Do cell phones cause brain damage?

July 10, 2012
Volume 09    |   Issue 28

If you read the label of most drugs and even many supplements, you’ll see the warning: “Not for pregnant women.” That’s because fetal exposure to many of these substances can cause problems for the baby. Now a new study suggests cell phones may need to carry a similar label. And there’s growing evidence that the danger isn’t just threatening the baby.

Scientific Reports, a Nature publication, published a study showing that radiation from cell phones affects the development of a baby’s brain while in the womb. The researchers in this study divided mice into two different cages and exposed them to cell phones placed on top of their cages. The phone for the placebo group was turned off. However, the phone for the study group was on, muted and silenced, and had an active call for the duration of the trial.

After the mice had their babies, the researchers waited until they became adults to measure the electrical activity of their brains. They also conducted several psychological and behavioral tests on the mice. Here’s what they found.

The mice exposed to radiation tended to be more hyperactive. They also had reduced memory capacity. The researchers said the behavioral changes were due to radiation’s effect on the development of neurons in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain.

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder associated with neuropathology in the same brain region. Those with ADHD struggle with inattention and hyperactivity, much like the symptoms the mice showed. The rate of ADHD among adult humans is growing rapidly. Are cell phones to blame?

It’s probably too early to tell, but this study shows it’s a possibility. Senior author Dr. Hugh S. Taylor said, “This is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cellular telephones does in fact affect adult behavior.” However, most adults today didn’t have cell phone exposure prior to birth. Cell phones haven’t been around that long.

Since rodent pregnancies last only 19 days and they have a less-developed brain than human babies, this study only suggests cell phones can cause problems. More research is needed. However, I’ve told you in the past that no radiation is good for you. Zero! So it’s likely that cell phones are causing some damage. We just don’t know how much or how fast.

Remember, this is one more study showing the harmful effects from cell phones. If they can cause problems in a fetus, what can they do to the rest of us? Certainly, nothing beneficial. It’s time to treat cell phones as being potentially dangerous to humans of any age. Treat them with respect and keep them as far away from your body as possible. Use wired headphones (not wireless, which also use radiation) to talk on them. And don’t charge your phone at night on a nightstand. It’s too close to your head. These warnings are especially important for pregnant women.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,

Sources:

ScienceDaily, March 15, 2012.

Tamir S. Aldad, Geliang Gan, Xiao-Bing Gao, Hugh S. Taylor. Fetal Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure From 800-1900 Mhz-Rated Cellular Telephones Affects Neurodevelopment and Behavior in Mice. Scientific Reports, 2012; 2 DOI: 10.1038/srep00312.

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