HypeWatch asks: Does Wi-Fi really disturb fetal brains?

Even without much evidence to support concerns that prenatal exposure to wireless radiation leads to attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, the BabySafe Project is still promoting a “better safe than sorry” campaign to pregnant women.

Perhaps setting an iPad streaming television atop the baby bump does carry some level of some type of fetal health risk. Who knows? If so, what could possibly be wrong with a simple recommendation to tell pregnant moms to put a little distance between the device and the belly?

But a scare campaign targeting pregnant women, who already face a barrage of no-nos the second they learn they’re with child, also has its risks.

Without definitive science to back it up, words and phrases like “damage,” “behavioral disorders,” “may lead to long-term health consequences,” are pretty hefty terms to be throwing around…

Based on research from two Turkish universities, Devra Davis now believes irregular, erratic signals from wireless radiation interfere with the rapid neurological growth unique to prenatal cellular development.

Hugh Taylor, MD, chair of the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale-New Haven Hospital, presented his evidence of the effects of cell phone radiation on 33 pregnant mice, published in Scientific Reports in 2012.

Taylor’s study showed that prenatal exposure to cell phones — kept on continuous active calls for the entire gestational period, up to 17 days — had a dose-response relationship with decreased memory and increased hyperactivity in exposed mice compared with unexposed controls (n=42).

That’s right, she considers cellphones as dangerous or more than devices using wi-fi. Taylor’s study had cellphone exposure full-bore 24/7 – unlikely behavior if voluntary.

Taylor suggested that the animal study eliminated possible confounders, such as mothers simply ignoring their children as they talk on their cell phone, as causation for behavioral problems rather than the wireless radiation.

But none of the references the BabySafe project gives are quite solid enough for a definitive clinical recommendation. Of the 20 scientific references presented by BabySafe, the majority were animal trials, and only one, a Danish study, involved humans. Their recollections of “using their cellphone a lot while pregnant”…

There is no doubt further research is warranted based on preliminary rodent studies that suggest potential harms. But likening cell phone use to asbestos and tobacco might be taking it a bit far for now.

There’s a reason this regular report is called HypeWatch. Whether the source of social and political activity advocated comes from within or without a legitimate medical community it generally concerns clinically unproven advice – disseminated as a special danger — so, we needn’t wait for proof!

3 thoughts on “HypeWatch asks: Does Wi-Fi really disturb fetal brains?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.