Posted by Neharika Sabharwal on November 12, 2012

According to Yale School of Medicine researchers, exposure to radiation from cell phones during pregnancy may affect the brain development of unborn babies, potentially leading to hyperactivity.

Study of pregnant mice
In a bid to determine whether fetal exposure to radiation from cellular telephones affects adult behavior, the researchers carried out an animal study.

They exposed pregnant mice to radiation from a muted cell phone positioned above the cage and placed on an active phone call for the experiment. A control group of mice was kept under the same conditions but with the phone deactivated.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, a medical professor and chief of Yale's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences stated, “We had pregnant mice in cages and we just simply put a cellphone on top of the cage. In half the mice, the cellphone was active and in half of the ... cages the cellphone was turned off so it wasn't transmitting a signal at all.”

Observations of the study
The rodents in the trial gave birth and the investigators waited until the offspring were young adults. They then measured the brain electrical activity of adult mice that were exposed to radiation as fetuses and conducted psychological and behavioral tests. It was noted that mice that were exposed to radiation showed signs of hyperactivity, anxiety and poor memory.

Taylor stated,"The mice exposed to cellphones were more active. Their memory was slightly decreased ... these mice were basically bouncing off the walls and didn't have a care in the world.”

The study shows there is a "biological basis" to indicate that cellphone exposure can impact pregnancies. The experiment suggests that behavioral problems in mice were caused by cell phone exposure in the womb.

Though more research is needed to substantiate the findings, experts advise pregnant women to hold the devices away from the body to limit exposure of the fetus.

Dr. Devra Davis, who runs the non-profit organization Environmental Health Trust stated, "While it may be legal for companies to show advertisements of phones being used in ways that are not recommended, it is not ethical. 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 cellphones exactly next to the body ... I think that is really a profound disconnect that people ought to be aware of."

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