According to the Center for Disease Control's Vital and Health Statistics, as of January 2012, 5.2 million children age 3-17 years old have been diagnosed with ADHD. That's 8.4% of all children countrywide, and every week it seems something else is blamed as a possible cause. From the amount of time one spends in front of a television each day to the kind of soda or certain snack food, everyone has a different opinion on the disorder.
The results of a study recently conducted at Yale were released in the March 15 issue of Scientific Reports claim a child's exposure to cell phones (and the radiation they emit) may result in ADHD or a developmental disability like it.
Researchers used two different cell phones placed on two separate cages of pregnant mice, one phone activated and in call mode and the control, an inactive cell phone. The mice were left to gestate and deliver their little mice babies, who remained in the cage until fully mature. At this point, a series of tests were conducted which measured each mouse's brain activity, paying close attention to the mice who had been exposed to the cell phone radiation while in the womb.
Researchers discovered these radiation-affected mice didn't have the memory capacity of their radiation-free counterparts, and they were also found to be more hyperactive as well. It is thought the radiation must affect this area of the brain adversely, giving the mice ADHD tendencies.
As with any study conducted on animals, the results may not mean anything for us humans. Mice have a super short 19-day gestation period, and their brains are much less complex and developed as ours are. The study shows some interesting findings, but obviously much more testing is needed before a claim such as “Cell Phones Cause ADHD” can be made. This is the first study to ever link cell phone use to developmental disorders in children, and with the findings, I'm sure it won't be the last.
Although this is the first time cell phone use has been linked to disorders such as ADHD, it isn't the first time the cell phone has been called out by researchers for being dangerous for one reason or another. In May of 2011, a researcher claimed the cell phone was wiping out bee colonies. A host of researchers are studying claims that cell phone radiation is linked to cancer of all kinds.
The Real Deal
We're always trying to get to the bottom of disorders and diseases, trying to figure out what causes them in the hopes of preventing them in the future. This is natural for our species, who is the only one who seeks to understand everything about this crazy place we call Earth and everything around us. The problem arises when someone makes a big huge deal out of new research results, as our species also care for one another. We start judging the pregnant lady talking on her cell phone, shooting her evil looks and offering our “knowledge” of the harm that could come to her fetus from its use.
We can't forget that many different factors, and even combinations of them, can lead to the same outcome. Although knowing for certain if cell phones can cause developmental disabilities later in life for the unborn is wonderful knowledge to have, there are many other factors that can still cause these problems that you simply cannot control. I'm not jumping on the “cell phones ruined my kids” bandwagon just yet. Whether or not you choose to use a cell phone during pregnancy, there is radiation all around you from the phones of others, and that you cannot control.