Behavior about Prenatal cell phone exposure

        Recently, new research shows that children whose mothers used cell phones frequently during pregnancy and who are themselves cell phone users are more likely to have behavior problems.
        Dr. Leeka Kheifets of the UCLA School of Public Health, who helped conduct the study, told Reuters Health that the finding “certainly shouldn’t be over interpreted, but nevertheless points in a direction where further research is needed. It’s a wonderful technology and people are certainly going to be using it more and more, We need to be looking into what are the potential health effects and what are ways to reduce risks should there be any.”
        A group of 13,159 children whose mothers had been recruited to participate in the Danish National Birth Cohort study early in their pregnancies Kheifets and her team looked at it. When the children reached age 7, mothers were asked to complete a questionnaire about their children’s behavior and health, as well as the mother’s own cell phone use in pregnancy and the child’s use of cell phones.
       Kheifets and her colleagues note that a fetus’s exposure to radiofrequency fields by a mother’s mobile phone use is likely very small. However, they add, research has shown that children using cell phones are exposed to more radiofrequency energy than adults, because their ears and brains are smaller.After the researchers adjusted for factors that could influence the results, such as a mother’s psychiatric problems and socioeconomic factors, children with both prenatal and postnatal cell phone exposure were 80 percent more likely to have abnormal or borderline scores on tests evaluating emotional problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity, or problems with peers.
        Because cell phone use was so infrequent among children in the study – 30 percent of kids were using a cell phone, but just 1 percent used a cell phone for more than an hour a week – radiofrequency exposure seems unlikely to have caused any behavior problems, they say.
        No matter what the factors behind the association are – if there indeed is a real relationship between cell phone use and behavior problems–one simple way to reduce exposure to cell phones would be to use hands-free technology, Kheifets said in an interview.
       The researcher said “We felt that the public is quite capable of dealing with proper information. One shouldn’t really try to be paternalistic about it.” Kheifets and her team believe that while their findings are preliminary, they should be reported.

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