Cell phones can affect sperm quality, researcher says
(CNN) — Keeping a cell phone on talk mode in a pocket can decrease sperm quality, according to new research from the Cleveland Clinic.
“We believe that these devices are used because we consider them very safe, but it could cause harmful effects due to the proximity of the phones and the exposure that they are causing to the gonads,” says lead researcher Ashok Agarwal, the Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine.
In the small study, Agarwal’s team took semen samples from 32 men and brought them to the lab. Each man’s sample was placed into small, conical tubes and divided into two parts: a test group and a control group. The control group was unexposed to cell phone emissions, but kept under the same conditions and temperature as the test group.
The semen in the test group was placed 2.5 centimeters from an 850 MHz cell phone in talk mode for 1 hour. Researchers say that 850 MHz is the most commonly used frequency. (There are two common frequency bands that all cell phone carriers use. The Cellular band commonly referred to as 1900 uses the frequencies 1850-1990 (MHz). The other band is PCS which is the 800 MHz band uses frequencies in the 824-894 (MHz) range. Most of our cellular phone signal products work on one or the other. See the frequency of your cellphone.)
They used the measurement of 2.5 centimeters to mimic the distance between the trouser pocket and the testes. Agarwal reasoned that many men keep their active cell phones in their pants pocket while talking on their headsets.
Overall, researchers found an increase in oxidative stress such as a significant increase in free radicals and oxidants and a decrease in antioxidants. Agarwal says that equals a decrease in sperm’s quality, including motility and viability. Evidence of oxidative stress can appear under other conditions, including exposure to certain environmental pollutants or infections in the urinary genital tract.
“On average, there was an 85 percent increase in the amount of free radicals for all the subjects in the study. Free radicals have been linked to a variety of diseases in humans including cancer,” said Agarwal. Free radicals have been linked to decreased sperm quality in previous studies.
However, the study does have major limitations, he acknowledged, such as the small sample size. It also was conducted in a lab and so cannot account for the protection a human body might offer, such as layers of skin, bone and tissue. Agarwal is in the early stages of further research that can model the human body’s role in protecting from radio-frequency electromagnetic waves emitted from cell phones. (Are they also taking the effects of cellphone radiation upon skin, bone and other tissues into consideration in this study?)
Agarwal also admits that there is no clear explanation of this demonstrated effect, but he shared some of his theories. “Perhaps the cell phone radiation is able to affect the gonads through a thermal effect thereby increasing the temperature of the testes and causing damaging effects in the sperm cell.” (Theorizing – where are your comparison clinical studies?)
In a previous study, Agarwal and his team found that men who used their cell phones more than four hours a day had significantly lower sperm quality than those who used their cell phones for less time. Those findings were based on self-reported data from 361 subjects.
While representatives from the cell phone industry had not yet reviewed the latest study, they were careful not to give this study much merit. “The weight of the published scientific evidence, in addition to the opinion of global health organizations, shows that there is no link between wireless usage and adverse health effects,” said Joe Farren, a spokesman for the CTIA-the Wireless Association. (Which scientific evidence are you considering? Which particular opinions of those global health organizations are you referring to? The ones you paid for?)
“We support good science and always have,” he said. “It’s important to look at studies that are peer-reviewed and published in leading journals and to listen to the experts.” (That’s a generalization that a 6th grade student could have made.)
Agarwal emphasized that it is far too early for men to start changing cell phone carrying habits, noting that his own cell phone was in his pocket as he talked to CNN. (Yeah, but when’s the last time he got a sperm count?)
“Our study has not provided proof that you should stop putting cell phones in your pocket. There are many things that need to be proven before we get to that stage,” he said. (What kind of damage do you have to see and how much damage to humanity before you decide?)
You don’t have to get rid of your cellphone or change your habits – You just need to make it safer:
A prominent cancer researcher’s warning to limit cell phone use has rekindled anew the longstanding question over mobile-phone health risks.
The media is abuzz with news of the memo from Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. He sent it to faculty and staff Wednesday, saying, among other things, that children should use cell phones only for emergencies, since their developing organs are the most likely to be sensitive to possible effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.
Herberman notes that the precautions have been reviewed by UPCI experts in neuro-oncology, epidemiology, and neurosurgery, as well as the Center for Environmental Oncology.
The tumor immunologist’s words are grabbing widespread attention both because of his professional position and because they contradict numerous studies that don’t find a link between cancer and cell phone use.
Herberman said his warning was based on early findings from unpublished data (see PDF for more).
