Link Between Cell Phones & Behavioral Problems?

First there were possible cancer links now, there's suggestion cell phones may affect children's behavior.

Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers is looking into the issue to find out if using a wireless device while pregnant could really cause potential postnatal problems.

"We don't use our house phone a lot, it's kind of our main phone line," Elenor Welke said.

Like Welke, most people these days carry their cell phone wherever they go.

But in a new study, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found children who had exposure to cell phones both in the womb and after birth were more likely to develop behavioral problems including hyperactivity and attention and social issues.

"Any cell phone has a magnetic field that's why you don't want to use cell phones near your credit cards because it can erase them. So, the magnetic field and concern is that magnetic field strong enough to cause some kind of nuclear damage to the cell," Dr. Kenneth Sultemeier said.

In the recent study, researchers looked at more than 28,000 children.

They don't know the connection between cell phones and behavioral problems but, one speculation is cell phones use may lead to excess secretion of the hormone melatonin.

That can affect the mother's metabolism and may influence the development of the fetus's brain.

We turned to Texoma Dr. Kenneth Sultemeier.

"There are no articles out there recorded from the American literature, no evidence based medicine has shown there's any definite problems related to cell phone use and pregnancy or all cell phone use and brain related cancer, brain tumors things like this," Dr. Sultemeier said.

While it's impossible from this research to tell if cell phone exposure really causes behavioral problems, it's still important to keep an eye on possible harms.

"What we need to be concerned about is continued surveillance and see if it is going to be a problem as we continue to use them more. So, we need to be aware of that," Dr. Sultemeier said.

Some doctors recommend limiting exposure to radiation through the use of hands-free devices.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6