Cell phone risk to sperm supported

An in vitro comparison study has strengthened concerns that electromagnetic radiation from cell phones impairs male fertility.

 Ashok Agarwal (Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA) and colleagues set out to validate the implications of recent epidemiologic studies, which reported reductions in sperm motility, morphology, and viability associated with cell phone exposure.

 They studied neat semen samples from 23 normal healthy donors and nine infertility patients. They divided the samples into two aliquots and exposed one of each sample to radiation from cell phones in talk mode, leaving the second aliquot unexposed to serve as controls.

 Analysis revealed significantly lower sperm motility and sperm viability in aliquots of exposed compared with unexposed sperm (49 vs 52 percent and 52 vs 59 percent, respectively).

 Levels of reactive oxygen species were also significantly higher in samples of exposed compared with unexposed sperm (0.11 vs 0.06 x106 cpm/20 million sperm), Agarwal et al report.

 Total antioxidant capacity and levels of DNA damage did not differ significantly between the two groups.

 “We speculate that keeping the cell phone in a trouser pocket in talk mode may negatively affect spermatozoa and impair male fertility,” the researchers conclude.

 Source: Fertility and Sterility 2008; Advance online publication  

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