This has been in the news a bit, but just in case anyone missed it, it’s probably a bad idea to keep that cell phone in your front pants pocket and it’s probably not that great an idea to hang out around a lot of microwaves… (which may also have implications for the use of home wireless networks as well… though that’s a bit speculative.)
Cell Phone Usage Linked To Lower Sperm Count
Article Date: 23 Oct 2006 – 22:00 PDT
I’d heard some talk of this before. On the way back from L.A. it was on the radio again. Decided to do a bit of a Google Train on it. Doing “Cell phone sperm” gives 972,000 hits with a lot of them from 2008 – 2009. But just in case anyone missed it…
The more a man uses his cell phone the lower his sperm count is likely to be, said researchers from Cleveland, New Orleans and Mumbai, at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The researchers found that every aspect of a man’s sperm profile can be affected by many hours on his cell phone.
Not to mention his tendency to want to “share” and go clothes shopping ;-)
The researchers looked at the sperm count, motility and normal forms of the sperm of 364 men. They found that:
— among men with a normal sperm count who never used a mobile phone, average sperm counts were 86 million per milliliter, 68% motility and 40% normal sperms
— among men with a normal sperm count who used their mobiles more than four hours per day, average sperm counts were 66 million sperm per milliliter, 46% motility and 21% normal forms
The researchers believe the effect on sperm profiles may be caused by the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the devices, or their heat. They added that further studies are needed to find out exactly what the mechanisms are that undermine sperm quality.
I doubt it’s ‘the heat’ as the device is fairly cool when not transmitting and it’s near the ear when it is… So I’d look to a more direct impact of microwave energy.
FWIW, a high school friend who enlisted in the military during the Vietnam War was assigned to repair radar sets. This was done with the shielding removed some of the time. He eventually got testicular cancer. “Eventually” being in the course of a short first / only enlistment… No family history of “issues” and no identified environmental factors in his home. (i.e. all the rest of us who swam the same canals, ate the same food, and worked on the same cars had no such issues… he was a ‘one off’.) I’ve suspected that exposure to microwaves was “not good” for a couple of decades now…
“Relationship between cell phone use and human fertility: an observational study”
P-398 A. Agarwal, S. A. Prabakaran, G. Ranga, A. T. Sundaram, R. K. Sharma, S. C. Sikka
HIGHLIGHTS from the 62nd ANNUAL MEETING AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE
FWIW, my “count” was measured at significantly above the numbers posted above as “normal”. And folks wonder why I don’t carry my cell phone with me all the time ready to answer it at a moments notice…
So remember: Real Men don’t spend hours on the cell phone…. And if you get voice mail, that just means I’m more virile than if I answered on the first ring ;-)
But they are not the only study to find such issues:
Can Cell Phones Harm Our Health?
(PDF) Can Cell Phones Harm Our Health? November 2010
Diana Zuckerman, PhD, Brandel France de Bravo, MPH, Rachel Lieberman, BA, and Megan Cole, BA
In July 2008, Dr. Ronald Herberman, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, made quite a stir in the media when his warning to staff was made public: he told his employees that cell phone radiation may present more of a health risk than we had thought. He advised that rather than wait for definitive studies, we should immediately curb our cell phone use, and especially cell phone use by children.
The extensive use of cell phones is a relatively recent phenomenon, and since cancers usually take at least 10-20 years to develop, it will be years before research is likely to conclude whether cell phones cause cancer or not. However, the evidence indicates cause for concern. In addition to possibly increasing our risk of cancer, new research shows that cell phone radiation (known as Radio Frequency-Electromagnetic Radiation or RF-EMR) may have other negative health effects, including harming sperm, reducing male fertility, harming your quality of sleep, worsening migraines, and even changing the behavior of the cells inside your body.
And if phones can do that, so can all the other devices that use the ‘couple of GHz’ frequencies. Radars and wireless networks come to mind first…
What Does Research Tell Us about Cell Phones and Tumors?
Three years ago, a review of 18 studies of cell phones and brain tumors, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine by Lennart Hardell and his colleagues, concluded that studies of individuals using cell phones for more than 10 years “give a consistent pattern of an increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma,” with the risk being highest for a tumor on the same side of the head that the phone is used. Gliomas are the most common cancerous brain tumor, and the majority of gliomas are malignant (and usually fatal). Acoustic neuromas are benign tumors of the acoustic nerve that can cause deafness. The studies were conducted in the United States, Sweden, Finland, the U.K., Germany, and Japan.