“Recently, I have become aware of the growing body of literature linking long-term cell phone use to possible adverse health effects including cancer,” he says. “Although the evidence is still controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use.”
For anyone concerned about possible health repercussions of cell phone use, many of Herberman’s suggestions are easy enough to implement and minimally disruptive at most. Still, the topic can prove daunting to consumers. My colleague, cell phone guru Kent German, says he usually tells concerned consumers the following:
“First off, choose a phone with a low SAR (Specific Absorption Rate, a measure of the strength of the magnetic field absorbed by the body rating). CNET lists the SARs for almost all current phones in our radiation charts. Secondly, use a headset or a speakerphone whenever possible in order to maximize the distance between the phone and your body. And lastly, limit cell phone use for very young children…”
PITTSBURGH (AP) The head of a prominent cancer research institute issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff Wednesday: Limit cellphone use because of the possible risk of cancer.
The warning from Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is contrary to numerous studies that don’t find a link between cancer and cellphone use, and a public lack of worry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Herberman is basing his alarm on early unpublished data. He says it takes too long to get answers from science and he believes people should take action now especially when it comes to children.
“Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn’t wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later,” Herberman said.
No other major academic cancer research institutions have sounded such an alarm about cellphone use. But Herberman’s advice is sure to raise concern among many cellphone users and especially parents.
In the memo he sent to about 3,000 faculty and staff Wednesday, he says children should use cellphones only for emergencies because their brains are still developing.
Adults should keep the phone away from the head and use the speakerphone or a wireless headset, he says. He even warns against using cellphones in public places like a bus because it exposes others to the phone’s electromagnetic fields.
The issue that concerns some scientists though nowhere near a consensus is electromagnetic radiation, especially its possible effects on children. It is not a major topic in conferences of brain specialists…
“By all means, if a person feels compelled that they should take precautions in reducing the amount of electromagnetic radio waves through their bodies, by all means they should do so,” said Dan Catena, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society. “But at the same time, we have to remember there’s no conclusive evidence that links cellphones to cancer, whether it’s brain tumors or other forms of cancer…”
How Cellphone Radiation Affects Your Cells
Radiation from cell phones is too weak to heat biological tissue or break chemical bonds in cells, but the radio waves they emit may still change cell behavior.
Scientists exposed 10 female volunteers to radiation at 900 megahertz from GSM phones to simulate an hour-long phone call.
They screened 580 different proteins in their skin cells and found that the numbers of two proteins were altered in all of the volunteers: one protein increased by 89 percent, the other decreased by 32 percent.
This study shows that even without heating, molecular level changes take place in response to exposure to cell phone frequency electromagnetic radiation.
Toronto’s department of public health has advised teenagers and young children to limit their use of cell phones, in order to avoid potential health risks. The advisory is the first of its kind in Canada.
Officials have warned that because of possible side effects from radio frequency radiation, children under eight should only use a cell phone in emergencies, and teenagers should limit calls to less than 10 minutes.
For many years, most government health agencies were dismissive of any risk. But with more studies, a pattern is emerging that suggests people who have used their cell phones for a long period of time are at greater risk of certain kinds of brain tumors.
“..While scientists were pretty dismissive of any risk years ago, with the accumulation of studies, it appears people who have been using their phones for a long period of time are at greater risk of certain kinds of brain tumours. There is a pattern emerging,” said Loren Vanderlinden, a Toronto Public Health supervisor and the report’s author.
“We think it’s responsible to limit children’s exposure,” said Vanderlinden, a mother of two boys, aged 9 and 5, neither of whom carries a cellphone. “Generally, calls should be limited to five or 10 minutes.”
Children have smaller heads and thinner skulls than adults. Some studies, using computer image modelling, show signals radiate farther into children’s heads than adults. And because children today begin using cellphones at an earlier age than any other generation, exposure will be far greater over their lifetimes…
RADIATION from cellphones is too weak to heat biological tissue or break chemical bonds in cells, but the radio waves they emit may still affect cell behaviour.
“Our study suggests that it is possible that mobile phone radiation alters the expression of some proteins in living humans,” says Dariusz Leszczynski at the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, in Helsinki.
Leszczynski exposed 10 female volunteers to radiation at 900 megahertz from GSM phones to simulate an hour-long phone call. He screened 580 different proteins in their skin cells and found that the numbers of two proteins were altered in all of the volunteers: one protein increased by 89 per cent, the other decreased by 32 per cent (BMC Genomics, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-9-77).
