So, what's killing you?
There must be something. The fumes that waft from your gas tank as you fill your car? The waxy stuff on the outside of the apple you're eating? The fluoride in your water? The windmill on the far away hill?
The list of things that could be harmful to our health is endless. What's worse, it's constantly shifting. We hear a new rumor today, which may be dismissed by experts tomorrow.
Yet rumors, once raised, take on a life of their own, particularly on the Web.
The list of threats also varies by person. Genetically modified corn is a diabolical plot to one person and the latest scientific wonder to the next.
All of which makes it difficult to roll out any new idea in our society, which is the problem Central Maine Power is having with its new "smart meter."
A small sliver of customers is not convinced of their safety, despite assurances from Maine's top doctor, Dora Anne Mills, and the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
CMP is in the initial stages of a two-year project to place 620,000 of the digital devices on the outsides of homes.
The transmitters will replace traditional electric meters, as well as human meter-readers, saving the company money.
The firm also promises the meters will help more quickly identify outages and, eventually, help consumers hold down their electric rates.
We'll believe that when we see it.
The meters transmit for a few minutes each day at very low power to a nearby antenna, which relays information to CMP.
The company says the meters are a crucial link in the global electrical grid of the future, a network that will instantly match electric demand with multiple generators, like wind, solar, hydro and natural gas.
Opponents, meanwhile, want a moratorium on installations until CMP can prove the meters are safe. They claim the devices can cause cancer and a host of other maladies.
After reviewing the medical literature, Dr. Mills concluded the meters operate the same way as other household devices, including wireless computer routers and cordless phones.
She says the meters emit non-ionizing radiation, not the cancer-causing variety.
At which point the debate starts to sound a lot like the legislative fight last year over the safety of cell phones.
But there is a key difference. While the people who feel these signals are dangerous may be small, they do have the option of not using cell phones.
It would be difficult, or impossible, for them to go without electrical service.
That's why the state and CMP should allow them to opt out and stick with their old meters.
A fee of $10 or $20 per month would be appropriate to offset the additional cost to CMP. The firm is no doubt capable of estimating their usage and reading their meters quarterly or even annually.
We believe Dr. Mills when she says the meters are safe.
But not everyone does, and they and their feelings should be respected.