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Mobiles linked to behavioural problems

A study in America has linked mobile phone use by mothers to behaviour problems in their children.
Children born to women who frequently use a mobile phone while pregnant are more likely to develop behaviour problems, according to new research.

A team at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Public Health looked at 13,159 children whose mothers had taken part in a study early on in their pregnancy.

The mothers were asked to complete a questionnaire about their children's behaviour and health when they reached seven.

They found that children who had pre and postnatal mobile exposure were 80 per cent more likely to have problems with conduct, emotion, peers and hyperactivity.

However, the researchers did not think that radiation from the mobiles was to blame.

"Another possible explanation for the observed association might be the lack of attention given to a child by mothers who are frequent users of cell phones," they said.

They added that women who used mobiles frequently were more likely to have mental health and psychiatric problems and have smoked during the pregnancy.

Children who only had prenatal exposure were more at risk than those who only had postnatal, but both were lower than children who had pre and post.

The group said that a foetus's exposure to mobile radiation was likely to be very small, but that children who used a phone were exposed to more than adults because of their smaller brains and ears.

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