Exposure to non-ionising radiation from smartphones, wi-fi routers and microwaves during pregnancy may significantly increase the risk of miscarriage, a study warns.
Non-ionising radiation from magnetic fields is produced when electric devices are in use and electricity is flowing.
It can be generated by a number of environmental sources, including electric appliances, power lines and transformers, wireless devices and wireless networks.
Humans are exposed to magnetic fields via close proximity to these sources while they are in use.
While the health hazards from ionising radiation are well-established and include radiation sickness, cancer and genetic damage, the evidence of health risks to humans from non-ionising radiation remains limited.
"Few studies have been able to accurately measure exposure to magnetic field non-ionising radiation," said De- Kun Li from Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in the US.
Researchers asked women over age 18 with confirmed pregnancies to wear a small (a bit larger than a deck of cards) magnetic-field monitoring device for 24 hours.
Participants also kept a diary of their activities on that day, and were interviewed in person to better control for possible confounding factors, as well as how typical their activities were on the monitoring day.
Objective magnetic field measurements and pregnancy outcomes were obtained for 913 pregnant women, said Li, principal investigator of the study.
Miscarriage occurred in 10.4 per cent of the women with the lowest measured exposure level of magnetic field non- ionising radiation on a typical day, and in 24.2 per cent of the women with the higher measured exposure level, a nearly three times higher relative risk.
The rate of miscarriage reported in the general population is between 10 and 15 per cent, Li said.
"This study provides evidence from a human population that magnetic field non-ionising radiation could have adverse biological impacts on human health," said Li....