Will cell phone use during pregnancy lead to baby behavioral issues?

March 20, 2012 12:00 AM by

A recent mice study performed by the Yale School of Medicine suggests that cell phone radiation during a pregnancy could have an effect on the brain development of the fetus, leading to behavioral issues down the road.

Researchers exposed pregnant mice to radiation from a muted and silent cell phone placed on an active phone call that was put on top of the cage. Another group of mice was exposed to a deactivated cell phone. The adult mice that were exposed to the phones in the womb were later tested and discovered to exhibit hyperactivity and a reduced memory.

The senior author of the study, Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, explained in the report that these changes were likely due to the effect of the radiation on the development of neurons in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder associated with the same area of the brain and is often characterized by hyperactivity.

Of course, while it may be a good idea to keep your phone away from your belly and turn it off when it's not in use, there's not enough human-based research to warrant ditching that iPhone when you're pregnant. Cell phones emit low levels of radiation that are similar to microwaves, computers and televisions, and you still use those, right?

When it comes down to it, every cell phone has certain levels of radiation, so here's what you need to know – the SAR (specific absorption rate) value of a phone is the amount of energy that's absorbed by your body when you're using it. The higher the SAR, the more radiation you absorb. If you're concerned about exposing your unborn baby to higher levels of radiation, check your mobile phone's SAR rating by looking in the instruction manual or on the manufacturer's website. The good news is that any phone that's legally sold in the U.S. already meets safe SAR standards.

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