that if you double the distance, let’s say your cell phone is an inch away from you, and now it’s suddenly two inches away from you, you are exposed to 75% less power from that cell phone. So the power diminishes exponentially with distance. And, and that’s why distance is really your friend when it comes to these things.

Matt Robison 5:54
It’s really interesting, because, you know, in the first part of this is like, Oh, my gosh, we are surrounded by technology, and we’re bathed in all these fields. My goodness, why aren’t we all glowing? Like the Incredible Hulk? But it sounds like the answer is, well, it’s because of this exponential fall off in the intensity of the radiation as we move away from the sources. So, you know, it makes a big difference that you’re not literally hugging a power line your whole life, you’re at some distance.

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R Blank 6:29
Yes. And I would clarify for your listeners, that glowing is not one of the symptoms that has been scientifically linked to exposure to this stuff. But yeah, well, yes. I mean, that is that it’s, it’s true. And it’s very important. And that’s why and I think later on in this discussion, we’ll talk more about the things people can do to protect themselves. And distance is really key to that. That said, you know, it can be it can be really difficult to estimate this stuff, because we don’t have a control environment really to do this. But, you know, by some estimates that I’ve read, and this is not the most extreme estimate, that even ambient levels of emf just not not with a cell phone up to your head. But in modern cities, ambient levels are over 1 trillion times higher than what are found in nature. Wow. So distance is definitely your friend, you want to maximize the distance between your body and the sources of this stuff. But even ambient levels are just so much higher than what our founding they again, remember in nature, all we had was exposure to sunlight, and the Earth’s own magnetic field. And then occasionally lightning strikes. Those were the only sources of this stuff for billions of years of Earth evolution that all life evolved to, to to exist healthy under.

Matt Robison 7:47
I want to talk about science versus pseudoscience. And I want to start with an eminent scientist, your father. Tell us a little bit about him and his work and what he found in the course of his work. Sure.

R Blank 8:06
Well, I’m not quite sure how far you want back you. I’m going to take this but I think a good starting off point is the fact that well, you indicated he was a biophysicist, and a biochemist, he had two doctorates. He was on the faculty at Columbia University Medical School. And like almost all of his colleagues at the time, he believed that this stuff that we’re talking about non ionizing EMF radiation, that it was inert, it was benign, it did not harm living things, because that’s what he’d been taught. That’s what all his colleagues taught that had been what science understood at the time. And he one day he picked up this study, and it talked about biological effects of exposure to these low frequency fields. And it just, it shocked him It took him by surprise. And he looked and he saw it was done by a colleague of his, at Columbia, Dr. Reba Goodman, and he didn’t know her, but he figured, well, she’s you know, proverbially, right around the corner. Let me go talk to her. And he did and looked at her data. And they talked about it and he realized there was something there. And so he ended up actually doing quite a bit of research with Dr. Goodman. But a lot of their research at the time was focused on it’s called cellular stress response. So for instance, when your body is exposed to extreme heat, like many fellow Americans are right at this moment. That is a stress to your body. And one of the ways that your body reacts is by the within the cells, there is a response that indicates the cell is under attack from a stressor. So he is is is one of the common ones. And so the cell releases what because he is one of the common ones that releases something called Heat Shock proteins and what my father and Dr. Goodman’s research found was that exposure to this type of emf led to the cellular stress response. So your cells are releasing heat shock proteins in response to exposure to EMF just like they would to extreme levels of heat. And that is a clear indication at a at a cellular biological level, that your body interprets this stuff as a threat as an attack that needs to be defended against. Over the over the years, he became more and more involved in, I wouldn’t quite say the politics side of things, but in the activism side of things. So he would give testimony from everywhere from local school boards up to the EU parliament. And he would go help concern parents argue their cases, you know, in front of the school, but you know, this isn’t safe, you need to get rid of this Wi Fi router, you need to move this Wi Fi router. Here. He was an author of the bio initiative report, which is a report issued by an international group of scientists who reviewed 1000s of studies in this area, demonstrating human health effect from exposure to this stuff. So that is sort of a nutshell version of his career.

