Cell Phone Use in Pregnancy Linked to Behavior Problems

Yet another study has emerged on the health effects of cell phone radiation. Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have found that exposing pregnant mice to radio-frequency radiation from cellular telephones negatively affected the behavior of their offspring.


The study’s authors are calling it the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to cell phone radiation affects adult behavior. Prior cell phone research has focused mainly on the potential cancer risk that arises when body tissues absorb the radiation that the phones emit. Findings in that area have been inconsistent and several U.S. agencies – including the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control – maintain that current science doesn’t conclusively prove any cancer risk from cell phone use.


In the pregnancy study, scientists exposed mice to radiation from a muted, silenced cell phone placed on an active call for the entire 19 days of their pregnancy. A control group of mice were kept under the same conditions but with the phone deactivated. The mice gave birth and when their mouse pups grew up, those exposed to radiation as fetuses tended to be more hyperactive and had higher levels of anxiety and lower memory capacity. The researchers theorize that this is because the radiation changed development of the prefrontal cortex regions of the mice’s brains – the part that regulates decision-making and moderates social behavior.


ADHD in human children is associated with changes in the same brain.


But they emphasize that mice are not humans. Mice are born with less-developed brains than are human babies, and further experiments are needed.


The study results are published in a recent issue of Scientific Reports, a Nature publication.


– Christina Elston 

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