Kids, Mobile Phones and Headaches

In the first study of its kind, scientists have found that children exposed to mobile phone radiation early in life were more than usually prone to headaches.

The scientists investigated over 52,000 children in Denmark who were part of the Danish National Birth Cohort—a project in which women, pregnant between 1996 and 2002, agreed to provide information about their children over a period of time.

When they investigated the exposure of the children, the scientists found that 39% of the children were exposed to mobile phone radiation before birth, some after birth and 40% had no mobile phone exposure at all.

Seven percent of mothers said they kept their mobile phones in the pocket of a dress or trousers when they were pregnant and 80% left their phones turned on at least 50% of the time.

The researchers found that children who were exposed to mobile phone radiation before and after birth had 30% more chance of developing headaches and migraines than those who had never been exposed. Those who had only been exposed before birth or after birth had about 20% more headaches and migraines.

The risk of migraines was higher among women who used a hands-free devices while they were pregnant, probably, the authors speculate, because the woman kept her phone near the foetus while making calls.

The authors suggest that more studies should be undertaken to confirm these findings. ‘Should a true causal effect exist,’ they say, ‘it would have large public health implications because cell phone exposure is nearly ubiquitous and children are using this technology at younger ages than ever before. (Sudan, M et al, The Open Pediatric Med J 6, 46-52, 2012.)

‘There is now much more evidence of risks to health affecting billions of people world-wide. The status quo is not acceptable in light of the evidence for harm.’

from 'EMR and Health' March 2013, vol 9 no 1