Is electromagnetic radiation dangerous for children and pregnant? A cause for rise in autism?

Are there health effects on children and pregnant women from the radiation of mobile phones, wireless modems, laptops, tablets, cell phone masts, power cables etc; What's the connection with the modern rise of childhood cognition and behavior problems (hyperactivity, autism, etc)? What does the Institute of Neurobiology at Washington proposes during pregnancy? How can children and pregnant women reduce their electromagnetic exposure?

mother holding child and laptop

“The limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields which have been set for the general public are obsolete. They do not take account of developments in information and communication technologies or vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, newborn babies and children. “ European Parliament, Resolution 2007/2252 [1]

Rise in childhood hyperactivity, aggression, attention deficit syndrome and autism - What are the causes?

The statistics record a significant and continuous increase in the percentage of children who have hyperactivity, ADHD (or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD - ADD) or autistic spectrum disorders, aggression, psychological problems etc.

Children with autism have difficulty to communicate and socialize, have verbal difficulties, obsessions and repetitive behavior, abnormal interests etc. Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, lack concentration and / or are hyperactive and according to research have lower school performance and academic progress.

According to some data, today 1 in 91 children born become autistic [2] (higher the percentage of boys), while in the 80 ' autistic was born only 1 in 10,000 children. [3]

Similarly, the percentage of children exhibiting ADHD is estimated at 3-7% [4].

In the USA, for ADD, the medication Ritalin, which is a stimulant of the nervous system, is prescribed in 3% of children [5]! Long-term use of Ritalin may cause delay in the development of the child.

Theories about the cause of contemporary increase in autism are many: environmental factors, vaccines, increased stress and drug use during pregnancy, allergies to milk etc.

Some scientists argue that the condition is associated with the exposure of the mother and / or child in common sources of electromagnetic radiation, which result in incomplete or problematic development of children's brains.

"There has been a 60-fold increase in ASD in recent years, which cannot be accounted for by improvements in diagnostic methods and can only be explained by changes in the environment. This increase corresponds in time to the proliferation of mobile telecommunications, Wi-Fi, and microwave ovens as well as extremely low frequency fields from household wiring and domestic appliances. We can now explain at least some of this in terms of electromagnetically-induced membrane leakage leading to brain hyperactivity and abnormal brain development." Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy, former lecturer Imperial College London [6]

During critical windows in neurogenesis the brain is susceptible to numerous environmental insults; common medically relevant exposures include ionizing radiation, alcohol, tobacco, drugs and stress. The effects of these agents are dependent on dose and timing of exposure. Even small exposures during periods of neurogenesis have a more profound effect than exposure as an adult. (…) The exposure to cellular telephones in pregnancy may have a comparable effect on the fetus and similar implications for society as do exposures to other common neurodevelopmental toxicants. Researchers Tamir, Aldad, Geliang, Xiao-Bing, Hugh, Yale University [7]

Why are developing organisms are more vulnerable to radiation?

  • their immune system is less developed than that of adults
  • increased proliferation of cells makes them more vulnerable to genetic damage [8]
  • the biological effects on cell growth caused by exposure to artificial radiation are much greater in young and rapidly growing cells than in senescent (Kwee 2003 [9])
  • the penetration of radiation is deeper in minors because of their smaller brain size, thinner bones and larger water capacity (increased conductivity).

See the difference in the absorption of radiation from mobile phones in the brains of an adult, a child 10 years old and a child 5 years old (from left to right) [10]:

brain radiation penetration for infant and adult

Perhaps the continuous increase of childhood brain cancer cases in England, Australia, USA and Japan [11] and the fact that 20% of the brain tumors in children is malignant (while in adult only 2% are) [12], is not accidental..

