A cohort study was conducted in Korea to investigate the association between prenatal mobile phone use as well as exposure to radio frequency fields and child neurodevelopment considering the modifying effect of prenatal lead exposure.
Maternal blood lead level was measured during pregnancy because recent studies showed adverse neurodevelopment outcomes in children with prenatal lead exposure.
Child neurodevelopment was assessed using the Korean version of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months of age.
|Group 1||average number of calls per day: ≤ 2|
|Reference group 2||average number of calls per day: 3 - 5|
|Group 3||average number of calls per day: ≥ 6|
|Group 4||average calling time per day: < 3 min|
|Reference group 5||average calling time per day: 3 - < 10 min|
|Group 6||average calling time per day: 10 - < 30 min|
|Group 7||average calling time per day: ≥ 30 min|
|Reference group 8||non-heavy users: ≤ 6 calls per day or ≤ 30 min calling time per day|
|Group 9||heavy users: > 6 calls per day or > 30 min calling time per day|
Psychomotor development and mental development at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months of age were not significantly associated with maternal mobile phone use during pregnancy. However, among children exposed to high maternal blood lead level in utero, there was a significantly increased risk of having a lower psychomotor development up to 36 months of age, in relation to an increasing average calling time. There was also a risk of having decreased mental development up to 36 months of age, in relation to an increasing average calling time or number of calls during pregnancy. The association between prenatal maternal mobile phone use and the risk of decreased mental development was modified significantly by prenatal maternal blood lead level. There was no significant association between child neurodevelopment and prenatal exposure to radio frequency fields measured by personal dosimeters in all subjects or in groups stratified by maternal blood lead level during pregnancy.
The authors concluded that there was no association found between prenatal exposure to radiofrequency fields and child neurodevelopment during the first three years of life; however, a potential combined effect of prenatal exposure to lead and mobile phone use was suggested.