Cell Phone Radiation During Pregnancy Linked to Behavioral Disorders of Offspring

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New research finds that pregnant women who are exposed to cell phone radiation may in turn be exposing their offspring to behavioral disorders. And you thought the cell phone debates were over. Thus far concrete cell phone research has been elusive. We’ve heard that cell phone radiation causes cancer and may pose other deadly side effects for kids, only to have other research proclaim that health effects of too much cell phone radiation is unknown. This new research lands squarely in the cell phones are unsafe camp. Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that pregnant mice exposed to cell phone radiation later have babies with affected behaviors, including increased hyperactive and anxiety along with poorer memory, all of which are similar to symptoms seen in kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Image by Flickr User Jellaluna

The new research published in the March 15 issue of Scientific Reports, a Nature publication, involved exposing pregnant mice to radiation from a muted and silenced cell phone positioned above their cage. A second control group of pregnant mice were kept in much the same conditions, only with a deactivated cell phone. Later on, the research team measured the brain electrical activity of adult mice born from both groups of mice and found that the mice born to mothers exposed to cell phone radiation as fetuses tended to be more hyperactive and had reduced memory capacity. 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 attributed the behavioral changes on the development of neurons in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain that may be linked to cell phones. Taylor notes, “This is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cellular telephones does in fact affect adult behavior… The rise in behavioral disorders in human children may be in part due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure.” Researchers also note that rodent pregnancies last just 19 days and mice offspring are born with a less-developed brain than human babies. Further research is needed to determine if human mothers exposed to the same amounts of radiation result in the same detrimental behavioral problems in human babies. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of the cell phone safety debate. Until researchers come up with concrete solutions, you may want to play it safe by using phone cases that reduce radiation and avoid unnecessary sources of radiation.

+ Scientific Reports 2, Article number: 312 doi:10.1038/srep00312

+ Source: Yale News

Lead image by Flickr User GoodNCrazy

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