PureInsight | October 29, 2006
A new study shows that the sperm count of a man is linked to the hours
a day he is on his cell phone. There was a direct correlation between
low-count, poor-quality sperm and being on the cell phone four or more
hours per day, according to a report given at the American Society for
Reproductive Medicine annual meeting in New Orleans.
The exact reason is unknown, but generated heat and electromagnetic radiation are cited as possible reasons.
Sperm counts of British men have fallen 29 percent in the last 10
years. There are many other contributing factors, but this study, which
backs up previous research, is the largest and best designed.
Three hundred sixty-one men checking their fertility at a fertility
clinic were classed into four groups. Forty never used a cell phone,
107 used them less than two hours a day, 100 used them two to four
hours, and 114 used them more than four hours a day. Men who used a
cell phone more than four hours a day had 25 percent fewer sperm than
mobile phone non-users. Of the sperm they had, only one-fifth looked
normal under a microscope. Sperm swimming ability was only two-thirds
that of normal sperm, a vitally important ability for fertilization.
"Almost a billion people are using cell phones around the world and the
number is growing in many countries at 20 to 30 percent a year. In
another five years the number is going to double. People use mobile
phones without thinking twice what the consequences may be," said the
leader of the study, Dr. Ashok Agarjwal, director of the Reproductive
Research Center at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio.
The main finding was that the measures of sperm health - sperm count,
motility, viability and appearance - showed significant differences
between the groups.
According to the World Health Organization, a normal sperm count is
above 20 million per milliliter of seminal fluid. "There was a
significant decrease in the most important measures of sperm health
with cell phone use and that should definitely be reflected in a
decrease in fertility. Mobiles could be having a devastating effect on
fertility. It still has to be proved but it could have a huge impact
because mobiles are so much part of our lives," Ashok said.
Animal experiments in the past have shown DNA damage to sperm in mice
in research done at the University of Newcastle, U.K. Another study,
published in Biology Medicine Wireless Technology, June 27, 2004, found
that cell phones worn near the groin, on belts or in pockets exposing
sperm to microwave heat, reduced subjects' sperm count by 30 percent.
Can cell phones contribute to infertility? http://news.com.com/2061-10800_3-5656022.html
Cell phones 'slashing sperm counts' http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3839373a11275,00.html
Mobile Phones Shown to Impact Male Fertility http://novaspivack.typepad.com/nova_spivacks_weblog/2004/06/mobile_phones_s.html