No electromagnetic waves for pregnant women? New cell phone study on mice sparks concern.

Cell Phone Use in Pregnancy May Cause Behavioral Disorders in Offspring, Mouse Study Suggests

Exposure to radiation from cell phones during pregnancy affects the brain development of offspring, potentially leading to hyperactivity, Yale School of Medicine researchers have determined.

The results, based on studies in mice, are published in the March 15 issue of Scientific Reports, a Nature publication.

“This is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cellular telephones does in fact affect adult behavior,” said senior author Dr. Hugh S. Taylor.

The team measured the brain electrical activity of adult mice that were exposed to radiation as fetuses, and conducted a battery of psychological and behavioral tests. They found that the mice that were exposed to radiation tended to be more hyperactive and had reduced memory capacity. Taylor attributed the behavioral changes to an effect during pregnancy on the development of neurons in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain.

Source: Science Daily

As soon as I saw this, I knew it would get hyped. Sure enough, it was picked up by the major news outlets.
The Telegraph: Mobile phones could damage unborn babies
ABC News: Cell Phone Radiation Linked to Behavior Problems in Mice

The headlines link cell phone radiation to ADHD (behavioral problems). The researchers seemed to do this as well. And some articles note that broader studies on cell phone use and behavior have show similar concerns. But, for THOSE studies, you always had the question that something else RELATED to cell phone use was the cause (more stress, lifestyle factors, etc.). In this case, those factors were eliminated by using mice. However, that creates ANOTHER problem. Mice are much smaller, their brains are different, their physiology is different, their development is different. So, while we can’t even rely on this one study to be definitive regarding mice, we certainly can’t extrapolate it to people either.

So, many questions remain. I suppose the more interesting questions that this triggered for me is that we are surrounded by electromagnetic radiation – enveloped in it. My cell phone isn’t the worst emitter. If I had to guess, it would be my computer, television and other household appliances. Have THOSE devices been tested?

We have to be aware of confounding factors and the reasonableness of ultra-specific results in order to judge whether we can broadly apply them to our situation.

  3 comments for “No electromagnetic waves for pregnant women? New cell phone study on mice sparks concern.

  1. Mac
    March 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    -the walls of a typical house are laced with power lines
    -there are commercial broadcast antenna in every direction
    -the roads are lined with power lines
    -the earth has, probably throughout the evolution of man, been bombarded by broadband electromagnetic waves

    Very hard to get away from them, yet the species has thrived.

  2. March 17, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    – In the UK this kind of scare stories are usually answered by Sense About Science. They had debunking comments from 2 scientists within hours.
    (Be aware Sense About Science are largely funded by industry & have an associate company, which produces “A new survey says” press releases to order to help all kinds of clients get free media coverage.)

    March 23, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    and cancers of all kinds are on the rise!!!

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