Pregnant Women’s Electromagnetic Exposure Linked to Children’s Asthma

Natural Society
by Susan Patterson

Mothers who are in close contact with electromagnetic fields while pregnant could have children with an increased risk of developing asthma, state U.S. scientists. Such devices examined in the study included microwaves ovens, hair dryers and vacuum cleaners.

The study conducted fits in with the ongoing debate as to the impact that long-term exposure to electromagnetic fields, such as power lines, vacuum cleaners, appliances and hair dryers, has on human health. Previous studies that have denied a relationship exists between electromagnetic exposure and health have not measured exposure directly but asked participants to estimate exposure.

Published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, scientists from Kaiser Permanente conducted a study that involved a group of 801 expecting women. The mothers-to-be were fitted with electromagnetic monitors that recorded the amount of low-frequency electromagnetic exposure they received over 24 hours.

Medical records were used to track the children of exposed mothers over a period of 13 years. The study revealed that almost 21 percent of the children had developed asthma; most by the time they were just 5 years old. When these results were compared against the mother’s exposure levels it was found that those who were within the highest amount of exposure were 3.5 times more likely to have a child with asthma than those in the lower exposure group. Children moderately exposed were at a 75% increased risk of asthma than those in the lowest exposure group.

Dr. De-Kun Li, senior research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California and other researchers suspect that electromagnetic fields, which have previously been linked to an increase in miscarriages, may affect immune response, which can trigger the development of asthma. At the least, states Li, this study suggests a need for further research into the issue.

Similar research revolving around the impact electromagnetic frequencies have on animals and humans found that exposure to these fields negatively alters important proteins found in the brain. The researchers found that 143 proteins in the brain were negatively impacted by radio frequency radiation over a period of 8 months. A total of 3 hours of cell phone exposure were simulated over the 8 month time period, and the results showed that many neural function related proteins’ functional relationship changed the for worse.

About 13 percent of children under the age of 18 have asthma, a condition that is caused by a malfunction of the immune system and the respiratory organs. Asthma is often treated with harsh pharmaceutical drugs that were found to actually kill more people each year than asthma alone, but safer solutions – such as minimizing exposure to electromagnetic chaos – do exist.

Related:  Cell Phones, EMF Negatively Altering Important Regions of the Brain

City warns of cell phone cancer

WCSH 6

PEMBROKE PINES, Florida (WTVJ) — Commissioners in Pembroke Pines, Florida have passed a resolution to warn residents about potential cancer dangers related to cellphone radiation.

The resolution, believed to be the first of its kind in the state, encourages residents to keep their cellphones at least one-inch away from their bodies, use a headset or speakerphone and send messages by text or email, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The resolution was passed after resident Jimmy Gonzalez told the commission about his brush with cancer, which he believes was caused by his cell phone.

Gonzalez had a cancerous tumor above his left ear removed in August 2011, a year after he’d had another tumor removed from his left hand.

Gonzalez, an attorney who used to use his cellphone for several hours a day, is now cancer-free.

“Do I have 100 percent scientific study that can say well this is what caused it?” Gonzalez said. “No, but I can’t think of anything that would explain this otherwise.”

Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis feels it’s his obligation to inform residents of even the slightest health risk.

“Cities do that, they make people aware of other cities or people that have something wrong with them or something else like that and I think that’s our job to make people aware of these things,” Ortis said.

Cell phone radiation DOES harm your baby and may cause hyperactivity, study says

Daily Mail

Attention pregnant women: put down your cellphone.

Cellphone radiation exposure during pregnancy impacts fetal brain development and may cause hyperactivity, Yale School of Medicine researchers say.

Dr. Hugh Taylor, a medical professor and chief of Yale’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, co-authored a recent study to probe the impact of cellphone exposure on pregnancies.

‘We had pregnant mice in cages and we just simply put a cellphone on top of the cage. In half the mice, the cellphone was active and in half of the … cages the cellphone was turned off so it wasn’t transmitting a signal at all,’ Taylor said.
Taylor said the researchers allowed the mice to give birth and waited until offspring were young adults before behaviors were tested.

‘The mice exposed to cellphones were more active,’ Taylor said. ‘Their memory was slightly decreased … these mice were basically bouncing off the walls and didn’t have a care in the world.’

Taylor says the study shows there is a “biological basis” to suggest cellphone exposure can impact pregnancies. He says he is encouraging patients to be cautious with devices and recommends pregnant women hold phones away from the body.
Cellphone manufacturers, including Blackberry and Apple, also say consumers should keep devices away from the body due to potential safety risks but these warnings often go unnoticed because they are featured in device manuals.
Taylor is slated to join other global researchers on Monday for a panel discussion about the impact cellphone exposure may have on pregnancies. The panel has been organized by Dr. Devra Davis, who runs the non-profit organization Environmental Health Trust.