"The adverse effects of electrosmog may take decades to be appreciated, although some, like carcinogenicity, are already starting to surface. This gigantic experiment on our children and grandchildren could result in massive damage to mind and body with the potential to produce a disaster of unprecedented proportions, unless proper precautions are immediately implemented." Paul Rosch, professor of medicine at New York Medical School [13]

baby holding a STOP sign

Wireless radiation is the biggest problem

The wireless radiation, with pulsed waveform, emitted by cell phone masts, mobile and cordless phones, wireless modems (Wi-Fi) etc:

  • inhibits the formation of normal electromagnetic activity of the brain, which is stabilized at around the age 12, which explains the increasing incidence of hyperactivity and epilepsy in children according to Dr. Gerard Hyland, biophysicist at Warwick University and 2 times nominated for the Nobel Medicine Prize [14].

furius child talking to cell phone

  • "Lead to sleep disturbances, depression, chronic fatigue, headaches, reduced learning ability, pregnancy miscarriages, premature infant mortality, congenital deformities, (...) leukemia, cancer of the brain, breast and testicular cancer (...) while are exposed to wireless radiation parents have children with higher rates of cancers of the central nervous system and other health problems "[15] according to Dr. Neil Cherry Lincoln University, New Zealand
  • Detunes initial calibration of brain networks and the mirror-neuron system (mirror neuron system) in newborns, leading to autistic behavior patterns (Thornton [16]) and are a possible cause of the contemporary increase in cases of autism (Kane [17])
  • causing the creation of many random and useless neural connections, which explains the usually larger skull of autistic children, according to Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy, former assistant of Imperial College London [18]
  • "A possible explanation of the increase in behavioral problems in developing countries" according to researchers at Yale University that showed that "mice exposed to radiation from mobile phones during pregnancy was hyperactive and had reduced memory" [19]
  • may increase the risk of cancer in children (and broadcasting antennas [20], [21])

"Because there are suggestions that RF exposure may be more hazardous for the fetus and child due to their greater susceptibility, prudent avoidance is one approach to keeping children’s exposure as low as possible."  World Health Organization [22]

 Adverse health effects in humans of the kinds already reported worldwide such as headaches, sleep disruption, impairment of short-term memory, etc. - whilst maybe not life-threatening in themselves, do nevertheless have a debilitating effect that undoubtedly affects general well-being, and which in the case of some children could well undermine their neurological and academic development, as is already evident from experience in the case of a number of infant/junior schools at which a GSM Base-station is located." Dr. Gerard Hyland, Biophysics, University of Warwick, 2 times Nobel Prize contender [23]

Other effects on pregnancy from wireless radiation

  • a 2007 study [24] showed that the use of mobile phones increases the risk of miscarriage while a 2013 study [25] showed that women who used more mobile phones and computers during pregnancy had the most premature births.
  • Researchers (Nakamura, 1997 [26], 2000 [27]) recorded malfunctions in the ovaries and placenta, increased stress levels and reduced activity of natural killer cells due to exposure to wireless radiation during pregnancy.
  • Late embryonic development due to exposure to cell phone radiation was recorded on animal research [28]. The authors suggest that the use of mobile phones by pregnant women may lead to hazards. Effects in embryogenesis were also recorded by Tsybulin 2012 [29]

Higher wireless radiation values are usually recorded in apartments because of the multitude of wireless applications from neighbors, in offices due to wireless telephones and computer networks and in densely populated areas because of the presence of more antennas of all types, in houses near cell phone towers and on the upper floors of buildings because they are more exposed to wireless radiation than the lower floors.

various wireless radiation sources

What does the Neurobiology Institute of Washington suggest to pregnant women

Study of the Institute of Neurobiology at Washington recorded 8 times more radiation from electrical sources and 20 times more radiation from wireless sources in the beds that were used during pregnancy by mothers who gave birth to autistic children [30] .

Similarly, they recorded 8 times more radiation from electric sources and 13 times more radiation from wireless sources in the beds of children with autism compared to healthy children.

The Director of the Institute, Dr. Klingkchart, proposes several preventive measures for women who are pregnant, emphasizing in the prevention of high exposure to artificial radiation.

