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Researchers: Pregnant Moms With Cell Phones Give Birth to Hellions

angry boyIn studying cell phones' effects on human health, University of California Los Angeles researchers have concluded that pregnant mothers who use cell phones are more likely to have children with behavioral problems. Although lead researcher and epidemiologist Dr. Leeka Kheifets is reticent to say that cell phone exposure causes such problems, she did tell Reuters: "It is hard to understand how such low exposures could be influential... It is just something that needs to be pursued."

The study took its data from an ongoing Danish survey, which is following 100,000 women who were pregnant between the years of 1996 and 2002. From that pool, the UCLA researchers reviewed 28,000 mothers who had seven-year-old children. According to Kheifets and her colleagues, children whose mothers used cell phones while pregnant were 40-percent more likely to exhibit borderline behavior, disobedience or emotional problems. Of those children, the ones who had used cell phones themselves were 50-percent more likely to display such traits.

Upon first reflection, it seems reasonable to assume that mothers who frequently use cell phones are more likely to ignore their children, and that those children would be more likely to misbehave. To that end, Kheifets said, "One thought was that it was... not cell phone use but mothers' inattention that led to behavior problems. While it was important, it didn't explain the association that we found."

Still, Kheifets and her team are hesitant to explain the aforementioned association at all. "The authors suggest that precautionary measures may be warranted because they have 'virtually no cost,'" said University of Cambridge professor David Spiegelhalter to Reuters, "but they ignore the cost of giving intrusive health advice based on inadequate science."

Tags: behavior, cellphoneradiation, children, denmark, health, medical, parents, science, study, top, ucla