Although similar effects have been observed in cultured cells, this is the first study to show molecular effects of phone radiation on humans…
Earlier we have shown that the mobile phone radiation (radiofrequency modulated electromagnetic fields; RF-EMF) alters protein expression in human endothelial cell line. This does not mean that similar response will take place in human body exposed to this radiation. Therefore, in this pilot human volunteer study, using proteomics approach, we have examined whether a local exposure of human skin to RF-EMF will cause changes in protein expression in living people.
Small area of forearm’s skin in 10 female volunteers was exposed to RF-EMF (specific absorption rate SAR = 1.3 W/kg) and punch biopsies were collected from exposed and non-exposed areas of skin. Proteins extracted from biopsies were separated using 2-DE and protein expression changes were analyzed using PDQuest software. Analysis has identified 8 proteins that were statistically significantly affected (Anova and Wilcoxon tests). Two of the proteins were present in all 10 volunteers.
This suggests that protein expression in human skin might be affected by the exposure to RF-EMF. The number of affected proteins was similar to the number of affected proteins observed in our earlier in vitro studies.
This is the first study showing that molecular level changes might take place in human volunteers in response to exposure to RF-EMF. Our study confirms that proteomics screening approach can identify protein targets of RF-EMF in human volunteers… (continues)
What do brain surgeons know about cellphone safety that the rest of us dont?
Last week (of 3 June 2008), three prominent neurosurgeons told the CNN interviewer Larry King that they did not hold cellphones next to their ears. I think the safe practice, said Dr. Keith Black, a surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, is to use an earpiece so you keep the microwave antenna away from your brain.
Dr. Vini Khurana, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the Australian National University who is an outspoken critic of cellphones, said: I use it on the speaker-phone mode. I do not hold it to my ear. And CNNs chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon at Emory University Hospital, said that like Dr. Black he used an earpiece.
Along with Senator Edward M. Kennedys recent diagnosis of a glioma, a type of tumor that critics have long associated with cellphone use, the doctors remarks have helped reignite a long-simmering debate about cellphones and cancer…
New Form of Electronic Test Helps Show
Early Signs of Energetic Health Imbalances.
These Energetic Imbalances May Be Showing The Future of Your Health…
One thing you’ll be weary of is keeping your cellphone in your pocket all the time once you see these videos about this cutting edge testing method. Click Here >> Electro-Dermal Screening and the Cell Phone Test.
You may have heard mixed reviews of whether cell phones are harmful or not and I want to explain why you should expect this…
You see there is a huge multi-billion dollar industry that has been setup whose revenue depends on your confidence in wanting to use your cell phone without hesitation.
As word gets out that there may be potential health issues resulting from cell phone use there are huge press campaigns broadcast distractions of the real news!
This has happened time and time again and it crosses over into the Scientific Studies. It’s fairly common knowledge that these days scientific studies about anything can be bought and sold. If a company’s got enough money they can fund a study and skew the results to their desired result.
Review the scientific literature on cell phone safety and you’ll see just that – a hung jury.
If these devices were truly safe I think all the studies would have verified this. The situation can be simplified:
1. Many people, yourself possibly included, find that they get headaches and discomfort when talking on a cell phone – for some folks it is only on long calls while others get reactions from even a quick call.
2. Many heavy cell phone users have openly complained that their newly formed brain tumors are (1) positioned right where their cell phone were held next to their ear (same side of the face) and (2) shaped very consistently with the antenna of a cell phone (see George Carlo’s book ‘Cell Phones Invisible Hazard of the Wireless Age‘).
3. Cell phone towers have been documented to affect bird migration. While industry execs and their scientific advisory boards seem to insist that this is a result of blinking lights on these towers, this is unlikely. There are all forms of blinking lights in nature like twinkling stars and fire flies. Migration patterns, like that of whales versus sonar signals, have never been thrown off until the installation of microwave infrastructures.
Maybe you’ll agree with me that you should be concerned with this issue – and that while many people are asking ‘Are there health dangers from using a cell phone?’ the more appropriate question to ask is ‘What are the health dangers from using a cellphone?‘
Learn more on this topic by reading my entire Radiation Report. Get Your Copy, Today!
Further related article:
Please see this video discussion with a neurosurgeon on the tumors in people’s heads he has diagnosed due to cell phone radiation and the fears he has for his own young daughter who just got a cellphone:
Dr. Charlie Tia, a preeminent Australian neurosurgeon discusses what he believes is a contributing factor to this exponential increase in brain tumors among children: excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), and electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from mobile phones and other electrical and electronic equipment and appliances.