Matt Robison 11:15
I’m really glad that you went through that story. First of all, because the story is, is kind of interesting. And second of all, because I think it’s important to really establish the scientific process and the scientific grounding for what we’re talking about here. It has become so hard in today’s news environment in today’s political environment, to talk about scientific topics, they have become politicized. And it seems to be a clash to me, between the way science is communicated and done, and the way politics is conducted and done. On the science side, scientists deal with uncertainty, they deal with likelihood, they deal with an evolving understanding of what we know with high confidence, and what we don’t know with high confidence and we’re trying to figure out, but in news in politics, you deal with certainty you deal with assertion you deal with the more the more strongly you assert something, the better it sounds to people’s ears. And that conflict has led to a number of controversies just in the last year. I mean, just look at everything that’s happened with the COVID pandemic. Look at the recent conspiracy theory, debunking was a word used around Dr. Fauci emails, look at the Wu Han lab leak theory, we had Don MacNeil, the lead COVID, reporter for The New York Times on this show a couple of weeks ago, talking about Look, this is not unusual in the world of science, we had pretty good scientific information about what we thought in terms of where the pandemic came from. And then we learned new information. And it caused us to change our thinking. One of the things I always respected so much about your father, when I saw him give news interviews and give testimonies, is he was very, very clear about what we do know what is well grounded in science. And what we don’t know. And I think that’s one of the things that our listeners should take some comfort in. And that really separates his work and your continuing work from pseudoscience, from things that you can’t really trust is, you’re always very clear as well about what we do know. And what we don’t know. So could you help us understand that dividing line a little bit more, you just went through some of what we do know about stress proteins about some of the ways that human cells and animal cells, biological cells react to electromagnetic radiation? What do we not know for sure, in terms of the link between electromagnetic radiation, those cellular responses, and disease? What are we? What are we unsure about?

R Blank 14:03
Sure. So that is a it was a great. That was a great question. I really like the way you asked it. There’s actually a big part of the conclusion, the concluding chapter of overpowered talks about the nature of proof, and how in math, you can actually prove something like literally can prove it. In law, the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt. So it doesn’t mean you’ve actually proven it and you’ve proven it beyond a reasonable doubt. In science, there is essentially no way of proving something in science in the way that there is a math in science, you do an experiment. Note the results. Maybe you repeated a couple of times, you know the results if they line up maybe you got something there you publish the information and then other people can try it and if they get the same results, right then you come up with some theory to explain the results. That is that is that nature of that that is what at best can constitute proof in science as a result, right? There’s there’s a few a, you can’t prove it. When when, for instance, a wireless industry lobbyists will say there’s no conclusive proof that cell phones cause cancer. What What does that even mean? Right? What is conclusive proof in a scientific environment. And so people use these words in very misleading ways intentionally. When discussing this issue. Now in science, because we started by talking about the type of work my father didn’t the left because he was a lab researcher. But then you also in the, in the scope of the question asked about disease, it’s very, very difficult to study incidence of disease in the lab, right? You can’t take 10 people, put them in a lab, give them cell phones for 10 years, and then see which ones develop cancer, because that would be extremely unethical. No one would sign up for that study. You can’t you just can’t do it. And so what you do is you study for incidence in a population. So you look what’s what, what are the environment of a population? And you know, how many have developed, for instance, brain tumors, and how often did they use cell phones. But that’s just a very broad example. But that those people, you don’t have a control real control group anymore, to compare them to, right, because in that type of study, you need a control group, you need an unexposed population, essentially, the entire world is exposed at this point. And so you, in order to prove the incidence of disease, this is all by way of saying that is very, very, very difficult. Now, there are some studies, I can give you examples. Dr. Sam Milam, the author of a book called dirty electricity, he went back and studied mortality records across the United States, pre and post electrification. So as the country was electrified, that is, as they got the power grid, he studied causes of death on public records. And he found just as one example, that incidents of childhood leukemia between the ages of three and four only emerged once the country was electrified once a region was electrified. So it didn’t happen before that. And it didn’t happen in areas that didn’t get electrification. So that would include, for example, the Amish. So there are several of these diseases of civilization, that he that he named that, that that he was able to demonstrate, very clearly, although not conclusive proof in the mathematical sense, very clearly that these diseases of civilization were tied to electrification, and thus, you know, exposure to those types of magnetic fields. Well, that’s

Matt Robison 17:58
a wonderful example, because it shows how hard this is to do scientifically, because as you say, you can show a correlation, there’s an association there. Now, what you can’t say is electromagnetic radiation was the cause of the increase in childhood leukemia. It could be other things that are also correlated with electrification, an area becomes electrified, there’s all kinds of other things that go with that maybe that area is starting to use other industrialized products, maybe that goes with chemicals that are in the environment. And so it just goes to show I think, how important it is to be clear about these things. And many people don’t care about this distinction. But to me, it’s always been something that I’ve really respected about this work is it adds credibility. To me, it’s the hardest thing in the world to say, we don’t know, is the easiest thing in the world to hype something and to say, Well, look, there’s this study. So this stuff is clearly dangerous. I think drawing that distinction and being cautious about, look, this is what we know. And it is a reason for concern. It just adds a lot of a lot of credibility to the entire discussion.

