Thursday, July 29, 2010

A bizarre potential cause for cancer

I do research on Cardiac CT and regularly order nuclear stress tests for my patients, both of which give patients 1 to 10 times the annual dose of background radiation. Tests such as these have been the root of a great deal of controversy on the subject of radiation safety. Now, researchers in Sweden are suggesting that sleeping on a boxspring could be similarly dangerous.

The science seems plausible, but definitely weird. The idea is that the metal in our boxsprings is at the appropriate length to serve as an amplifier for FM and TV signals, which would then be reflected just a few inches to feet above the matress. They are basing their suggestion on the obervations that 1) skin cancer like melanoma and breast cancer seem to occur more commonly on the right, 2) people tend to prefer sleeping on their right side, 3) there is no excess of right-sided cancers in Japan where people sleep "futon-style" with the mattress on the floor instead of a boxspring.

As Scientific American points out, this might just be plausible but I'm not throwing out my bedspring just yet....

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