|U.S.-based anti-radiation expert|
Dr. Devra Davis explains advantages
of using hands-free headsets with
cell phones (Sakshi Kapoor)
by Maitri Porecha, dnaindia.com, 3 October 2014
There is increasing evidence that electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell phones or cell towers can be harmful to expectant mothers and their unborn child. Eminent public health expert and published author from the US Dr Devra Davis explained that babies in the womb were susceptible to exposure from cell phones, cell phone towers or wireless internet.
Scientists at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) studied 13,000 mothers and children and found that exposure to cell phones in the wombs was associated with higher risk for behavioural problems and hyperactivity in children.
Over the last week, Davis met with the doctors of Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) and KEM hospital to discuss the Baby Safe Project, an awareness movement for pregnant mothers to keep cell phones away from their wombs.
Up to 4,500 pregnant women seeking treatment at the hospital attached to the Yale University have been educated about the ill effects of radiation on the womb, since the beginning of the year under the Baby Safe Project.
"There is essentially no downside in being cautious and protecting your baby," said Dr Hugh Taylor, chair, department of obstetrics, gynaecology at Yale University School of Medicine.
IAP has pledged its support to the global movement. "We are enthused after meeting her (Davis). A team of paediatric oncologists, intensivists and physicians will get together to devise strategies for spreading awareness," said Dr Uday Pai, president, IAP Mumbai.
Pai said parents should not give in to peer pressure. "A smart phone is a professional device. It is not a playing device for a baby or a child," he said.
Doctors rue that they have to be dependent on the government-run Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cells to measure radiation. "The TERM cell does not make data available in public. There is no check or accountability of the regulatory body. We will never be able to ascertain whether radiation is harmful. In such a case, the lobbies which don't want data to come out are going to work harder to curtail the correct information," Pai told dna.
Earlier this year, Advertising Council of India had issued an order to MTS Internet services to not broadcast the 'MTS 3G Plus born for the Internet,' advertisement, which depicts a newborn accessing various electronic gadgets even as the mother watches.
"The womb in its last months of pregnancy is affected by radiation the most. The spinal cord of the baby is affected. In men, moreover, Cleveland Clinic studies have shown that the sperm count levels decrease with increased radiation. Babies also have thin skulls and are more vulnerable to radiation," said Davis.