Davis’ organization has been pushing governments around the world to take action on cellphone safety.
‘While it may be legal for companies to show advertisements of phones being used in ways that are not recommended, it is not ethical,’ she said. ‘When they sell phones to people, and they tell them in fine print to not use them next to the body, and then all their advertisements show them using cellphones exactly next to the body … I think that is really a profound disconnect that people ought to be aware of.’

The world now has almost as many cellphone subscriptions as inhabitants, according to recent numbers published by the UN telecom agency.

In 2011, the World Health Organization’s cancer arm said cellphones could cause cancer and called for more research.
Some other countries around the world, including France, have banned companies from advertising cellphones to children due to the possible risks.

Related: Pregnant women need not worry about cellphone use

CELL PHONES TOXIC TO HUMANS AND EARTH

Discovery News
by Tim Wall

The pollution produced by cell phones can be hard to locate, and it’s not just the fault of the iPhone 5’s much maligned map app. From production to disposal, cell phones contaminate the environment. A recent study by the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, Michigan and ifixit.com dissected 36 different models of cell phone and found that every one of them contained at least one of the toxic elements: lead, bromine, chlorine, mercury or cadmium.

The least toxic telephone was the Motorola Citrus, whereas the dirtiest dialer was the iPhone 2G. Apple had made big improvements over the years. The iPhone 4S and 5 both ranked in the top 5 of cleanest phones.

“Even the best phones from our study are still loaded with chemical hazards,” said the research director of the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org, where the results were published, Jeff Gearhart, in a press release.

“These chemicals, which are linked to birth defects, impaired learning and other serious health problems, have been found in soils at levels 10 to 100 times higher than background levels at e-waste recycling sites in China. We need better federal regulation of these chemicals, and we need to create incentives for the design of greener consumer electronics.”

Altogether, 1,106 individual phones were disassembled and tested by the team at ifixit.com using X-ray fluorescence, a technique that bombards an object with radiation then measures the radiation that is re-released by the object. Specific materials can be identified by the characteristic signature of radiation they re-release.

The biggest pollution and health risk from the phones comes in the mining of the minerals used in the phones, the production of the devices, and their subsequent disposal or recycling.

“We’re not making any claim that there’s any in-use exposure hazard from these mobile phones,” Gearhart told the Detroit Free Press.

The mining of some of the tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold used in cell phone production has been associated with exploitation and brutality in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said Gearhart in a press release. Once the life of the phone is over, many of them are shipped to China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and the Philippines where the hands-on recycling process there exposes workers to dangerous chemicals, according to the release.

“In 2009, 2.37 million tons of electronics were ready for what the Environmental Protection Agency calls ‘end-of-life management’—code for broken, dead, outdated, and unwanted devices,” said Kyle Wiens, CEO of ifixit.com, in a press release. “Of the digital castoffs, only 25 percent made it into recycling centers. We can’t allow the other 75 percent of our old electronics to become waste. All those toxins add up. E-waste is an enormous problem that can result in toxic chemicals seeping into drinking water and poisoning the environment.”

Healthystuff.org recommends the e-Stewards website for consumers looking to responsibly dispose of their cell phones and other electronics.

Cell and the cancerquences

MidDay
by Sudeshna Chowdhury

A recent report published by the World Health Organization says that cell phone radiation could possibly be carcinogenic. Doctors advise people to take precautions before it is too late

It seems caution is the watchword for billions of cell phone users across the world after a report published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), indicated that radiation from cell phones posed an increased risk for brain cancer.

The IARC, which is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cancer research agency, has classified ‘radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use’.

While many cell phone users are concerned, others are least bothered with the study findings. Many, though, have already pressed the panic button and are consciously cutting down on their talk time. For example, Rahul Jain, stock investor from Malad (W), after reading the latest report by WHO, has decided to use his mobile only when it is important.

“The nature of my job is such that I have to constantly be on the phone. But mobile-related health hazards are always on my mind.

At the same time, there is no direct correlation between cell phone usage and cancer, so many of us do not take these warnings seriously. Once concrete evidence comes up, I believe, we will be further limit mobile usage and take necessary precautions.”

Necessity
A lot of people believe that cell phones have now become an integral part of their life and it is next to impossible to do without them. “We’re youngsters and how could we possibly live without mobiles?” asked Devyani Sabnal (20), student of SIES college, Sion.

