Cell phone use in pregnancy may cause behavioral disorders in offspring

Taylor said that further research is needed in humans to better understand the mechanisms behind these findings and to establish safe exposure limits during pregnancy. Nevertheless, he said, limiting exposure of the fetus seems warranted.

First author 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.

Some recent studies seem to indicate that there may be cause for concern for your developing baby. Cell phones generate low levels of electromagnetic radiation, the same kind of radiofrequency waves you encounter with microwaves, TVs, and dozens of other machines you encounter everyday. But with cell phones, because you are probably using them so often, and they’re concentrated around your body, some researchers have cautioned pregnant women to take steps to minimize their exposure. Here are a few suggestions:

Use a Bluetooth. These devices emit less radiation than just your cell phone.

Remove any “skins” or decorations on your cell phone. These can interfere with the signal strength of your phone, meaning that your phone has to emit a stronger signal, so more radiation, in order to place your call.

Try to find other ways to place calls other than with your cell phone, for instance with your landline, through your computer, or use instant messaging.

“Cell phones were used in this study to mimic potential human exposure but future research will instead use standard electromagnetic field generators to more precisely define the level of exposure,” said Aldad.


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

The study was funded by grants from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, and Environment and Human Health, Inc.

Citation: Scientific Reports 2 : 312 | DOI: 10.1038/srep00312


Karen N. Peart
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Yale University

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