Using electronic devices in the bedroom at night was found to damage both sperm and eggs
PEOPLE who use mobile phones or tablets at night may go on to have kids more prone to illness, scientists fear.
Falling asleep with the bedroom telly on could also damage sperm and eggs as the glare screws up the body clock.
The findings emerged from lab experiments on hamsters after studies linked night light to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease and depression.
Prof Randy Nelson, who led the US research, said: “We should be concerned about increasing exposures to light at night from our tablets, phones and TVs.”
The research showed for the first time damage was not only being done to the affected individuals but to their offspring as well.
“These weren’t problems that developed in the womb.
“They came from the sperm and the egg.”
His team at Ohio State University denied hamsters a natural mix of night and day.
The effects on both males and females led to offspring with weak immune systems.
The pups also had problems with their endocrine systems, which produce hormones that regulate metabolism, sexual function and mood.
Some mutations were only seen in male pups, while others were confined to females.
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Prof Nelson said: “We’re seeing for the first time in these hamsters that it’s possible the damage isn’t just being done to the affected individuals, but to their offspring as well.”
Experts have already warned that night-time light exposure interferes with the body clock and has previously been linked to increased risk of cancer, depression and heart disease.