Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Cell phones may kill male sperm cells

man with cellphone
Men with fertility problems who use a cell phone frequently have less sperm cells in their semen than those who rarely or never use a cell phone. This is the result of a study in three hundred sixty men who have visited an infertility clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. The results show a clear dosis effect: The longer a man is exposed to cell phone, the lower is his sperm count and the higher is the amount of damaged sperm cells. The most frequent users have phoned more than four hours a day.

It is most likely that the radiation from the cell phones has a negative impact on the cells that produce sperm. Cell phone radiation is not the only source of such damage. Over the last decade, a steady decrease in vital sperm cells has been detected in men all over the world. The main cause is pollution of the environment by toxic agents and by substances that have properties similar to female hormones.

The Ohio study only shows the end result, but cannot figure out how it has developed. It may be the electromagnetic radiation. But it may also be a common cause of both cell phone use and bad sperm. For instance, men who phone often may be more under stress or more sedentary than others, which in turn could have a negative impact on fertility. (Picture by PartsnPieces @ Flickr)

New lead pipes of the old Romans?

This study adds a new angle. Up to now, the main concern with cell phones had been brain tumors. The results in this field have been conflicting and controversial. Some studies have found no negative impact of electromagnetic fields on health at all. Some of these studies are funded by the cell phone industry. Some studies have found weak, unclear effects. And some do find an effect. The more I have read about it, the less I have used my cell phone. It has been said that the Roman empire has perished because of lead poisoning from water pipes. Will future archeologists once say that the end of western civilisation has begun with the wide use of wireless technologies?

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