Men who put phones in their pocket destroy their sperm

The majority of us still carry our phones in our jeans pockets, despite all the worries about radiation and cell phones. It is simple, handy, and has no visible negative effects. However, a recent study cautions that there is strong evidence suggesting men in particular should find alternative storage.

Phones positioned near a man’s genitalia for an extended period of time are shown to gradually reduce the number of sperm, according to a methodical assessment of 21 research publications on radiation.

Many of the findings also imply that DMA damage may have occurred to the surviving sperm. Since non-ionizing radiation cannot be used to explain how it affects the body, scientists are currently engaged in a heated discussion about the biological phenomenon. Many public health researchers are hesitant to declare categorically that cell phones are harmful to sperm in the absence of that link.

But in a recent analysis, a group at the University of Newcastle in Australia compiled data spanning several years in an effort to highlight the pattern and pinpoint possible reasons. And since 14% of the world’s population experiences infertility—of which 40% involves men—they caution that even seemingly insignificant details, like where one keeps their phone, might have a significant impact.

Phone in the pocket
Men who put phones in their pocket destroy their spermMen who put phones in their pocket destroy their sperm

‘While this subject remains a topic of active debate, this review has considered the growing body of evidence suggesting a possible role for RF-EMR [radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation] induced damage of the male germ line,’ the authors write. ‘In a majority of studies, this damage has been characterized by loss of sperm motility and viability as well as the induction of ROS generation and DNA damage.’ The authors reviewed 27 studies. Twenty-one of them showed a causal link between cell phone radiation and sperm damage.

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The authors reviewed 27 studies. Twenty-one of them showed a causal link between cell phone radiation and sperm damage. Ten studies were examined including 1,492 human sperm samples. Exposure to mobile phones was found to be associated with a significant eight per cent reduction in sperm motility and nine per cent reduction in sperm viability.

The effects on sperm concentration were more equivocal. The results were consistent across experimental laboratory studies and correlational observational studies. The data are hardly surprising, the authors say, given the ‘unique vulnerability of the highly specialized sperm cell’. But by continuing to store phones in pockets, the male population is ignoring ‘the future health burden that may be created if conception proceeds with defective, DNA-damaged spermatozoa’

Dr Joel Moskowitz, of UC Berkeley’s public health school, explained to Daily Mail Online that this review is a pivotal step towards broader global understanding about the dangers of our phones. In 2011, the World Health Organization classified cell phone radiation as a possible 2B carcinogen. It was the first major recognition that cell phones could have a detrimental effect on our bodies.

However, while studies have shown a correlation between sperm count depletion and cell phone radiation, there is a lack of research and concrete findings into the link between the two. Regardless, Dr Moskowitz warned, the University of Newcastle review is clear evidence that ‘men should not store their cellphones near their genitals’. ‘In this line of research more intense cellphone radiation leads to more sperm damage,’ he added.

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