Study Finds No Link Between Small-for-Gestational-age Births and Video Displays

Several studies have shown that there is a relationship between the low-level electromagnetic fields generated by many of today's monitors and televisions and reproductive problems. In fact, several studies seem to indicate that these fields are related to spontaneous abortion and increased risks of birth defects.

However, in a recent study no relationship between small-for-gestational-age(SGA) births and video display screens was found.

Small-for-gestational-age(SGA) births refers to children that are born below the 10th percentile of gestational age. Often, the term low birth weight is also used, which describes babies that weigh under 5lbs 8oz.

The study took around 550 women who had delivered SGA babies, as well as around 2000 women who delivered normally. Of these women, their health, physical, and social status were all evaluated and compared, looking for similarities.

It was found that smoking, a history of birth defects, and gestational hypertension were more common in those who gave birth to a low birth weight child.

However, other factors, such as martial status and employment, were not found to be statistically important. Further, no coloration between the use of video display terminals and GA births was found.

While this study confirms the findings of similar studies preformed during the eighties and nineties, it should be noted that no actual measurements of the exposure to magnetic fields was preformed, instead focusing on how much time was spent in front of a computer monitor.

Further, the levels of electromagnet fields is greatest at the rear of a monitor, but this study was focused on exposure from sitting in front of the monitor. Also, in the control group, which included around 2000 women that delivered normal weight babies, only parents that delivered during the normal gestational period were considered, so no one in the control delivered a pre-term baby.

Despite these factors that limit the scope of the study, it is believed that when taken as a whole with other similar studies, there is little risk of electromagnet fields being tied to Small-for-Gestational-age Births.

Source: Journal of Environmental Health; Jan2010, Vol. 72 Issue 6, p24-27

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