"We need to test the electromagnetic exposure of the sleeping location of the mother during pregnancy and also her working area, if she is working. If the mother is sleeping in strong electromagnetic fields the child will be neurologically abnormal. Within 2 years the child will develop all the signs of autism, neurological dysfunction, hyperactivity, learning disorders and so on." Dr. Dietrich Klingkchart, Institute of Neurobiology Washington [31]

He also claims that modern electromagnetic pollution is affecting the healthy development of the brain and is associated with the ever increasing psychiatric illness and violence in the western world. Listen the interesting interview with Dr. Klingkchart's suggestions:

thumbnail from youtube video about emf and autism Concern about the use of mobile phone by children and pregnant

Announcements against cell phone use by children and pregnant women have made:

  • the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety
  • the Russian Committee for the Protection on Non-Ionizing Radiation
  • the European Parliament
  • the Ministry of Education of Great Britain
  • the Cancer Institute of the University of Pittsburgh
  • The British government committee Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP)
  • The Ministry of Health of Israel and France
  • The Finnish Committee for Protection from Radiation
  • the German Academy of Pediatrics etc.

pregnant woman with cell phone next to belly

Read the announcement of the Russian Commission for Protection against Non-Ionizing Radiation [32]:

"For the first time in history, we face a situation when most children and teenagers in the world are continuously exposed to the potentially adverse influence of the electromagnetic fields (EMF) from mobile phones. Electromagnetic field is an important biotropic factor, affecting not just a human health in general, but also the processes of the higher nervous activity, including behavior and thinking. Radiation directly affects human brain when people use mobile phones.

Despite the recommendations, listed in the Sanitary Rules of the Ministry of Health, which insist that persons under 18 years should not use mobile phones (SanPiN 2.1.8/2.2.4.1190-03 point 6.9), children and teenagers became the target group for the marketing the mobile communications.

The current safety standards for exposure to microwaves from the mobile phones have been developed for the adults and don’t consider the characteristic features of the children’s organism. The WHO considers the protection of the children’s health from possible negative influence of the EMF of the mobile phones as a highest priority task. This problem has also been confirmed by the Scientific Committee of the European Commission, by national authorities of the European and Asian countries, by participants of the International scientific conferences on biological effects of the EMF.

Potential risk for the children’s health is very high:

  • the absorption of the electromagnetic energy in a child’s head is considerably higher than that in the head of an adult (children’s brain has higher conductivity, smaller size, thin skull bones, smaller distance from the antenna etc.);
  • children’s organism has more sensitivity to the EMF, than the adult’s;
  • children’s brain has higher sensitivity to the accumulation of the adverse effects under conditions of chronic exposure to the EMF
  • EMF affects the formation of the process of the higher nervous activity;
  • today’s children will spend essentially longer time using mobile phones, than today’s adults will.

According to the opinion of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the following health hazards are likely to be faced by the children mobile phone users in the nearest future:

  • disruption of memory, decline of attention, diminishing learning and cognitive abilities, increased irritability, sleep problems, increase in sensitivity to the stress, increased epileptic readiness.

Expected (possible) remote health risks:

  • brain tumors, tumors of acoustical and vestibular, nerves (in the age of 25-30 years), Alzheimer’s disease, “got dementia”, depressive syndrome, and the other types of degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain (in the age of 50 to 60).

The members of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection emphasize ultimate urgency to defend children’s health from the influence of the EMF of the mobile communication systems. We appeal to the government authorities, to the entire society to pay closest attention to this coming threat and to take adequate measures in order to prevent negative consequences to the future generation’s health. The children using mobile communication are not able to realize that they subject their brain to the EMF radiation and their health – to the risk. We believe that this risk is not much lower than the risk to the children’s health from tobacco or alcohol. It is our professional obligation not to let damage the children’s health by inactivity."

"WiFi/wLAN routers, DECT phones and other wireless devices like baby monitors produce radio frequency emissions that will affect millions of people and babies in their homes, and should be halted until other, less harmful options are investigated." Lukas Margaritis, professor, Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Athens, Greece [33]

Risks from "dirty electricity"

Another modern electromagnetic problem is the increased distortion of the simple sinusoidal signal of 50-60Hz mains harmonics with high frequencies due to increased use of fluorescent lamps, AC adapters, electronic switches dimmer, air conditioner inverter, plasma TVs, photovoltaic systems etc.

This phenomenon is called "dirty Electricity" and some link it to the attention deficit syndrome, multiple sclerosis and diabetes [34].

