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20 March 2012
New concerns over cell phone use during pregnancy

Yale researchers working with mice say that fetal exposure to cell phone radiation produced ADHD-like behaviors in the offspring. The findings appear in the March 15 issue of Scientific Reports.

Study leader Hugh S. Taylor said his team exposed pregnant mice to radiation from a muted and silenced cell phone positioned above the cage and placed on an active phone call for the duration of the trial. A control group of mice was kept under the same conditions but with the phone deactivated.

The team later measured the brain electrical activity of adult mice that were exposed to radiation as fetuses, and conducted a range 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.

"This is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cellular telephones does in fact affect adult behavior," said Taylor, professor in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He attributed the behavioral changes to an effect during pregnancy on the development of neurons in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain.

Taylor speculates that the rise in behavioral disorders in human children may be in part due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure. He added that further research is needed in humans to better understand the mechanisms behind these findings and to establish safe exposure limits during pregnancy. Nevertheless, he said, limiting exposure of the fetus seems warranted.

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Source: Yale University

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