Research of over 13,000 children in Denmark found mothers using their mobile phones between two and three times a day raised the risk of their children developing emotional or relationship problems.

The study, which is the first of its type, was carried out by the universities of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Aarhus, Denmark, and also found use of mobile phones by children under the age of seven also had an adverse effect on behaviour.

The study tested 13,159 mothers with children born in Denmark in the 1990s, concerning their use of mobiles during gestation. Given that mobile use was far from today’s levels of ubiquity, about half had used them very rarely or not at all, allowing direct comparison.

Handset problems

The findings showed mothers using the handsets regularly were 54 per cent more likely to give birth to offspring with behavioural problems, and the chances of these instances increased with exposure to the radiation.

Use of the phone by young children also increased the problem by up to 80 per cent.

The scientists involved in the study were surprised at the results, and were unable to find a direct biological reason for the findings. They added other factors - such as the unavailability of phone-prone mothers - might help explain the findings, so caution should be exercised.

However, since being told bottled water could give you cancer, it’s been hard to trust any study since.