Referring to WHO’s report, Sabnal said, “Every problem has a solution. If researchers are saying that cell phone usage can be carcinogenic, then there is a need to find a solution too but abandoning cell phones or limiting its usage is not the answer.”

Arjun Pathwar (19), student of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) at Vile Parle too echoes a similar sentiment. “I am not bothered at all with this study. My friends too are aware of the study but we just don’t care.

Mobiles are one of the most effective forms of communication and if it is established that usage of cell phones can cause cancer, then we shall see what to do later. We can’t be bothered now,” elaborated Pathwar.

But doctors believe that, not paying heed to these warnings might prove dangerous for people in the long run. Hence it’s better to be safe than sorry. “By the time the results come out, which can clearly indicate that cell phones can have serious health hazards, many might have already lost their life.

In fact we see a lot of kids who come to us to seek treatment for brain tumour, etcetera, and we prescribe minimum usage of cell phones for such patients,” said Dr Arvind Kulkarni, Director, Radiation and Oncology, Lady Ratan Tata Medical Centre, Cooperage.

Dangerous
Dr Ashok Waghmare, a neuro physician recollects a case where one of his patients complained of severe headache and dizziness. “I suggested a few painkillers but he got no relief. After inquiring about his lifestyle, I got to know that he was a medical representative and had to use the phone constantly. So I suggested that he put the phone on loudspeaker while talking.

Within a week he was cured,” said Waghmare. When asked why cell phones could be dangerous for the brain, Waghmare points out that, “The brain has electromagnetic transmitters and it attracts such radiation. Hence brain function can be impaired.”

Waghmare further adds that using loudspeakers dissipates radiation from the phone to the surroundings and, “there is no direct connection with your ear. As a result, the radiation does not affect your brain too much. However, the best option is using landline phones.” Longer the distance, lesser the effects of radiation, say doctors.

Children
Most people in the age group of 25-40 have problems related to excess cell phone usage, says Waghmare. Doctors are concerned with cell phone usage among kids too.

In fact, many parents are equally concerned with the revelations of the WHO study. To prevent her son from using the cell phone, Mansiha Shroff makes her son, Manan (15), go through newspaper articles, which highlight risks related to excess cell phone usage. Said Shroff, “He is old enough to read such articles and understand the health hazards posed by radiation from cell phones. Also, he has a prepaid card, which limits his usage beyond a point.”

Shroff says that her five-year-old daughter, Riddhima too wants a mobile phone, “but we explain to her in simple terms that the mobile is bad for her health.” From safety issues to lack of sleep to other health issues, cell phones can affect kids in a lot of ways. “Cell phones do concern parents.

Some believe that it can impair their child’s hearing ability. Others express concern that too much usage of mobiles can lead to anxiety, irritation and lack of sleep,” said Arundhati Chauhan, President, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) United Forum.

Children and teenagers should be discouraged from using cell phones as, “Children and teenagers are more sensitive to genetic mutations than grown ups. Also, do not keep phones close to your head while sleeping. Switch the phone off at night,” said Kulkarni.

RISK FACTOR
Dr Anusheel Munshi

Nearly 5 billion people worldwide have mobile phones. In India itself, nearly 800 million people use cell phones. The WHO had set up an expert panel to evaluate the effect of cell phones on the human body.

On May 31, 2011 the expert panel said that cell phones might possibly cause side effects. In finding cell phones to be “possibly carcinogenic,” the IARC panel stated that heavy cell phone use might or might not cause a specific form of brain cancer called glioma.

The finding means that research is urgently needed to find out whether cell phones actually cause cancer. It is to be noted that the present panel report does not report any new finding of a study.

Rather it is the expert opinion of eminent leaders in scientific thought, based on the current literature. As of date, no study has categorically implicated cell phones as a causal factor for brain tumour, although there have been suggestions to that effect.

Lifetime exposure to the magnetic fields created by the phones is rapidly increasing. Cell phones are held tightly against the head. Also, children are at particular risk, not only because their skulls are thinner but also because their lifetime exposure to cell phones is likely will be greater than the exposure of current adults.

The effects of cell phones take long to manifest. In some cases this duration may be 10 years or more. Finally, cell phone technology is rapidly advancing and it is claimed that the electromagnetic exposure is progressively less with newer phones.

Electromagnetic radiation is governed by an interesting law known as the inverse square law. What this essentially means is that if we increase distance from the source by a factor of 2, the exposure gets reduced by 1/4th.

It is for this reason, that distance from the device is a critical saving factor from side effects of the cell phone, if indeed they are proven to have such effects. Till we get further evidence on the issue, it may be appropriate to observe the following precautions.

