Washington: Children whose mothers had high exposure to microwave ovens, hair dryers and vacuum cleaners during pregnancy may have three times the risk of developing asthma, according to a new study.
Researchers compared the daily magnetic field exposure of 801 pregnant women in Kaiser Permanente Northern California and used electronic medical records to follow their children for 13 years to see which children developed asthma.
The study found that women with high MF exposure in pregnancy had a more than threefold risk of asthma in their offspring compared with mothers whose exposure level was low.
“The message here is exposure to electromagnetic fields is not good, and we need to pay attention to its adverse effect on health,” said study lead author De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.
“The best way to reduce your magnetic field exposure is distance. Magnetic field strength drops dramatically with increasing distance from the source,” said Li.
“So pregnant women should try to limit their exposure to known MF sources and keep distance from them when they are in use,” he added.