While it is not really such a surprise, here is the first solid scientific evidence that what a pregnant woman is exposed to in the way of electro-magnetic energy has a measurable negative impact on the health of her baby- specifically related to asthma which is now epidemic throughout the so-called developed world.
Pylons linked to babies' asthma: Hairdryers, vacuum cleaners and microwave also a risk, say scientists
Last updated at 7:40 AM on 2nd August 2011
Pregnant women who use hairdryers, microwaves, vacuum cleaners or who live near pylons could be putting their babies at risk of asthma, claim scientists.
They warn that exposing unborn children to potentially harmful magnetic energy produced by household appliances and power lines could treble their child’s chances of suffering from the condition.
Experts believe that the finding could partly explain why asthma rates in children have increased so dramatically in the last few decades.
Condition: Asthma among children has rocketed due to mothers using hairdryers, microwaves, vacuum cleaners or being near pylons, say scientists
Scientists in California looked at 800 mothers-to-be and worked out the levels of magnetic energy – known as electromagnetic fields – to which they were exposed.
Their babies were followed for the next 13 years to find out how many developed asthma.
The findings, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, show that youngsters whose mothers had been exposed to high levels of magnetic energy in pregnancy could be at three times higher risk of asthma.
It is the first time scientists have shown that using hairdryers, microwaves or even living near power cables during pregnancy could affect the incidence of asthma.
Dangerous: Pylons are a source of potentially harmful magnetic energy
Researchers have already shown that this type of magnetic energy can increase the risk of miscarriage and some types of cancer.
Some experts have dismissed the new findings, pointing out that there are many other likely causes of asthma.
The researchers insist, however, that the risks cannot be ignored. They are urging pregnant women to reduce use of hairdryers, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, fans and coffee grinders.
Dr De-Kun Li, from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, said: ‘The message here is that exposure to electromagnetic fields is not good, and we need to pay attention to its adverse effect on health.
‘Electromagnetic field exposure is ubiquitous so any adverse health effect could cause a serious public health problem.
‘The best way to reduce your magnetic field exposure is distance. Pregnant women should try to limit their exposure to known sources and keep distance from them when they are in use.’
But Professor William Stewart of Southampton University warned that the study had a number of weaknesses and the findings could be down to chance.
Other scientists pointed out that more research was needed to establish whether using common household appliances or living near power cables really does put babies at risk of asthma.
Around 1.1million children in Britain suffer from asthma and some studies suggest that the number affected has increased by 50 per cent in recent decades.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2021303/Pylons-linked-babies-asthma-Hairdryers-vacuum-cleaners-microwave-risk.html#ixzz1TykQrz4l