R Blank 19:18
Yeah, well, I agree. And you brought up Fauci earlier on, and that was, you know, I think I probably heard of him before COVID. But he obviously didn’t have the prominence and that’s one of the things I you know, I really responded to well with him was just how effective he was at communicating. And because communicating this type of science, whether it’s about EMF, or whether it’s about viruses, it’s not easy communicating in a way that’s accurate and understandable. It is it is not easy, because these kinds of clean, simple, easy answers that people crave. They don’t exist, and so you need to find a way to give them understandable, understandable information that’s meaningful in their lives. But that was also faithful to the science.

Matt Robison 20:09
And I think one of the things that is worth discussing here is that it’s not like, this is a situation where the solution is, Alright, we’ve got to give up on everything. You know, you in your own writing, talk about the difference between a scientific topic like this, and a topic like tobacco. With tobacco, there’s a pretty easy and stark difference. There’s a line to be drawn, you can stop smoking, and you know, there’s secondhand smoke, but you can stay away from people who are smoking, it is awfully hard to unwind the entire modern world. It’s interesting your your dad said in his book, that his mission is not to abandon gadgets. He loved gadgets, he used to use a cell phone, he used a smartphone once they came along. But he said what I want people to realize is that EMF poses a real risk to living creatures. And we have to think about standards, we have to think about some some clear, understandable rules of the road, some practical steps that we can take. And it’s it’s one of the nice things about this scientific topic is we don’t have to be super Stark about it, we don’t have to get rid of every power line. There are actually practical, fairly easy, and not super expensive solutions to be had here. Let’s talk about some of those steps. I was saying right before we took a break, but it’s one of the one of the nice things about this topic. And look, no one wants to hear about all the risks in the modern world. I mean, my gosh, it’s it’s a list, you know, as long as our arms, but one of the nice things about this one is you were explaining that electromagnetic radiation decreases in intensity exponentially with the distance that we are from the source of the radiation. So you talk about in your work, a number of easy practical things, no cost things that people can do to protect themselves. What are some of those things?

R Blank 22:19
Sure. So they all break down into what I call, I mean, these came from my father, but I have sort of rebranded them the two key rules of emf protection. And they are minimize and maximize. So I guess we’ll go a little bit out of order here. But minimize is minimize your use of emf emitting technology. And two is to maximize the distance between your body and that tech when it’s in use. So starting off with with Rule number two, with maximizing, as you said, That’s important because the power of emf radiation diminishes exponentially with distance. And there are a lot of ways that you can and should work to create that distance between your body and in your tech. So the number one thing I tell people all the time is not to carry their phones in their pockets or their boss, which you see everyone does. You see it in real life, you see it on TV and in movies. And, you know, when I see it in a movie, it I find it more jarring. And when I see people light up a cigarette, because because nowadays when people light up a cigarette, it’s really meant to show that there’s some kind of character, right, because normal people don’t do that in movies anymore. But everyone still carries their phones in their pockets. And the thing is, is that if you actually read the manuals for a bunch of these phones, you’re not supposed to, that’s too close to your body, for your and when it’s right. Remember, these phones are designed to transmit signals powerful enough to communicate over miles, right. And when it’s right up against your body, you’re getting that full dose. And it tends to be when you’re carrying in your pocket, it’s for an extended period of time. It’s not just for a minute. So for hours each day, you’re getting a full dose of what your phone has to deliver. So not caring if you have to

Matt Robison 24:04
Mia culpa, Mia culpa, I do this, I do this. And like many people, I’ve developed a weird emotional attachment to my phone. It’s like, it’s like my fourth child. And I actually feel a little bit of talk about stress, I feel a little anxiety when my phone is too far away from me. And so I like that feeling of having it right in my pocket. But of course, being the nephew of your father. I’m also intensely aware that not only is it right up against my body, but the most vulnerable set of cells in our body is right close to where your pocket is. Right. Yeah,

