Exposure to mobile phones before and after birth linked to kids' behavioral problems: study

Dec 07, 2010

Pregnant mums who regularly use mobile phones may be more likely to have kids with behavioural problems, particularly if those children start using mobile phones early themselves, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The researchers base their findings on more than 28,000 seven year olds and their mothers who were part of the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) study.

This study enrolled nearly 100,000 between 1996 and 2002, with the intention of tracking their kids' long term health.

The mums supplied detailed information on their lifestyle, dietary and environmental factors during the course of four lengthy phone interviews during and after pregnancy.

When their reached the age of 7, the mums were quizzed again about their and their kids' health, including behaviour, which were scored using validated assessments. They were also asked to provide details of their mobile phone use during and their kids' .

The researchers had already studied a group of mothers and their 13,000 children from the DNBC and found similarities between the two groups.

In the new group, more than a third (35%) of the 7 year olds were using a compared with 30% of the previous group. And whereas around one in 10 children of the previous group were jointly exposed to mobile phones before and after birth, this applied to 17% of the new group.

In both groups, around 3% of children were considered to have borderline behavioural problems, and similar proportions were categorised as exhibiting abnormal behaviour.

Children in both groups exposed to mobile phones before and after birth were 50% more likely to have behavioural problems, after taking account of a wide range of influential factors.

Those exposed to mobile phones before birth only were 40% more likely to have behavioural problems, while those with no but with access to them by the age of 7 were 20% more likely to exhibit abnormal behaviours.

The authors say that these new results back their previous research and reduce the likelihood that this could have been a chance finding.

And they conclude: "Although it is premature to interpret these results as causal, we are concerned that early exposure to cell phones could carry a risk, which, if real, would be of public health concern given the widespread use of this technology."

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User comments : 7

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davaguco
1.5 / 5 (2) Dec 07, 2010
This worries me A LOT, to be honest.
Yvan_Dutil
5 / 5 (3) Dec 07, 2010
Sociological biais? Stressed mother use cell phone more. Upper class children use cell phone more. This might be enough to get this result.
ab3a
5 / 5 (2) Dec 07, 2010
Could it be that the kids who use cell phones early are simply trying to get away from their parents/guardians? Could it be that their parents/guardians are simply emotionally remote themselves?

The assumptions in this study are huge. This is yet another foolish study that attempts to show a connection between RF and er, well, something bad. They've been doing studies like this since the dawn of radio over 100 years ago. Besides the well known thermal heating effects, nobody has ever arrived at a reproducible, well documented hazard.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Dec 07, 2010
The authors say that these new results back their previous research and reduce the likelihood that this could have been a chance finding.

And they conclude: "Although it is premature to interpret these results as causal, we are concerned that early exposure to cell phones could carry a risk, which, if real, would be of public health concern given the widespread use of this technology."
What are we going to blame cell phones for next?

Behavioral problems comming from parents that use mobile phones more often, leads me to think you'll see the same percentages from a group of mothers who use regular landline phones often as well. I think the behavior is a result of the mirrored behaviors of the parents more than the device in question.
lengould100
4.8 / 5 (4) Dec 07, 2010
I also agree this is a nonsensical conclusion. The same data could be used simply to conclude that brighter children are more difficult to parent.
ArtflDgr
not rated yet Dec 07, 2010
What are we going to blame cell phones for next?

Rainbows of death?
Modernmystic
not rated yet Dec 07, 2010
This worries me A LOT, to be honest.


Then the fact that you've had the lights on around pregnant women should scare the HELL out of you because it's closer to ionizing radiation (the kind that can actually effect biological tissue beyond heating it up) than your cell phone is....

This is absolute, unmitigated bull****.

Seriously, sleep well and don't give it another thought.