Mobile phone use in pregnancy and by young children linked to behavioural problems
Scientists are in disagreement over how mobile phones may affect your unborn baby's behaviour
Children who are exposed to mobile phones in the womb and as babies are more likely to develop behavioural problems, according to a new study from California.
Babies whose mums used their mobile phone regularly while pregnant had a 30% increased risk of problems while exposure in the early months and years of life appeared to up the risk by 20%. The study also took into account the environmental factors and lifestyle of the 29,000 children involved in the study.
Researcher Dr Leeka Kheifets said the results "demonstrated that cell phone use was associated with behavioural problems at age seven years."
However, experts have cast doubts on these conclusions.
"Exposure to radiofrequency radiation from mobile phones is highly localised to the part of the head closest," explained Professor Patricia McKinney, from the University of Leeds. "There is no evidence to suggest that other parts of the body are affected."
David Coggon, professor of occupational and environmental medicine at the University of Southampton also criticised the results. “The pattern of results suggests that the observed increase in behavioural problems may have been caused by factors other than phone use,” he said.
If you're a mum-to-be, you may feel happier if you avoid keeping your phone in your pocket or near your bump. Find out more about mobile phone safety over on our sister site, MadeForMums.