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Is Your Microwave Harming Your Unborn Baby?

Scientists ponder connection between microwaves and asthma.

 

I once wrote an article here about the crazy stuff women admit to doing while pregnant.

One woman left a comment saying she made her husband pack their microwave away. I can’t remember why, I think she said she was certain it was radiating her unborn child or something like that.

Maybe she wasn’t so crazy.

Scientists have released a new fear-inducing study about the affects of a microwave on your baby. Now, I always take these with a grain of salt and you should too. But here is what TIME is reporting.

A study found that a high exposure to electromagnetic fields, which are emitted by microwaves and other household appliances, during pregnancy more than triples the chance that a child will develop asthma.

In the first study of its kind, scientists strapped magnetic field monitors on pregnant women to determine their level of exposure, and studied whether it was associated with the risk of asthma in their children. They found that children born to women with the highest levels of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) — including from microwaves, hair dryers and power lines — had a more than three-fold higher rate of asthma compared to those whose moms had the lowest exposure.

The team previously conducted a study that found that women with high levels of exposure had double the risk of miscarrying than women with lower levels of EMF exposure.The reason they’re so focused on studying electromagnetic fields is because people are much more likely to be exposed to these fields now than ever before. “EMF is really increasing partially because electricity use is increasing, through electronic devices and wireless networks,” Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research says.

What scientists don’t know is what our exposure to higher-frequency magnetic fields such as those emitted by cell phones and wireless networks, is doing to our bodies.  The device doesn’t measure those and they are nearly impossible to avoid.  But Dr. Li tells TIME pregnant women can reduce some of their exposure to the low-frequency fields. Don’t stand in front of the microwave when it’s heating food, for example, and hold the hair dryer as far away from your belly as possible, or switch to a dryer that’s battery operated.

“Pregnancy is the most sensitive time for the fetus,” Li says. “Animal studies show that EMF can impact the immune system, and the latest research suggests that cells use magnetic fields to communicate with each other. If an external EMF comes into interfere with that, cell communication needed for normal development can be disrupted.”

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