Gynecology Specialist Op.Dr. Ebru Füsun Akbay, He explained whether the use of technology during pregnancy is risky.
With the developing technology in our age, our lives are getting easier. Now we can handle many of our jobs instantly from where we live. The effects of all these technological devices on human health are frequently discussed. Almost all of the newly developed instruments function by absorbing and emitting some kind of electromagnetic radiation. The concept of radiation encompasses a large number of wavelengths of energy. It is the wavelength and the frequencies that determine the effect of the rays. Firstly, it is necessary to divide the radiation into two groups as ionized and non-ionized. Electromagnetic waves at very short wavelengths are called ionized radiation. First of all, X-ray and rays emitted by radioactive materials in the x-ray machines are the most important ones. Many other forms of electromagnetic radiation are known as non-ionizing radiation and have much longer wavelengths. These include high-voltage lines, computers, mobile phones, microwave ovens and radio waves. Only high-dose ionized radiation waves can cause cancer, miscarriages and congenital anomalies.
The standard microwave ovens in our kitchens have been isolated to minimize the emission of microwave radiation. Leakage from operating device is minimum. So standing in front of the working microwave oven is not risky in pregnancy. No adverse outcome has been reported in pregnancy due to the use of such devices.
Moderate microwave radiation from computers that we use very often at work and at home has not been shown to harm the baby and the mother in all studies. However, as long-term computer use can cause eye fatigue, back and low back pain, it is recommended that computer workers frequently take breaks and walk around.
Wireless computer networks are becoming more widespread in our country. Most wireless networks currently use WiFi technology. In the studies conducted in the USA, France, Germany and Sweden, it was found that radiofrequency signals in WiFi networks are well below the internationally determined levels that may be risky for human health.
In short distance, wireless communication can be provided by bluetooth technology. In this kind of technology, the energy dissipation is hundreds of times less than in mobile phones. Therefore, it does not pose a risk for health and reproduction.
Fluorescence and laser radiation in copiers and printers do not pose a risk during pregnancy. Intensive use of these devices is not harmful during pregnancy.
Mobile phones which are widely used in the world and in our country provide communication with microwave electromagnetic radiation. Microwave radiation is non-ionizing radiation. It is possible to measure how much radio wave energy is transmitted to our body from every mobile phone model. This measurement is called SAR (specific absorbtion rate). The SAR of most mobile phones sold in Europe has been reported. With these values in mind, customers can choose models with a lower SAR. Radio waves above a certain value may cause warming effects in the body. However, exposure to such radio waves below internationally established limit values does not pose a threat to human health. However, some changes in brain activity, even below these standard values, have been proven. However, the cause is unknown. Research on this subject is still insufficient. Cell phones are held to the ear during use so that the antenna is about 1-2 cm from the head. Generally the emitted power is 250 mWatt, the frequency used is 900,1800 or 2000mhertz. These figures are within internationally accepted standards. In a report published by the cancer research center on August 30, 2005, no association was found between the use of mobile phones and the frequency of some brain tumors. It has been shown that 10-year mobile phone use does not increase the risk of brain tumor. However, the impact on use over 10 years is not known because mobile phone use has become widespread in the last 10 years. Further research is ongoing. For this reason, it is recommended to keep mobile phone calls short and to use low-SAR phone models when receiving mobile phones in order to be exposed to less radio waves. The effect of the use of hands-free kits on the amount of radio wave received is currently under investigation.
Cell phone base stations are installed very close to the settlements. With the increase in the number of base stations, the coverage area is gradually expanding. Base stations are radio transmitters and receivers. The research conducted by Sir William Stewart vfe team showed that the people living near the base stations and employees are not at general health risk.
The use of digital wireless phones (DECT), which works in a similar way to mobile phones, used at home and at work, does not increase the risk of miscarriage or congenital anomaly.
As a result, the widely used technology does not pose a threat to the expectant mother and the unborn baby. However, it should be kept in mind that a 35-year-old mother who has no personal or environmental risk already has a known 35% miscarriage risk and a 3% congenital anomaly risk in her baby. It is not possible to change this fundamental risk.