The researcher Magda Havas argues that: "We have considerable evidence that the symptoms of some neurological illnesses in children, such as ADD and autism, can be exasperated by dirty electricity and that behaviour improves considerably in clean environments." [35].

High magnetic fields and miscarriages, children leukemia, asthma, obesity

High magnetic fields from power lines (high, medium and low voltage), transformers, etc. are linked to:

  • childhood leukemia (doubled risk for children who are exposed to values above 300nT [36], [37], [38]) which is the most common form of child cancer
  • childhood asthma (15% increase in incidence for each 100nT exposure of the mother to magnetic fields [39]) and
  • abortion during pregnancy [40], [41]

Recent surveys suggest that "The report of the mother at high magnetic fields during pregnancy can be a new, unknown until now, an aggravating factor that contributes to the global epidemic of childhood obesity" [42]

BioInitiative Report 2012 further notes that "Extremely low frequency EMF effects induced due to electric(E) blankets (…) have the potential for providing excessive body heating, which may have adverse effect on sperm (Van Demark and Free 1970), leading to adverse effect on the process of embryogenesis (Edwards et al 1974,Lacy et al 1981). This high temperature could also be teratogenic in humans too (Miller et al 1978, Fraser and Skelton 1978).It is obvious that either the heat or the electromagnetic fields produced by electric or bed heating might affect the fetus."[43]

Electromagnetic exposure reduction advice for children and pregnant women

  • Check the radiation levels in the areas where you spend most of your time with a simple to use radiation meter.
  • Try to use the mobile phone only when necessary. Also avoid cordless phones and prefer fixed wired telephones for long calls. emf shielding canopy for baby bed
  • Alternatively use one of the new technology wireless zero radiation phones (standby)
  • Turn off the wireless antenna of your internet modem and use an ethernet cable to connect to the modem
  • Avoid Baby Monitors that operate wirelessly. There are safer alternatives.
  • Reduce the hours of use of electric and electronic devices and replace wireless keyboards with wired ones.
  • The electromagnetically shielded canopies are a smart protection solution from wireless radiation especially in apartment buildings because of the multitude of cordless phones, wifi modems etc.
  • View more ways of protection from artificial radiation here!

 


[1] www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/FindByProcnum.do?lang=2&procnum=INI/2007/2252

[4] American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2000) Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association.

[6] Andrew Goldsworthy, The Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Fields, MCSA NEWS, VOLUME seven, ISSUE 7, JULY 2012

[7] Fetal Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure From 800-1900 Mhz-Rated Cellular Telephones Affects Neurodevelopment and Behavior in Mice, Tamir S. Aldad, Geliang Gan, Xiao-Bing Gao , Hugh S. Taylor

[8] Don Maisch, Children and Mobile Phones ... Is There A Health Risk ?, Journal of Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine - Vol. 22 No. 2; August 2003: page 3-8

[9] Interview Prof. Sianette Kwee, Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Aarhus, Denmark. (September, 2001), Article Children and Mobile Phones ... Is There a Health Risk ?,

[10] Ghandi O, Kang G, (1996), The Effect of Head size on SAR for Mobile Telephones AT 835 and 1900MHz.

[11] Leeka Kheifets, PhD, Michael Repacholi, PhD, Rick Saunders, PhD, Emilie van Deventer, PhD, The Sensitivity of Children to Electromagnetic Fields, Pediatrics Vol. 116 No. 2 August 2005

[12] Parkin DM, Kramarova E, Draper GJ, et al. International Incidence of Childhood Cancer. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 1998: 2. IARC Scientific Publication No. 144

[13] Camilla Rees- Magda Havas, Public Health SOS - The Shadow Side of The Wireless Revolution 

[14] G.J. Hyland, University of Warwick, International Institute of Biophysics, The Physiological and Environmental Effects of Non-ionising Electromagnetic Radiation’ http://www.feb.se/EMFguru/EMF/Physiological.html

[15] Dr Neil Cherry Associate Professor of Environmental Health Lincoln University New Zealand, Actual Or Potential Effects of ELF and RF / MW Radiation on Enhancing Violence and Homicide, and accelerating Aging of Human, Animal Or Plant Cells.