R Blank 24:41
yeah. And so that’s actually, I mean, there’s a lot of health effects we could talk about. Early before the break, we were talking about scientific certainty and what health effects are linked and so forth. One of the strongest areas where where you see this effect is the impact on men in terms of infertility. And subfertility, men who carry their phones in their pockets. This is the science here is is is really, really strong. Because sperm is generated every 24 hours, you can see the effects very quickly and they’re very, they’re very small, vulnerable cells, right you, you can see that there is harm from carrying the phone in the pocket. And fortunately the harm that particular harm goes away, once you take the phone out of the pocket again, because the sperm is regenerated every 24 hours. So know that that science is incredibly strong. That is not the only reason not to carry your phone in your pocket or your bra. Especially, you know, women shouldn’t do it either, and they don’t have sperm. But there, you are getting a really, really big dose of this stuff. Again, if you read the manuals, even like the iPhone manual, you’re supposed to have a minimum distance separation between your phone and your body. And, and when you’re carrying it in your pocket, you don’t have that and it’s for hours and hours at a time. If you do need to carry your phone in your pocket, just put it into Airplane Mode while you’re doing it. So yeah, I know that this is both super simple. And for some people as you are getting at very difficult because of emotional hurdles that you create for yourself. Also certain practical ones, you know what, not everyone carries a bag around with them, you know, so if you’re not carrying your phone in your pocket, where are you going to carry it? The point is to do that as little as possible to hopefully never and to to put your phone into airplane mode, if you do have to carry it in your pocket, because when did when it’s in airplane mode, you’re cutting out almost all of the EMF emissions from that device.

Matt Robison 26:44
We know that’s a pretty good segue to talking about, you run a business, it’s called shield your body. And when I was referring earlier to some of your work, you’ve worked with material scientists, you have, you have worked on very easy products that shield your body that that create an electromagnetic barrier between generation sources of radiation, like your phone, and your body. Tell us a little bit about that. And again, I’m not necessarily trying to Hawk these products here, because I want to be very clear you are and this is even on your website, you are super clear about a sense of mission here and wanting to share understanding of the science here. And there’s a ton of practical things that people can do that are no cost, like don’t carry your cell phone in your pocket, and maybe don’t have quite so many things plugged in right next to your head. Don’t hold your phone up to your head when you’re talking. But you also do have these products which I have to say I own several of them. They’re great, they’re easy. They’re like super duper easy. So tell us a little bit about some of these things that you’ve created.

R Blank 28:00
Sure. So my products are based on EMF shielding technology. This is universally accepted technology goes back almost 200 years since Michael Faraday created the first Faraday cage turns out if you weave conductive material, metallic materials in a certain pattern, it deflects EMF radiation in much the same way that a window shade will deflect sunlight. And this is like I say it’s universally accepted science. It’s also measurable both in a lab and on your own if you want it to get the right meter to test it, and what it does is it deflects radiation in the opposite direction. And all of my shielding products are based on this technology so they’re all lined or either made of or aligned with this type of fabric. So we have a growing catalogue of this stuff and you know the most popular product has been for some time the phone pouch, because I always tell people not to carry their phone in their pockets. It’s like the number one tip I give people but a lot of people you know they know it and they still do either because they want to or because they need to for their job or whatever reason they might have and so that’s why I created the phone pouch and the phone pouch is is just a phone pouch made of neoprene but the back is lined with this type of material that I was describing. And the front is just regular neoprene and so when you put your phone in in the pouch, it deflects radiation away from your body, but without interfering with your phone signal again because the front of the pouch is is unshielded. We have so several products like that we have the phone pouch we also have the sling bag, which is is like a small backpack that you can wear over your shoulder where the again this the part of the bag that touches your body is lined and the other side is not so as to not interfere with your devices. We have a laptop pad you know you were asking for free tips. Another really important one is never to use your laptop in your lap. If you look at it, I love citing product manuals because because people just are shocked when you tell them but If you look at the product manual for DELL LAPTOP, you’re supposed to keep that laptop eight inches away from you to lab, how they still sell it as a laptop, like, you know, with that proviso in there, you know, I don’t know. But so you know, laptops can be really significant sources of stuff. Don’t use that in your lab. But some people do either again, because they want to, or they need to do circumstances. So that’s why I make a laptop pad, which you put under your laptop between your laptop and your body.

Matt Robison 30:28
It really is I this is one that really resonated for me, I have to say I bought you have a very nice pad. And you just put it in between, Look, my kids like to watch shows on their iPad, or my iPad, whatever.

