Men who carry their cell phone or Blackberry on their belt loop or in their pocket may be posing a risk to the health of their sperm and their fertility.
A major health advocacy group released a new report on the potentially harmful effects of cell phones on sperm. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reviewed the scientific literature and reported that 10 studies have found significant changes in sperm exposed to cell phone radiation.
The study reported: “In the most striking findings, men who carried their phones in a pocket or on the belt were more likely to have lower sperm counts and/or more inactive or less mobile sperm.”
“People are so preoccupied with brain tumors that the fertility issue gets very little play,” said Louis Slesin, editor of Microwave News, a newsletter on electromagnetic radiation.
Exposure to cell phone radiation has also been associated with markers for sperm damage, such as higher levels of reactive oxygen species (chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen), oxidative stress, DNA damage and changes in sperm morphology.
“We have enough evidence to issue precautionary health warnings,” said Dr. Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley. “The evidence for sperm damage is quite consistent across many studies,” he added.
“The issue is far from settled, yet the proposals put forward by EWG are low-cost precautionary actions,” Slesin said.