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You probably heard the latest scary pregnancy news by now – a new study suggests cell phone radiation during pregnancy may put your child at risk for behavioral disorders like ADHD later. We reported on the study and so did just about every othernews outlet around. But while moms-to-be may now be freaking out about their cell phone use, I think the research study is getting blown out of proportion a bit. I’m 17 weeks pregnant and even though I love my iPhone and sit in front of my computer using wifi all day, I’m not worried. Keep reading to find out why this Yale study might not be as dramatic as everyone is making it out to be, and what I’m doing to protect my developing baby from the potential dangers of ionizing radiation from cell phones and wifi.
Why I’m Not Worried
First of all, the Yale School of Medicine research study linking cell phone radiation during pregnancy to ADHD and other behavioral disorders in kids was done on mice. As you may have noticed, mice are very different from humans. Mice are much smaller than humans, so the dose of radiation they were administered from an active cell phone (they didn’t use mice-sized cell phones by the way!) could likely have a larger affect on their tiny bodies than the same would on humans’ larger bodies. Not to mention the gestation period of mice is 19 to 21 days, just a fraction of the 280 days humans are pregnant.The active cell phone was set on a permanent call above the mice’s cage for 17 days – almost the entire time of the rodent’s pregnancy.
According to a New Scientist article, some experts agree that this study should be looked at more cautiously. Eric Taylor, a child psychiatrist from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, says that “much more care” is needed when extrapolating directly from mice to humans. He adds that the radiation dose in the experiment was large, and the “researchers’ tests of animal memory should not be directly equated to human attention [because] different species can react differently”. He also said the rate of ADHD problems has actually been steady for more than 20 years and any increase is most likely due to greater recognition of the disorder, not an increase in cell phone use during pregnancy.
The Yale researchers say it would be sensible for pregnant women to limit their baby’s exposure to mobile phones. Will I change my habits during my pregnancy? Well, I’m certainly not going to put my phone on a permanent call and set it on my bump for 17 days, but I don’t actually spend too many minutes a day talking or tinkering on my cell phone any way. I don’t think I’ll cut back from my normal mobile phone routine, but there are a couple of things I’m already doing to protect my baby-to-be.