R Blank 30:45
Look at you know, it’s

Matt Robison 30:46
not theirs. And, you know, they they rested on their lap. Well, they’re young, they have developing cells, developing reproductive systems, and they rest these things on their lap, it’s the easiest thing in the world to just, it’s not very expensive, just to get this little pad, just put it down on your lap, it makes it it makes it more stable. It’s, it’s easy. And you know, another thing that I actually quite liked is you make a pocket liner, which whenever I don’t remember my pouch, or if I get super lazy about putting my cell phone in my pouch, it’s the easiest thing in the world, you just slip the liner into your pocket. So my point with all of this really is, and I again, it’s it’s something that has always added credibility for me to all of this is that there really is a mix of things that people can do. And as you offer these products, in what you’re implicitly saying seems to be look, we all have to make decisions in our own lives about what’s risky, what’s not how much risk we want to accept. And look, some people like to go hang gliding, great, more power to you. If if this is something where you know, you want to do some easy, straightforward things, or maybe pick up some some low cost products that give you a little bit of extra protection. It’s not that hard to do.

R Blank 32:08
Right? That’s Yeah, I really liked that some Yeah, that that? I think you said it, you said it better than I could. Well, I

Matt Robison 32:16
know, like I said, No commission there, I but that’s what’s always stuck with me about it. Let’s talk about your podcast, I was impressed that not only did you create a podcast here, but you really broadened the topic here to include all kinds of ways that we interact with technology. And it’s all under the theme of it’s the same idea as the shield your body company. It’s practical, it’s solutions based. It’s how to understand what are some of the risks, some of the downsides of the technology that pervades the world around us, and how to how to deal with it, we rely on technology in our lives. And it makes our lives better in a lot of ways. I’m among most people who also worry a little bit as a parent about like, my kids getting too much screens, are they you know, when we were kids, it was like don’t stick your nose in the TV. And now it’s like, you know, maybe you’re maybe you’re spending too much time on social media or with your phone or exposed to electromagnetic radiation. So tell us a little bit about the show. What Why did you create the podcast?

R Blank 33:27
Sure. So yeah, I spent so much time talking about EMF, radiation, the science of the health effects and how people can protect themselves. And it all comes down to this notion of adopting a healthier relationship with technology, right? Because, as you said, in the first half of the show, none of this is about saying, we have to get rid of this stuff, right? You You can’t with society would have to go back to the 1850s before the invention of the light bulb. In order to get back to an EMF free world that is impossible. Not only is it is undesirable, it is impossible. So everything is about a sort of a cost benefit analysis about how you engage with technology, how you choose to allow it into your lives. And once I started realizing that’s what a lot of my messaging was becoming about, I realized there was a lot more to cover. But people don’t come to my website to learn about that stuff. People don’t sign up to my newsletter to learn about that stuff. They, they they come to learn about EMF and how to protect against EMF. So I wanted a new venue where I could engage in conversation with people to address some of these other issues that impact our relationship with technology, but that weren’t really directly necessarily directly specific to EMF. So in our first episode, I interviewed the UK leading addiction hypnotherapist all about technology addiction, because, in my view, trying to talk about minimizing EMF exposure without acknowledging the pervasiveness Tech addiction. It’s like trying to tackle smoking without acknowledging the role of nicotine. And the discussion there was really interesting. I didn’t like how he pointed out that my Netflix habit was a sign of tech addiction, I always, you know, I view like, I’m not on Facebook, I’m not addicted to tech. But now he corrected me of that. But he talked about how people, these companies hire people just like him to engineer these products to maximize addiction to maximize your attention and engagement, and ways that you can break with that. In the episode that just came out yesterday, we have a building biologist, which is a fantastic discipline that a lot of your listeners might not be aware of, which is the science of how our buildings, whether it’s our homes, or apartments, or offices, how our buildings directly impact our health, and how we can engineer our buildings to improve our health. So they’re, later on in the season, we talk about nutrition, nutritional defense, against damage from EMF, there are all sorts of topics that relate to our relationship with technology. And it is such an issue, it is one of the most important topics that there is today, in my opinion, if I have a minute, I just want to, because you pointed out just before you said, you know the list of things that are wrong with the world right now, Hey, no one wants to talk about it. But be it’s really, really long. And I agree, there are so many toxins in our world today more and more all the time. You have, you’re just you know, mercury in the fish, you have lead in the drinking water, you have microplastics making their ways into rivers, there’s all these I mean, that’s just three, there’s antibiotics in our chickens, right, you could just keep going and keep going. And so why should people care about tech? Why should people care about EMF, and you’ve got you hinted at this before, for two reasons. One, it is one of the toxins where people are actively demanding more of it, no one is going around saying we need more mercury in fish, no one is going around saying we need more microplastics in our water, they’re like, Oh, we got to do something about that. With EMF there, you know, Apple comes out with this new device, we need that we need the apple touch, we need the air pods, we need a smart fridge. There’s even a smart tampon now on the market. Right. So everyone is saying we need more of this tech. And it’s it’s a very unhealthy approach. And then the other side of that equation is there’s a lot that you can do about this, right, you can not buy certain devices, you can manage how much you and your family are using these devices, you can even control where they are in your environment to minimize your exposure. So that’s why this topic is so important. And it does go beyond DMF. We are seeing it more and more and in social anxiety in developmental disorders, just our relationship with our technology is becoming super important to the nature of modern life.

