Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Baby Onboard: Please switch off cellphone"

Cellphone radiation had been suggested as a possible cause for the disappearance of the honeybee. And the internet is full of unsubstantiated rumors about gas station fires being sparked off by cellphones or eggs being boiled by cellphone radiation.

But this one is more real. Could the recent spurt in behavioral disorders in young kids be related to cellphone usage by them or their mothers during pregnancy ?

In a study, which is to be published in the July issue of the journal Epidemiology, scientists from universities of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Aarhus, Denmark surveyed the mothers of 13,159 children born in Denmark in the late 1990s about their use of the phones during pregnancy, and their children's use of handsets and behaviour up to the age of seven. The findings show that women who used mobile phones were 54% more likely to have children with behavioural problems, and that the likelihood increased with the amount of potential exposure to the radiation, the Independent daily of Britain said.

Study also found found that using mobile phones even two or three times daily was sufficient to increase the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships. The health implications likelihood is even greater if the children themselves used the phones before the age of seven.

The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the official Russian radiation watchdog body, holds that the peril cellphones pose "is not much lower than the risk to children's health from tobacco or alcohol".

Scary stuff.......However, the researchers warned that the results "should be interpreted with caution" and need to be verified by further studies.

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