Pink Slimed. Longstanding industry term "lean finely textured beef" gets dubbed "pink slime" in 2002. Celebrity calls attention to it on TV in 2011. Media hysteria ensues. Consumers decide chopped meat is now gross. Chopped meat demand falls. Meat processor AFA Foods Inc. files for bankruptcy. Whoa. An investor could not be faulted for considering the risk that someone could sound a "pink slime" alarm in respect of any investment. Take Apple (I will explain why this company came to mind before the bottom of this post). What if wifi was shown to cause autism in children? What would happen to demand for Apple (AAPL) wifi dependent devices like the iPad? Wifi is fundamental to a number of Apple products (some of which cannot access the internet at all without wifi). There is speculation that Apple stock could reach a trillion dollar market value. Who knows? The cell phone industry has done pretty well managing the occasional expression of concern over the effects of cell phone radiation (although the fears did help sell a lot of wired ear piece accessories in the late 90s). It might make a difference, however, if many more of the customers using tablets turn out to be younger than the typical young users of cell phones.
There may be other companies with latent pink slime-type risk, but here is the reason Apple came to mind. My fiancée is pregnant, and we both have been taking care to ensure that she eats and lives healthy throughout her pregnancy for the sake of the developing baby. Perhaps we have been more punctilious (or not) about health than others, but we have made a general point of avoiding radiation—to the extent modern living allows. She has stayed away from our microwave when it is in operation. I also made a point of changing our computer connections to our router to utilize a wired ethernet connection rather than a wireless connection (I also turned off each machine’s wifi functionality, and, via a Cisco browser-based control panel, turned off the wireless broadcast from our router). A bit frustrating was the fact that our iPads had to stay wireless to use the internet, as there was no way to connect our iPads to the internet via wire (but if someone knows of a way to do so, please advise). The result has been that I have been staying away from her when using my iPad on the internet, and she has just been reading on her iPad in airplane mode most of the time (and has been doing the bulk of her web surfing on her ethernet wired Macbook).
It is worth noting that we even looked into maternity clothing designed to protect against radiation. A search for the phrase "maternity radiation" on Amazon (AMZN) turned up a number of products including a radiation blocking blanket, maternity dress and camisole, however, we did not purchase any of these as we were lacking information on their efficacy. There actually appears to be a bit of a market in Asia for this kind of protective clothing, but it may just be a fad. Of course, if we really want to keep covered, there’s always the heavy duty stuff, but that would just be extreme.