Around the same time, cell phone companies insisted that the evidence shows that their cell phones are safe. Cell phone companies tend to focus on the studies they funded themselves and that draw conclusions that will keep their business booming. A good example is a study by Schuz and colleagues at the Danish Cancer Society and International Epidemiology Institute, but funded by cell phone companies.
only 3% had started using cell phones 15 or more years before the data were analyzed. Therefore, this study did not evaluate people using cell phones for a long enough period to determine if cell phone use causes cancer. Individuals with corporate accounts were excluded from the sample, which is also a shortcoming because they were the early adopters and heaviest users of cell phones.
But Wait, There’s More!
Some folks think it may cause hearing loss, memory loss and more:
Cell phone use could cause substantial damage to the human body beyond brain cancer, an author who has written about cell phone safety said today.
Cell phones could damage users’ DNA, reduce their sperm count, and increase memory loss, said Devra Davis, who authored “Disconnect,” a book on cell phones and cancer.
Davis spoke to a crowd of more than 60 Bay Area residents about the risks of long-term mobile phone exposure today at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club.
and from that center4research page in the prior block above:
Beyond Brain Tumors: Other Health Concerns
Salivary gland tumors
Dr. Siegal Sadetzki and her colleagues at Tel Aviv University in Israel have found a link between salivary gland tumors and cell phones. They reported that heavy cell phone users were more likely to have benign or malignant tumors of the salivary gland, compared to those who did not use cell phones. These findings became more worrisome when a July 2009 Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine study found a sharp rise in the number of cases of cancer of the parotid salivary gland in recent years. From 1980 to 2002, there were an average of only 25 cases a year in Israel, but that nearly tripled to about 70 cases a year in the subsequent five years.
Migraines and dizziness
A 2009 study linked long-term cell phone use to migraines and dizziness (known as vertigo). In this study of 420,095 Danish adults, when comparing long-term cell phone users with more recent cell phone users, the long-term users were 10-20% more likely to be hospitalized for migraines and vertigo.
A small 2007 study found that exposure to cell phone radiation before bed led to less sleep and poorer quality of sleep. People who were exposed to 884 MHz wireless signals for three hours before bed took six more minutes to reach deep sleep and spent eight fewer minutes in the deepest stage of sleep, in comparison to when they were not exposed to the cell phone signals. These few minutes per day could contribute to sleep deprivation over several weeks and months.
Altered cell behavior
Exposure to cell phone radiation is now thought to alter the expression of certain proteins in the human body. In a 2008 Finnish study, females exposed to cell phone radiation that mimicked a one-hour phone call had significant changes in their levels of two different proteins after they were exposed: “one protein increased by 89%, the other decreased by 32%.” This was the first study showing the molecular-level changes that take place in the human body, when exposed to cell phone radiation.
Altered sperm count and quality
Similarly, in a 2009 study, Dr. John Aitken from the University of Newcastle in Australia found that as levels of cell phone radiation increase, the damage done to sperm also increases. Dr. Aitken therefore recommends that men who would like to have children should avoid carrying cell phones in their pockets or anywhere below the waist. This is a dramatic development because the level of radiation for a phone that is in a pocket while not being used is much lower than the level of radiation during a phone conversation.
Risks for Children
A study published in 2008 in Physics in Medicine and Biology revealed that the brains of children under 8 absorb twice as much radiation from cell phones as adult brains. A 2010 study published in Physics in Medicine and Biology noted that, “in general and on average, children suffer a higher exposure of their brain regions than adults.” This is because children have proportionally smaller heads and brains, yet receive the same levels of cell phone radiation as adults.
A study of more than 13,000 Danish children published in Epidemiology suggests that cell phone exposure could affect children’s behavior. The children in the study who were hyperactive or had emotional or behavioral problems, including trouble getting along with other kids, were much more likely to have mothers who used cell phones during pregnancy. The children’s problems, as reported by their mothers, were even more pronounced for children whose mothers used cell phones both during pregnancy and during their children’s first seven years of life. After accounting for other factors that could affect behavior, the children of these mothers were 80% more likely to have behavioral problems than children whose mothers rarely or didn’t use cell phones.
Other than that, No Problem…