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Thu Oct 23 01:13:06 SAST 2014

Cellphone radiation during pregnancy does harm your baby: study

Times LIVE | 12 November, 2012 12:51
Pregnant. File photo.
Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

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, according to Daily Mail online.

'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,' Daily Mail online reports.

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.

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 of.'

The world now has almost as many cellphone subscriptions as inhabitants, according to recent numbers published by the UN telecom agency.

In 2011, the World Health Organization's cancer arm said cellphones could cause cancer and called for more research, according to Daily Mail online.

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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