Cellphone Use in Pregnancy may cause ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in Offspring

Cellphone Use in Pregnancy

Cellphone use and the risk to human health keeps rearing it’s head at every turn. Apparently, the last has not been heard on the controversy. We published an article in March this year on the topic Cellphones and Cancer (you can access the article here) where we highlighted various shades of opinion on this topic. We thought we were done. But how wrong could we be. Shortly after our article was published,  researchers from Yale School of Medicine working on mice published their discovery that radiation from cellphones placed close to the pregnant mice for a considerable length of time do affect the foetuses (i.e. the unborn mice). In the study that took a two year period to conclude, cellphones were placed on the cages of the pregnant mice. The brain development seem to be affected leading to over activity behaviors and memory disturbances in new born mice. The behaviors of these new born mice were found to be similar to what obtains in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD in humans.

One of the study authors, Tamir Aldad added that rodent pregnancies last only 19 days and offspring are born with a less-developed brain than human babies, so further research is needed to determine if the potential risks of exposure to radiation during human pregnancy are similar.

Studies of this kind cannot be done on humans due to ethical reasons, and retrospective studies have so far not yielded any convincing proofs in humans because other environmental factors in the pregnant women’s lives might also have contributed to behavioral disorders in their children. This much is noted and acknowledged  by the study group. However, many studies that were later confirmed in humans were initially done on laboratory animals. So, once again, we say one cannot be too cautious on such issues. While it is definitely advantageous to carry and use cellphones, it may be wise for pregnant women keep the phones as far as possible from their tummy.

Another of the study’s authors, Dr Hugh Taylor has this to say: “It’s probably safer for a pregnant woman not to carry their cell phone clipped to their belt or sleep with the phone near their abdomen unless it’s turned off,”

This to us, seem to be very sound advice.

What’s your opinion on this?

Comments and contributions are welcome. We learn from each others contributions.


Other Yale authors on the study are Geliang Gan and Xiao-Bing Gao.

The full scientific paper here.




6 comments for “Cellphone Use in Pregnancy may cause ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in Offspring

  1. May 15, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Reminds me of all the conspiracies orchesterated by the tobacco companies, now it is a very established fact about the dangers of smoking.
    So also, the mobile networks would continue to fight and supress info like this, even funding favourable researches. They have the resources, just like the tobacco companies.
    One day, it will all be in the open.

  2. Afewgoodmen
    May 15, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Nice to know. Research done on mice doesn’t irrevocably transfers to human. Just that, if cellphones actually affected the unborn child there would’ve been more cases of Attention deficit disorders. However, Expectant watching and prudence is the key.

    And this calls for more crossectional research into the matter.

    Gr8 article, Chief!

  3. jujukemist
    May 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

    what is the dose of the radiation exposure on the mice visavis their body weight and surface area.this would tell us how long and how intense the radiation affected the babies.
    However this calls for caution,especially some reckless 21st century girls becoming accidental mothers.
    Thanks doc.jolting writeup

  4. admin
    May 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I pray we never come to the tobacco companies conspiracy situation because it will be suicidal for the human race. Nobody is immune to the effects of radiations from cellphones or base stations. Let’s just hope that in the end, no harmful effects will be discovered.


    “…Expectant watching and prudence is the key..”

    I couldn’t have put it better.

    Yes, the dose, duration, surface area, and body weight have to be factors here. Also, gestational age of rodents. We have to be careful not to run into conclusions. But this study really confirmed cause and effect relationship as it applies to the mice. You may want to follow the link given in the article and read the whole research paper.

  5. Steve
    May 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Interesting and thought provoking article. In our school days, we learnt that most drugs were usually tested on animals before being approved on humans. If this were to stand true, then we can safely assume that this study could actually be a model of what can happen to us. Cellphone industry is just about 10 years old. Enough studies have not been done due to the short time span.

    We need to be extremely cautious so as not to end up like the Thalidomide disaster of yore.

  6. Eye_bee_kay
    June 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    There are so many side effects of technology these days
    it is scary

    Using aluminum_Coated utensils. Living close to base stations. Inhaling exhaust from automobiles. Living under power_lines. unknowingly drinking water containing heavy metal
    Carcinogenic additives in food preservatives. Ingesting genetically modified food…

    The list goes on and on…

    Little wonder life expectancy is getting lower on the developing world- despite advances in medicine.

    eternal vigilance is key. Minimize / Avoid what is avoidable.

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