Recently, it has been revealed that children who use cell phones and are exposed to lead are at a greater threat from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) than those children who use little or no cell phone but are still exposed to lead. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11% of the children in America are now positive for ADHD, along with nearly 1 in 5 high school age boys.
This diagnosis of ADHD may be a bit exaggerated and children might be getting over-medicated for this disorder, but there has been an increase of 53% in ADHD diagnosis over the last 10 years. This is because people are being exposed to more environmental toxins and to microwave radiation emitted from mobile phones.
The peer-reviewed journal Public Library of Science (PLOS One), published a research study that revealed that children who made more phone calls on their mobile phones were more likely to suffer from ADHD. This was a longitudinal study and 2,422 children from 27 elementary schools belonging to 10 cities in South Korea were observed. After 2 years, they were followed up. Children having a blood level of at least 2.35 micrograms per deciliter were 25% and were considered ‘lead-exposed’. With blood levels of 2.5 or higher, only 5% of 6-11 year old children fall in this category in the US. A total of 25.2 million children is of this age group, but if the cell phone was used heavily, nearly 1.3 million children would be at a greater risk of ADHD.
The criteria for determining heavy cell phone users in a recent study constituted those who made 3 or more calls during the day with the call lasting a minute or longer or those who had a record of 70 hours or more spent on phone calls during their entire life. In contrast to the children who were exposed to lead but used little or no cell phone, there were 2 to 3 times greater chances for the heavy cell phone users to develop ADHD.
According to the research done for the paper, an increase in cognitive impairment and behavioral disorders, such as hyperactivity are caused by radio frequency electromagnetic fields. The rationale behind it is that lead, being a neurotoxin can cause ADHD along with other cognitive disorders. The permeability of the blood-brain barrier is increased by the exposure to electromagnetic field. Therefore, both lead and cell phone radiation are lethal.
In Denmark, the children who were exposed pre and postnatally to mobile phone radiation experienced increased behavioral problems, as reported by their mothers. The researchers at Yale University carried out an experimental study on mice that were exposed to cell phone radiation prenatally. These mice later showed symptoms of ADHD and a positive relationship was formed between the number of hours of prenatal cell phone exposure and the extent of impairment.
Since lead is found in a lot of things, such as the paint used in houses built earlier than 1978, lead pipes used for pumping water, specific imported home remedies, imported clay pots, consumer products including candies, makeup and jewellery, it is difficult to avoid exposure to lead in the US.
The authors of this study made the following recommendation:
“preventing the use of mobile phones in children may be one measure to keep children from developing ADHD symptoms regardless of the possible roles of mobile phone use in ADHD symptoms, i.e., whether potentiating the effect of lead exposure due to RF exposure and voice calls or behavioral aggravation due to high rates of playing games on a mobile phone.”