The Independent newspaper reports on a new study that has found that mothers using cell phones can increase the
risk of having kids with behavioral problems due to radiation exposure. While
it's almost impossible to live without a cell these days (a huge ad for a cell
phone company runs right alongside the online article), these findings may give
pregnant women pause.
The study talked to the mothers of over 13,000 children in Denmark about their cell phone use during pregnancy, as well as their childrens use of them up to the age seven. It found that even using the handset as few as two or three times a day can raise the risk of their children having hyperactivity, as well as difficulty with conduct, emotions and relationships.
From the story:
"They found that mothers who did use the handsets were 54% more likely to have children with behavioral problems and that the likelihood increased with the amount of potential exposure to the radiation. And when the children also later used the phones they were, overall, 80% more likely to suffer from difficulties with behavior. They were 25% more at risk from emotional problems, 34% more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers, 35% more likely to be hyperactive, and 49% more prone to problems with conduct."
Apparently the results of this study surprised one of its authors, Leeka Kheifets (who had previously expressed doubt about the risks of cell phones), which could possibly legitimize it some. In terms of my own life I'll do what I can to keep calls short the next time I'm pregnant, and it should be easy to keep my daughters off them when theyre young have you ever heard a seven-year-old talk on the phone? What freaks me out more is thinking about how much time I spent with my laptop on or near my belly during my pregnancies, and what damaging electromagnetic rays entered my body. When your back hurts and you're getting uncomfortable it's really hard to sit at a desk, and I dread the study that explains how I damaged their forming fetuses because I needed a fix of babyrazzi.com.
An obvious criticism of the study is that women who spend a ton of time on
their cells might have kids with behavior issues because they're on the phone
instead of interacting, but one of the leaders in this field, Professor Sam
Milham from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the University
of Washington School of Public Heath, thinks the study is worth taking
seriously. He refers to recent Canadian research that found pregnant rats
exposed to radiation experiencing similar structural changes in their
offsprings brains in support.
While it wouldnt come as a great shock to find that regulations on cell phones arent adequately protecting the unborn, you have to use your common sense and do what you can. It seems like keeping calls short until you can get to a landline is reasonable. There are so few working pay phones left in the world that living without a cell and expecting to rely on pay phones in an emergency seems too dangerous to me to encourage living cell-free.
For expert commentary and insight, see what Cindy Sage and Blake Levitt, who both write extensively about electromagnetic fields and were not surprised by the recent findings, have to say on Weep News a website about the Canadian Initiative to Stop Wireless, Electronic, and Electromagnetic Pollution.
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