Attention pregnant women: put down your cellphone.
Cellphone radiation exposure during pregnancy impacts fetal
brain development and may cause hyperactivity, Yale School
of Medicine 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
cellphone exposure on pregnancies.
'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,' Taylor said.
Taylor said the researchers allowed the mice to give birth
and waited until offspring were young adults before
behaviors were tested.
'The mice exposed to cellphones 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 cellphone 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.
Cellphone 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 cellphone exposure
may have on pregnancies. The panel has been organized by Dr.
Devra Davis, who runs the non-profit organization
Environmental Health Trust.
Davis' organization 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
cellphones exactly next to the body ... I think that is
really a profound disconnect that people ought to be aware
The world now has almost as many cellphone subscriptions as
inhabitants, according to recent numbers published by the UN
In 2011, the World Health Organization's cancer arm said
cellphones could cause cancer and called for more research.
Some other countries around the world, including France,
have banned companies from advertising cellphones to
children due to the possible risks.
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