Cell phones may be used whenever they are really needed. For most routine work and casual talks, use the regular landline connection.
Discourage children from excessive use of cell phones.  Whenever possible, use a wired ear piece connected to the cell phone.
Avoid cell phone use when the signal is weak.
Consider alternating between left and right ear while talking on cell phone.
Use texting (SMS) instead of calling if possible.

Better safe than sorry

Dr Arvind Kulkarni

Radiation from mobile phones and other electronic devices such as microwave ovens, has been a concern for the medical community for many years.

The atmosphere is full of invisible electromagnetic emitted from radio, television, computer, etcetera. These electronic gadgets have become an integral part of our life and we cannot really do without them. But people can exert caution as far as their usage is concerned.

Although medical journals have often published reports, which state that a, “definite link between these radiation and cancer has not been proven yet,” I believe that, there is no point in waiting for such results to emerge.

One must realise that a tumour doesn’t develop instantly; it takes many years to develop. The writer is the Director, Radiation Oncology Department at the Lady Ratan Tata Medical Centre, Cooperage, Colaba, Mumbai

MALE INFERTILITY
Men risk wrecking their fertility if they don’t curb their cell phone use. Researchers have found that cell phone use may also lead to low sperm quality and a decrease in fertility.

“Our findings were a little bit puzzling,” said Rany Shamloul, postdoctoral fellow in pharmacology and toxicology at the Queen’s University, Canada, who led the study. “We were expecting to find different results, but the results we did find suggest that there could be some intriguing mechanisms at work,” said Shamloul.

The team discovered that men using cell phones reported higher levels of circulating testosterone but they also had lower levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), an important reproductive hormone that is secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain.

Researchers hypothesize that electromagnetic waves (EMW) emitted by mobiles may have a dual action on male hormone levels and fertility.

EMW may increase the number of cells in the testes ; but by lowering the levels of LH, EMW may block the conversion of basic circulating type of testosterone to the more active form of testosterone associated with sperm production and fertility.

Guidelines
The government assured that India would adhere to best global and scientific benchmarks while drafting the final guidelines in the telecom sector. The government’s reaction comes in the backdrop of a latest WHO report which says cellphone use can possibly cause brain cancer.

“While telecom is a huge success story in India, we have to ensure that any possible health related effects of radiation emitted by mobile phones and towers are reflected in the guidelines.

The final guidelines would take into account the best global benchmarks and scientific evidence on the subject,” said Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot.

The government in August last year, had set up an inter- ministerial group to evaluate the evidence, re-visit radiation guidelines for mobile towers and adopt guidelines for radiation emission by cell phones.

The group had made it mandatory for cellphone manufacturers to declare the radiation level of each mobile handset on the packet itself.

Behavioral Disorders in Children from Cellphone Use During Pregnancy

Natural Society

Moms-to-be might want to add a little distance between their unborn children and cell phones. The Yale School of Medicine released a study on the effect of radiofrequency radiation on fetal mice this week. Researchers concluded that it would be “sensible” for pregnant women to limit babies’ exposure to all wireless devices, as simply using the devices could help lead to behavioral disorders in children.

Behavioral Disorders in Children, ADHD and Unborn Mice

“This is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cellular telephones does in fact affect adult behavior,” said Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, head author of the study.

For the experiment, Taylor and other researchers placed a silenced cell phone above the cage of pregnant mice for all 19 days of gestation. All rodents born in the exposed group faced a series of psychological and behavioral tests; the exposed mice were more hyperactive and had reduced memory capacity. Taylor believes the exposure affected the rodents’ development of neurons in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.

“The rise in behavioral disorders in human children may be in part due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure,” Taylor concluded, though admitting more research was needed.

Differences in Mice and Men

Meanwhile, experts from the University College of London scorned the study as alarmist for comparing mice—smaller in size with a significantly shorter gestation period—to people.

The dose of radiation the unborn mice were exposed to was, in their view, disproportionate to the amount received by a human fetus due to size and brain development stage differences between the two species – essentially saying that behavioral disorders in children due cellphone radiation exposure simply isn’t an issue. One might note, however, that 9 months of gestation compared to 19 days might change the results, too.

More Studies Needed

The DailyMail received word from the Health Protection Agency, however, that the latter “constantly monitors and reviews this scientific research and will consider this study, along with other peer reviewed research, as part of that process.”

Keep in mind: two years ago, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, concluded in a study involving 29,000 children that behavioral disorders in children were more likely to occur due to cellphone exposure. In fact, those exposed to cell phones in utero were 30 percent more likely to have behavioral problems by age 7. Skeptical scientists claimed that other factors—such as the attentiveness of mothers obsessed with cell phone use—might have been at play.