Effect of electromagnetic waves of cellular phones on fetal

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					Effect of electromagnetic waves of
cellular phones on fetal blood flow
  and heart rate patterns: a pilot

                     Thesis presented by
               Amr Hazim Abbassy M.B, B.Ch
                         Supervised by
               Prof. Dr. Ismaeel Foad Al-Aseily
       Assistant Professor Dr. Osama Mahmoud Azmy
       Assistant Prof Dr.Foad Abdelqader Abohemela
Question: “Doctor, is it safe to use
    the mobile phone during
         Scientific Background
 Increased use of cellular phones during
  pregnancy while little is known about their
 Proximity of the fetus to cell phone during
  transport and use.
 Studies indicate that there might be health
  hazards at non-thermal levels as well as
  behavioral disorders in the offspring.
    Scientific Background continued
    Cellular phones emit microwave
    radiation in the spectrum region
    of 800-900 MHz
    The rate at which radiation is
    absorbed is measured by the
    Specific Absorption Rate (SAR).
   Currently, it is difficult to
    measure the amount ELF
    absorbed by the fetus due to
    cellular phone use.
             Aim of the work
 To assess the effect of cellular phones on
 To provide guidelines and safety measures for
 using the technology during pregnancy.
 To provide an addition to the growing research
 done worldwide on the possible health hazards
 of this relatively new technology.
              The Fetal Heart Rate
    Electronic fetal heart rate monitoring is commonly
    used to assess fetal well-being
    The fetal heart rate undergoes constant and minute
    adjustments in response to the fetal environment and
    The FHR is controlled by the autonomic nervous
    system. The inhibitory influence on the heart rate is
    conveyed by the vagus nerve, whereas excitatory
    influence is conveyed by the sympathetic nervous
      The Fetal Heart Rate continued
    The normal FHR range is
    between 120 and 160 beats
    per minute (bpm).
    Fetal heart rate patterns are
    classified as reassuring,
    nonreassuring or ominous.
   Reassuring patterns correlate
    well with a good fetal
    outcome, while
    nonreassuring patterns do
                    Doppler Ultrasound
   Doppler US offers a unique
    noninvasive technology for
    investigating the circulatory system.
   Doppler US velocimetry has been
    extensively used to investigate fetal,
    fetoplacental, and uteroplacental
    There is ample evidence
    associating abnormal Doppler
    findings with complications of
    pregnancy and an adverse perinatal
    outcome as in multiple gestations,
    fetal anemia, fetal IUGR, and fetal
    congenital heart diseases.
The Body is an Electrical Organism
   Heartbeat

   Brainwaves

   Cell Division
      Health Effects from exposure to
          electromagnetic fields
    Expanding use of cellular technology has led
    to some speculations that „electromagnetic
    pollution‟ is causing significant risks to human
    The amount of energy absorbed by the body
    is called the „Specific Absorption Rate‟
    expressed in (W/Kg).
    Biological effects that result from heating of
    tissues by RF energy are referred to as
    “thermal” effects.
    However studies indicate that biological
    effects may be caused without heating of
    tissues referred to as “non-thermal effect”
      Health Effects from exposure to
       electromagnetic fields cont.
    The „thermal‟ effect is the principle by which
    microwave ovens cook food and very high RF
    energy 100mW/cm2 or more can result in
    heating of biological tissues.
    Tissue damage in humans could occur due to the
    body‟s inability to dissipate the excessive heat.
    The eye and the testes are particularly vulnerable
    due to relative lack of blood flow to dissipate the
    excessive heat load.
    Studies show that environmental levels of RF
    energy are below levels necessary to produce a
    „thermal‟ effect.
 Health Effects from exposure to
  electromagnetic fields cont.
                  Membrane Effects
                  Blood-Brain Barrier
                   Signal Transduction Effects
 Effects           Cell proliferative Responses
                  Immune System Effect
                  Nervous System
                 Effect on Neurotransmitters
   Health Effects from exposure to
    electromagnetic fields cont.
Other health outcomes investigated after RF
   exposure, include :
 Headaches
 General malaise
 Short term memory loss
 Nausea
 Sleep disturbances
 Numbness
      Intrauterine Effects in Animals
       Exposed to Microwave Fields
    Most of the animal studies have used
    higher ELFs than maximum permissible
    exposure levels according to the IEEE.
   The most common observation at high
    exposures was a decrease in fetal mass.
    Lower birthweights, slower growth rates,
    exencephalies, and other skeletal
    abnormalities were reported in mice.
   Teratogenic effects were only observed in
    animals exposed to levels of radiation
    causing a thermal effect.
              Patients and Methods
    In this study, thirty pregnant women were recruited from Kasr El
    Eini Maternity Hospital.
  They were subdivided into 2 groups:
   Group I: comprised of 15 pregnant women . The FHR was
    obtained for 5 minutes with no mobile phones around. FHR was
    obtained and traced for another 5 minutes while the patient was
    on conversation mode.
    Group II: comprised of 15 pregnant women. Doppler
    ultrasound of the umbilical artery was performed and the
    Resistance Index was traced. The patients were instructed to use
    the cellular phone on conversation mode for 5 minutes, after
    which doppler ultrasound of the umbilical artery was performed
    and the Resistance index was traced.
              Inclusion Criteria

 No medical disorders or complications of pregnancy
 Within age group 18 – 35 years of age

 28-32 weeks gestation

 singleton fetus

 in cephalic presentation
A questionnaire was designed and included the following

   Personal history
   Medical history
   Average amount of time spent using cellular phone
   Symptoms reported from usage
   Written consent of approval of participation in the
    In comparison between
    FHR baseline before and
    after exposure there was
    no statistical significant
    difference.                  160








                                       Before   After
    In comparison between FHR accelerations
    before and after exposure there was no statistical
    significant difference.








                           Before      After
    In comparison between R/I of the umbilical
    artery before and after exposure there was no
    statistical significant difference.







                           Before       After
Discussion: Is It Safe to use a mobile
     phone during pregnancy?

   The short answer to this question is that mobile
    phones are probably safe to use in pregnancy.
    Research suggests that there is no risk to health
    from mobile phones in the short term .
    However, it is still a good idea to be cautious.
    Mobile phones have only been in use for a
    relatively short amount of time, so it's
    impossible to be certain of their long-term
    effects yet.
Discussion: Is It Safe to use a mobile
  phone during pregnancy? Cont.
    Mobiles emit low levels of "non-ionizing"
    electromagnetic radiation - as do televisions, computers,
    microwave ovens and other man-made and natural
    environmental sources that we're exposed to every day.
    Non-ionizing" radiation is much milder than the
    "ionizing" radiation emitted by sources such as x-rays,
    radiation therapy machines and CT scans, which are
    known to be harmful to a developing fetus.
    The amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus might be a
    proposed thermoregulatory barrier mechanism against
    the thermal effect produced by cellular phones.
       Summary and Conclusions
    Our study suggests that there are no risks to
    fetal well being in the short term.
    Although reassuring about the safety of the
    technology in the short term, impossible to
    reach conclusive evidence regarding long term
    cumulative effects.
    use your phone as little as possible, and only when you
    have no alternative - send a text or use a landline
    keep your calls short !
    try to avoid using your phone if the signal strength is
    low .
    hands-free kit can reduce the SAR for your head while
    you're on the phone but may increase the SAR for the
    rest of your body, something you might want to avoid
    while you are pregnant.
     Recommendations cont.
Finally, we recommend
retrospective randomized
control trials using large
number of pregnant
women to reach a
conclusive evidence
regarding long term
residual effects.