Matt Robison 37:58
I couldn’t agree more. It really is interesting to me that you talk about. And you’ve done it on this show and you talk about it on your website and in your podcast, that the the acceleration of the of technological change is really it’s it’s mind blowing it You really don’t have to go back that far to Michael Faraday and some of the original science around electromagnetic fields, electricity, and that created the entire modern world. I did a show on the on the great ideas podcast about how much we’ve developed in science. And I told the story of GPS of the discovery of highly accurate atomic clocks in the 1930s. And how that led to the understanding that we could make these fine grained measurements based on satellites. And then we launched these satellites into geosynchronous orbit in 1970s. It’s incredible how fast things accelerate, because we launched the satellites, GPS becomes available in the early 2000s. All of a sudden, everyone’s trying to buy a Garmin, then all this technology is in our phones. And now it’s just embedded in everything we do. And then there’s the downside. And then there’s the fact that we’re becoming aware, Hey, you know what, there’s a lot of businesses out there that make their money on our location that know an awful lot about where we are and what we’re doing. It’s the same thing with social media. The introduction of the like and share buttons happened on Twitter and Facebook respectively in 2009 and 2012. Well, when did our politics in the US really start to go off the rails? When did we see this influx of social media based conspiracy theories and misinformation is that virality and my point is that we’re conducting an awful lot of real time experiments. Were there as you were saying before, there are no controls. It’s not like there are people out there who are not part of this giant social experiment. And we are seeing skyrocketing rates, especially among younger people, the millennial generation on down, depression, anxiety, social anxiety. And, you know, we can’t prove that these things are linked. But there are some awfully confounding correlations and, and links there. And it’s, it is a little bit disturbing. So, anyway, with that massive bummer said, I think to take it full circle. What I do like about your podcast, and your work at shield your body is you’re sort of presenting the good news here, you’re sort of saying, look, we can’t unwind the entire world, and you can’t shut yourself off from the world. Let’s just all be kind of sensible about this. Let’s think just a little tiny bit about it. And let’s let’s be practical, so we can at least inform ourselves and make some smart decisions about how we live our lives.

R Blank 40:53
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree, no one, no one just wants to learn about what’s awful, unless they can, they can learn what they can do about it. And that is, that is really one of the key messages of shield your body, which is you are in control of a lot of this. And there’s a lot you can do. It takes a little education, and a little bit of changing your behavior. But there’s a lot you can do to adopt a healthier relationship with modern technology. What’s the name of the podcast, the healthier tech podcast? Thank you, Matt, I need to get better make sure to say that. And where is it available? I’m assuming it’s available everywhere. Apple, Google, Stitcher, Amazon everywhere?

Matt Robison 41:32
And what about your website? Where can people go if they want to learn more about this? Again, not necessarily. They don’t have to buy your products, if they just want to inform themselves more on this topic, and the practical steps they can take?

R Blank 41:43
Sure. So if they go to shield your body, that shield your money, all one word.com slash beyond politics, there’s a page there that where they can, the first thing they can do right at the top of the page is download a free guide. And that has five of the most impactful changes that people can make. We talked about one of them, not carrying your phone in your pocket. As for more of them explains why they are so important. It gets into the science, it has links to external resources and so forth. So shield your money comm slash beyond politics and they can download the free guide there.

Matt Robison 42:16
R Blank. Thank you so much. For all the great information. I hope people feel a little bit more informed and a little bit more empowered to protect themselves and their families to some of the risks out there.

R Blank 42:27
Thank you, man. I really appreciate the opportunity to be on politics podcast. Thank you

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R Blank, SYB Founder

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