Study links cellphone usage and ADHD in Children

Study links cellphone usage and ADHD in Children
It might not be such a great idea to allow your young child to operate a handset. According to researcher Yoon Hwan Byun, of the Department of Medicine at Dankook University College of Medicine in Korea, children making voice calls on cellphones have an increased risk of developing ADHD. This is valid only if the children are also exposed to large levels of lead. Also at risk for developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were those children who play video games on cellphones at a young age. Again, those with lead in their blood stream appear to be the most at risk.

Children with ADHD have trouble focusing and are easily distracted. They are also impulsive, talkative and can't sit still. Earlier studies have suggested that the amount of pre-natal exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) can cause behavioral problems in kids. In addition, children with exposure to RF fields seem to have higher levels of lead in their blood stream. The testing was conducted on 2,400 elementary school students who were evaluated for ADHD while the parents gave up information on cellphone use by their children. After two years, the researchers found a correlation between cellphone use by kids, high levels of lead in the blood, and ADHD.

The good news is that those children who stopped using cellphones during the testing period had a huge decline in symptoms compared to the children who continued to use the handsets. But before placing the blame squarely on the use of cellphones, Byun cautioned that there could be reverse causality. Instead of kids becoming hyperactive because of cellphone use, the researcher says that children's hyperactivity could cause them to seek out a device like a cellphone to play video games to help counter the lack of focus. More research needs to be done, but for now it seems that there is a link between a child's cellphone usage and the amount of RF and lead exposure he or she is subject to. Work needs to be done on what this exposure means to the kids.

source: PsychCentral  via



1. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Children don't use cell phones right now, they're now using smartphones! Even a 8 years old kid is using a Samsung Galaxy S3. :P

2. Ardoleon

Posts: 14; Member since: Nov 30, 2012

Right. Everyone, make sure that your children don't use a cell phone for 30 mins. after eating lead paint chips. couldn't POSSIBLY be the lead that was causing the problem, oh no. Independant studies sometime have no common sense.

6. Aeires unregistered

Exactly. It's like saying kids exposed to lead paint and wear blue clothes will develop ADHD, so don't let your kids wear blue clothes. I've read a lot of cell phone articles but never ran across one that said cell phones cause lead in the blood.

3. pookiewood

Posts: 631; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

Where is the lead exposure supposed to be coming from? unless they are talking kids in other countries than the US that haven't outlawed Lead paint.

5. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

The late '70s ban didn't just make the old layers of lead paint disappear. This is an old article I'm linking, but one should get my point:

4. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Seriously, parents are too often willing to use electronic devices (tablets, tv's, smartphones) to baby sit kids. It keeps them quiet, but it affects them developmentally -- and not in a good way, as the report shows.

8. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Although I agree that too many parents use electronics to babysit their kids (which is a terrible parenting style, you idiots need to actually pay attention to your kid), this doesn't explain where the lead causing the problem comes from. If cell phones caused lead to flow through my blood, they wouldn't be legal. I will admit kids are willing to put odd things in their mouths, including phones. Despite that, I touch my phone then touch food and I've never had issues. Everyone is way too willing to point out the theoretical faults of the devices, while overall the benefits are huge.

7. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

I'm no expert, but I think this is BS. No matter how much evidence you show me, I don't think using a phone will give kids ADHD. I wouldn't give a little kid my phone anyways, but that's because I don't want my phone damaged.

14. EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

It will. It's induced ADHD. Kids get addicted to it over time. It's the same as why kids should be limited from computer games and watching TV. But nowadays parents prefer to keep their kids occupied with these gadgets so that their kids will not bug them, Actually, it's more like common sense, there's no need for this study to reveal it. My parents run a private tuition center and some students do exhibit this kind of symptom, thanks to addiction to gadgets. Their gadgets had to be confiscated and given back after class, and even so occasionally they begin to cause a ruckus. It's not that all kids will get ADHD from smartphones, but the risk is increased.

9. _PHug_

Posts: 482; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

Maybe we are creating a new master race that will be able to multi-task on a computer's level. God knows we will need them when Skynet takes over.

10. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

ADHD is a fake condition. There may be actual conditions that affect brain development, etc. but ADHD is a fake term that pharmaceuticals make up to sell more pills by making you think your lazy or rambunctious kid is actually affected with a condition.

11. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Thank you, someone sees reason.

12. DaNTRoN

Posts: 135; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

I worked mental rehab for children. And ADHD is fake. There is no link to video games. Nor food. Only the parents. I would throw the kids medication away everyday and fix there attitude and their parents thought I was Jesus. It's only an animals instinct. If an animal (person) realizes they can do anything they want, why do what someone else says. So doctors think they have to have a problem. Give them pills and of course, if you sick the life out of a creature it will do anything you tell it. I want down with that. If parents would teach their kids manners.... Well Bethune

13. DaNTRoN

Posts: 135; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Edit: sick = suck Want = wasn't

17. Aeires unregistered

When I was a kid, there wasn't ADHD, it was called hyperactive. It usually was kids that weren't disciplined and left alone to do whatever they want. Now it's called a disease and drug companies make billions off this and it's sad. Medication is a poor substitution for parenting.

19. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

Did the parents know a janitor was throwing out their kids medications?

15. EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

Idiots like you who deny the existence of such a disease is why medical technology advancement, disease control, and education for the public gets hampered sometimes. It's like back in 1983 when AIDS was first discovered there are morons who called it fake and doesnt exist like you do now, with their own excuses, and later die one by one.

16. DaNTRoN

Posts: 135; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

A virus is a living thing. It's a being inside you causing you harm. Can you find ADHD under a microscope? It's a socially created disorder not a natural one... Once again. I "cured" every kid they left me with. By discipline.

20. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

can you find any mental illness, personality disorder , homosexuality or feeling of happiness or sadness under a micro scope, Leave professinal work to professionals

21. EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

Im in medical field, and people with any kind of psychological-related issues, not just the 'mainstream' schizophrenia and psychosis but also things like ADHD, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) have unique behaviors, and both hormone levels, how the the synaptic neuron respond to such changes and the brainwaves are also different.

18. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

thank you dr. downphoenix you must know so much about our current medicine

22. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

First off, to downphoenix, you couldn't be more wrong. And to support my claim, most doctors now a days are even more careful and hesitant to make decisions regarding prescriptions in ADHD children. Most pediatricians are trying behavior and diet modification and saving drugs for the more severe cases. ADHD is very real. second, even the so called link between television and ADHD has been refuted by psychologists as false. I believe that because of the age of definitive ADHD diagnosis can be tricky to pinpoint, and kids that are under 7 are hard to diagnose because of pure maturity levels, the reverse causality is what this study is showing. I also wonder if they are even taking into account Piaget's stages of cognitive development. Since the early stages explain most ADHD fears away. it would be nice to know demographics as well. How old were these kids when the study began? How many kids and across how many regions? Can the study be repeated with fewer variable such as no lead? any psychology student who has had more than a month of psych 101 can come up with these very valid questions. Perhaps this experiment needs to be redesigned. A longitudinal study would better track something of this nature.

23. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

Btw, I'm a medical.professional who has had more than a month odlf psych 101 and I know this stuff. So if I do, that study must be severely flawed. For one, like I said, that lead variable. You need to take it out to show any validity between phone usage, or game playing, or electronics, and ADHD. Lead does horrible things to children. Including effecting synaptic activity (my field of expertise)

24. midgetsumo

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 27, 2013

Radiofrequency should not be treated as a confounding factor in this study. First of all we are all exposed to some level of lead even if we do not "eat lead paint chips" Secondly there is a positive relationship between lead and ADHD. The author is suggesting that radiofrequency from mobile phone could act as a somewhat a "catalyst" by opening up the blood brain barrier. Of course I agree that the study wouldve been better if they have compared within the group with moderate blood lead level -group exposed tk radiofrequency vs those who have not to see whether radiofreuncy enhances the effect of lead. Now there are actual researches focusing on the effect of radiofrequency on blood brain barrier.

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