In a bid to gain more market share and turn over, a popular toy manufacturer has now launched its latest edition ‘Hello Barbie’. It can’t be denied that it is an amazing product that aimed to fulfill the desires of millions of little children, by allowing them to have an actual conversation with their doll. It listens to you, it remembers things about you and engages the child in conversation in which the child is frequently complimented and good moral values are reinforced. It is truly remarkable and can be expected to be on kids wish-lists very quickly. But… the ‘Hello Barbie’ concept has certain dangers associated with it and due to the concerns of many, has been under fire from the very beginning.
Concerns about ‘Hello Barbie’ are based largely around the privacy issues of having these conversations stored by a third party company and the potential danger of hacking of these systems (watch a TV report on privacy concerns about Hello Barbie). I found it amazing, that the potential harm a WiFi device, and its electromagnetic radiation, could do to a child’s health has not been considered as a serious danger by parents and action groups hoping to prevent the sale of ‘Hello Barbie’.
Science is divided, but it is hard to keep ignoring the undeniable ever increasing amount of research linking radiation exposure from wireless devices to health concerns, including fertility issues, cancers, behavior problems, DNA damage and much much more. Slowly more people are realising that radiation from WiFi and other sources of radio frequency (RF) radiation can affect health. There are liability issues to answer by those responsible for that exposure and a precautionary approach is called for instead of just allowing our exposure to increase one handy gadget or toy at a time. When the potential danger to children is involved, companies, schools but also parents have a duty of care to carefully consider if exposing a child to electromagnetic radiation is a risk they are willing to take.
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