Study: Cellphone exposure may harm male fertility

“Men who carry a cellphone in their pants pocket may harm their sperm and reduce their chances of having children, a new review warns,” Robert Preidt reports for HealthDay News.

“The research team analyzed the findings of 10 studies that examined how cellphone exposure may affect male fertility. Among men with no exposure to cellphones, 50 percent to 85 percent of their sperm had a normal ability to move towards an egg,” Preidt reports. “That fell by an average of 8 percent among men exposed to cellphones. Similar effects were seen for sperm viability, which refers to the proportion of sperm that were alive, according to the study published June 9 in the journal Environment International. The effects of cellphone exposure on sperm concentration (the number of sperm per unit of semen) were unclear, the investigators noted.”

Preidt reports, “Most adults worldwide own mobile phones, and about 14 percent of couples in middle- and high-income nations have difficulty conceiving, the researchers said.”

Read more in the full article here.

45 Comments

  1. These “studies” are ridiculous. Why even do this research unless you have some kind of agenda to push? Who gets up in the morning and decides to study how cell phones affect fertility? Next up… iPhones cause global warming… I mean climate change… or what ever they’re calling that hoax these days.

    1. You are uninformed. What you don’t see yourself, doesn’t exist, right? Climate change is real, and there are many people (in addition to the massive amount of independent scientific data) that can testify to the fact. The island nation of Kiribati has been inhabited by indigenous population for the past 4,000 years. for about 3,950 of those years, their shorelines were largely unchanged. In the last 50 years, rising ocean levels has already wiped out some minor islands, and the entire country is now preparing for mass exodus, because in less than 20 years, if ocean levels continue to rise at the same rate, the country will be wiped out form the face of the Earth (after four millennia of known existence).

      Mobile phones operate rather close to the 2.5GHz frequency of a microwave oven. This frequency affects water molecules (causes them to agitate — rotate back-and-forth), which produces friction with neighbouring molecules, heating them all as a consequence. It is well known that the motility of semen in the sperm is greatly reduced with even slight increase of temperature (which is why men’s testicles are located outside of the body, rather than inside — to make it easier to cool them down). Frequent usage of hot tubs can have similar consequences — slower swimmers in your baby juice.

      What you call ‘studies” are in fact peer-reviewed research on statistically significant number of subjects under controlled conditions.

      And who gets up in the morning and decides to study this? Well, inquisitive people who can actually think independently. Especially since this particular question isn’t really something way out there. It is well known that mobile phones operate on similar frequencies as microwave ovens. It was just a matter of time for someone to make a clear possible connection and attempt to explore it. What could possibly be the downside of exploring such connection? Unless you are making mobile phones for a living, you would really want to know if your cellphone is frying your descendants into oblivion.

      It is thanks to people who think like this that we have technology today that allows so many people to live well into their 90s.

      1. Oh jeez. I’m not even going to read this crap. I have an opinion, but you can’t accept that. Instead, you are driven like a religious zealot to make me believe. You have your opinions and I have mine. Respect that and shut the hell up.

        1. So you express your own opinion, in a public forum… and you somehow expect others to not to respond with a (far better written) opinion that challenges yours?

          Wow, the entitlement generation at its finest (oh btw, that’s my opinion, accept it).

          1. Of course I accept your opinion, but I don’t accept the holy than thou attitude coming from people who call me “uninformed” or stupid just because I don’t believe in man made climate change. Science is NEVER settled, and I don’t appreciate the over zealous fascist B.S. that I get every time I speak out about what I consider to be a gigantic hoax… just like this idiot study claiming that cell phones cause male infertility.

            1. You may choose to believe in God or not; such belief requires, well, faith.

              Climate change is actually SETTLED quite well. There is only a very minuscule group of people, who are by vocation (and by practice) scientists, and who are disputing the overwhelming number of peer-reviewed studies that confirm climate changes. This doesn’t require faith; all the data is out there, very verifiable, as it comes from independent sources (such as historic records, among others). And practically every single one of those scientists who dispute climate change is financed by a very special interest group (some form of fossil energy producer). The money trail is very easy to follow.

              What I don’t understand is why is it that there is only ONE group of people, pretty much on the entire planet, that seems to be skeptical of climate change: Americans affiliated with the Republican party. The science, and the debate about this, is pretty much settled on this issue; the only debate is the extent, the severity of consequences, and the accuracy of the timeline. Yet, in America, the politically conservative part of the population continues to believe big oil, rather than independent science. This is very fascinating (if somewhat frustrating, considering that everyone will end up suffering the consequences; not just the country of Kiribati).

