Cell Phone Use During Pregnancy Possibly Linked To Behavior Disorders

Cell phone use during pregnancy may be linked to behavior disorders according to Yale School of Medicine researchers.

It seems that radiation exposure from cell phones could affect the brain development of developing babies, said Science Daily. Problems include hyperactivity, said the Yale research team. The results, based on studies conducted on mice, appear in the March 15 issue of Scientific Reports, a Nature publication.

“This is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cellular telephones does, in fact, affect adult behavior,” said senior author Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, professor and chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, wrote Science Daily.

The team exposed pregnant mice to radiation from a muted and silenced cell phone placed above the cage and put on an active call during the entire trial, explained Science Daily. Another group of mice, a control group, was kept under the same conditions, but with a deactivated cell phone. The brain electrical activity of adult mice exposed to radiation as fetuses was measured and an array of psychological and behavioral tests were conducted. Mice exposed to radiation were more hyperactive and suffered from minimized memory capacity, the team found, Science Daily explained.

According to Taylor, behavioral changes were the result of an effect during pregnancy on the neuron development in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a developmental disorder linked to the neuropathology is, for the most part, localized in the same brain region, and is distinguished by inattention and hyperactivity, Science Daily explained.

“We have shown that behavioral problems in mice that resemble ADHD are caused by cell phone exposure in the womb,” said Taylor. “The rise in behavioral disorders in human children may be, in part, due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure,” Taylor added, wrote Science Daily. Taylor called for more human research to understand the mechanisms behind these findings and to create safe exposure limits during pregnancy. Regardless, said Taylor, exposure limits to the fetus is called for.

Recently, Health Canada proposed guidelines for limited cell phone use and encouraged Canadians to reduce cell phone talk times and to communicate by text messaging or with a hands-free device whenever they can. Other countries have already implemented this tactic, and, in Russia, officials issued a recommendation that children under the age of 18 completely avoid using the devices.

The United Kingdom, Israel, Belgium, Germany, India, and Finland have urged their citizens to be very cautious when it comes to their children’s use of cell phones; France issued a number of recommendations that included selling devices that limit head exposure to electromagnetic frequencies (EMF), banning ads promoting devices to children under the age of 14, banning cell phone use to children during teaching activities in certain locations and for certain grades, and indicating the SAR clearly on the device, among others.

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