Mobile phones and Autism Link

December 3, 2007

Do you know a child who doesn’t have, or want, their own mobile phone? There are good practical reasons for giving children a way of being in touch when away from home, but there is now new research that links mobile phone use and autism. Rates of autism, a disabling neurodevelopmental disorder, have increased nearly 60-fold since the late 1970s, with the most significant increases occurring in the past decade. The cause of autism is unknown, although theories include such potential causes as:

* Genetic predisposition

* Inability to clear heavy metals

* Increased vulnerability to oxidative stress

* Environmental exposures including mercury preservatives in vaccines

* Trans-generational accumulation of toxic heavy metals

Now a groundbreaking new theory has been suggested by a study published in the Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine. They believe that it is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi devices and other similar wireless technologies that are an accelerating factor in autism.

The study involved over five years of research on children with autism and it found that EMR negatively affects cell membranes, and allows heavy metal toxins, which are associated with autism, to build up in the body. The researchers pointed out that autism rates have increased concurrently along with the proliferation of cell phones and wireless use. EMR from wireless devices (such as laptops, bluetooth etc) works in conjunction with environmental and genetic factors to cause autism.

EMR, the researchers say, could impact autism by facilitating early onset of symptoms or by trapping heavy metals inside of nerve cells, which could accelerate the onset of symptoms of heavy metal toxicity and hinder therapeutic clearance of the toxins.

What’s the solution? At present there doesn’t seem to be one. Research on the potential health effects from mobile phone technology is evaluated periodically by the Government’s Health Protection Agency s Radiation Protection Division after the Stewart Report in 2000 recommended further research as part of an overall precautionary approach to the use of mobile phone technology. The independently managed Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme, jointly funded by Government and industry, was set up in 2001 in response to the Stewart Report recommendations. It is currently supporting a number of studies into the possible health effects but there is no definitive answer as yet. My suggestion? Seriously limit mobile phone use – especially for children – and my feeling is that being available 24/7 by phone is hugely stressful and is a health hazard in itself so switch it off unless it is an essential call! My mobile is off until I need to check my messages or call ahead about a delayed appointment.

In fact my mobile message is very specific it says ‘I do not leave this mobile switched on so do not leave a message unless you are prepared for it not to be picked for several days. Leave a message on my home phone instead’. Worth a try?


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