              Even if we eliminate from the debate the causes for climate change, the fact remains that it is there, and if nothing is done to mitigate it, life will get significantly worse for very many people (again, not just Kiribati). Frankly, when someone says ‘gigantic hoax’, they insult quite many intelligent and smart people who know what they are talking about.

              As for the study about phones and fertility, the study does not go into reasons; they may well be heat from battery (or processor). The data is available for everyone who cares to dispute the study. This is the way science works: someone presents research (statistically significant number of samples, under controlled conditions, deriving relevant and meaningful data), which reveals correlation. The study is reviewed by other scientists and the review reveals problems, if any.

              Just saying that a study is ‘idiot’ without first having reviewed it is disingenuous and smells of zealotry of a special kind. Usually, such responses come from those with special interests that are jeopardised by the results of such studies.

      2. Mobile phones operate a a range of frequencies, mostly from 700 MHz to 2100 MHz for cellular communications. They also operate on 2.4 and 5 GHz for WiFi. While you are roughly correct in that microwave ovens also typically operate at 2.45 GHz, that is in no way proof of harm in the case of the mobile phone. In fact, the typical consumer-grade microwave oven operates at a power of 1000 Watts, cellular and WiFi radios on mobile phones are much, much lower power, typically around 0.04 Watts. The heating effect of such low power, even at very close range, is barely measurable, and would require constant transmission. Since mobile phones are designed to minimize their use of their built in radios, to save what little battery power they have, the radios are commanded to transmit only when absolutely necessary, and then quickly powered down again. That’s nothing like the sustained, high-power you get from a microwave oven.

        What’s going to warm your pants is a rapidly discharging cell phone battery. The chemical reaction in the battery cells can generate quite a bit of heat, and that’s easily measurable. In fact, faulty batteries have a history of overheating and catching fire, though not generally in iPhones. Laptops and Boeing 787s are a different story. Next time your jailbroken iPhone has a runaway app sucking up all the battery, you may notice a slight burning sensation in your pocket. It’s not the weak little radios, it’s batteries!

        1. You’re quite right regarding facts, and I think you may be right in that there may not be any measurable harm from microwave radiation from phones. My message implied this as a definitive cause, which wasn’t my intention. In fact, several studies tried to determine with reasonable reliability any detrimental effect caused by mobile phones (more specifically, their radiation), and no definitive and conclusive results were obtained).

          However, this study definitely does reliably demonstrate correlation: phones in pockets, and reduced motility. It does NOT demonstrate causation, but this is something that can be inferred, considering the controlling factors.

          There are many men who aren’t that interested in what exactly is the cause for this; all they need to know is that if your phone is in your pocket, there is a chance that your swimmers will be slower than if you didn’t carry the phone. You can do with such information whatever you wish: ignore it, switch from briefs to boxers, carry your phone in your jacket pocket, carry it in a “man-purse”, or do something else that might improve the health of your seed.

  2. What really bugs me is, OK, keep it out of your pocket. Whare to put it? They said that in the shirt’s pocket could cause heart failure. So, in the waist? Meaning, a couple of inches would prevent damamge from an allegedly high radiation emission device?

    So, what’s next? “The safest place to store your phone is to shove it up your @$$ ???”

    Oh, no!! New studies say that might cause hemorrhoids and colon cancer!!!

    If thoise people are going to drop the bad news, they better give us a damn solution, but a SOUND solution!

    Sorry, this really bothers me!

    1. “If thoise people are going to drop the bad news, they better give us a damn solution, but a SOUND solution!”

      The first step upon discovering a problem is to sound the alarm, aka raise awareness and in the case of scientific studies, encourage others to reproduce or disprove the results, and marshal other resources to work the problem. Example: security bugs in software, where the reporting party *knows* there’s a problem but doesn’t have the knowledge or resources to suggest a fix.

      The “don’t come to me with a problem unless you have a viable solution” is the attitude of bad managers who prefer to remain ignorant.

      1. OK, granted. You have a valid point.

        Now, what to do? Just stop using cell phones? How do we protect ourselves? After all these years telling us “cell phones are dangerous, what can we do about it? If anything?

        And that’s what I meant with a sound solution. This issues are not new. Whether it’s your heart, your braing or your privates, this issue has been there for years and we, the common people, still don’t have a solution (if any).

        And there lies my frustration. Would this be a new issue, I’d be saying “OK, let be cautious and see what they say”. But after all these years, either they are hiding something or creating panic, or, I don’t know. Perhaps there’s nothing to do. We I believe we have the right to know.

        I’m not disagreeing with you. I’m just saying, it’s been long enough, I think…

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