Using Mobilephones Could Harm Unborn Babies

Using Mobilephones Could Harm Unborn Babies
Mobilephone radiation exposure during pregnancy impacts fetal brain development and may cause hyperactivity, researchers say.

Dr. Hugh Taylor, a medical professor and chief of Yale’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, co-authored a recent study to probe the impact of mobilephone exposure on pregnancies.

“‘We had pregnant mice in cages and we just simply put a mobilephone on top of the cage. In half the mice, the mobilephone was active and in half of the. cages the mobilephone was turned off so it wasn’t transmitting a signal at all,” he said.

He said the researchers allowed the mice to give birth and waited until offspring were young adults before behaviours were tested.

“The mice exposed to mobilephone were more active,” Taylor said. “Their memory was slightly decreased  these mice were basically bouncing off the walls and didn’t have a care in the world.’”

Taylor says the study shows there is a “biological basis” to suggest mobilephone exposure can impact pregnancies. He says he is encouraging patients to be cautious with devices and recommends pregnant women hold phones away from the body.

Mobilephone manufacturers, including Blackberry and Apple, also say consumers should keep devices away from the body due to potential safety risks but these warnings often go unnoticed because they are featured in device manuals.

Taylor is slated to join other global researchers on Monday for a panel discussion about the impact mobilephone exposure may have on pregnancies. The panel has been organised by Dr. Devra Davis, who runs the non-profit organization Environmental Health Trust.

Davis’ organisation has been pushing governments around the world to take action on cellphone safety.

“While it may be legal for companies to show advertisements of phones being used in ways that are not recommended, it is not ethical,” she said. “When they sell phones to people, and they tell them in fine print to not use them next to the body, and then all their advertisements show them using mobilephone exactly next to the body. I think that is really a profound disconnect that people ought to be aware of.”

The world now has almost as many mobilephone subscriptions as inhabitants, according to recent numbers published by the UN telecom agency.

In 2011, the World Health Organization’s cancer arm said mobilephone could cause cancer and called for more research.

Some other countries around the world, have banned companies from advertising mobilephone to children due to the possible risks.

—Dailymail London
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