[16] Thornton IM., Out of Time: A Possible Link Between Mirror neurons, Autism and Electromagnetic Radiation

[17] Robert C. Kane, Ph.D., A Possible Association Between Fetal / neonatal Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation and The Increased Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), "Medical Hypotheses" Journal, Volume 62, Issue the 2nd, February 2004, Pages 195-197

[18] Andrew Goldsworthy, The Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Fields, MCSA NEWS, VOLUME on the 7th, the 7th ISSUE, JULY 2012

[19] Fetal Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure From 800-1900 Mhz-Rated Cellular Telephones Affects Neurodevelopment and Behavior in Mice, Tamir et al, Yale University

[20] Hocking B, Gordon IR, HL Grain, Hatfield GE. Cancer incidence and mortality and proximity to TV towers. Med J Aust.

[21] Dolk H, Shaddick G, Walls P, et al. Cancer incidence near radio and television transmitters in Great Britain. I. Sutton Coldfield transmitter. Am J Epidemiol.

[22] WHO 2002. Children’s Health and Environment: A Review of Evidence: A Joint Report from the European Environmental Agency and The World Health Organization 

[23] ]How Exposure to GSM & TETRA Base-station Radiation can Adversely Affect Humans by G J Hyland

[24] Risk factors in the living environment of early spontaneous abortion pregnant women, Liu, 2007

[25] Evaluation of factors affecting birth weight and preterm birth in southern Turkey, Col-Araz, 2013

[26] Effects of exposure to microwaves on cellular immunity and placental steroids in pregnant rats, Nakamura 1997

[27] Uteroplacental circulatory disturbance mediated by prostaglandin f2alpha in rats exposed to microwaves, Nakamura, 2000

[28] Evaluation of the effects of mobile phones on the neural tube development of chick embryos, Umur 2013

[29] GSM 900 MHz microwave radiation affects embryo development of Japanese quails, Tsybulin 2012.

[30] Dietrich K.Klinghardt MD, PhD, Toxicity, Global Warming and Electrosmog: The messages from our Autistic Children 

[31] Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, Why the U.S. Needs Pre-Conception Healthcare

[32] Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, CHILDREN AND MOBILE PHONES: THE HEALTH OF THE FOLLOWING GENERATIONS IS IN DANGER 

[33] New, Biological Effects based, EMF / RF Exposure Guidelines, www.powerwatch.org.uk/news/20110203-biological-guidelines.asp 

[34] Havas M, (2006) Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: Biological Effects of Dirty Electricity with emphasis on diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis. 

[35] Technology and Health Risks, Biological Effects of Exposure to Dirty Electricity, http://biotech.about.com/od/biotechindailylife/a/dirtyEinterview.htm

[36] Kheifets L, Kavet R, S. Sussman Wire Codes, magnetic Fields, and CHILDHOOD Cancer. Bioelectromagnetics

[37] Ahlbom A, Day N, Feychting M, et al. A pooled analysis of magnetic fields and childhood leukemia. Br J Cancer

[38] Greenland S, A Sheppard, Kaune W, Poole C, Kelsh M. A pooled Analysis of magnetic Fields, Wire Codes, and CHILDHOOD leukemia. Childhood Leukemia-EMF Study Group. Epidemiology

[39] De-Kun Li, MD, PhD? Hong Chen, MPH; Roxana Odouli, MSPH, Maternal Exposure to Magnetic Fields During Pregnancy in Relation to the Risk of Asthma in Offspring, Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011; 165 (10): 945-950

[40] Lee GM, Neutra RR, Hristova L, M Yost, Hiatt RA. A nested case-control study of residential and personal magnetic field measures and miscarriages. Epidemiology

[41] Li DK, Odouli R, Wi S, et al. A population-based prospective cohort study of personal exposure to magnetic fields during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage. Epidemiology

[42] De-Kun Li et al, A Prospective Study of In-utero Exposure to Magnetic Fields and The Risk of Childhood Obesity, Scientific Reports

[43] BioInitiative 2012, Electromagnetic Field Exposure Effects (ELF-EMF and RFR) on Fertility and reproduction



 

 

 

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