28
Jun
2004

Mobile phones can cut a man's fertility by a third

Hi Klaus: The article below on research evidence that cell phone radiation can cause male infertility appeared on the front page of yesterday's print edition of THE SUNDAY TIMES. Best, Imelda, Cork


THE SUNDAY TIMES

June 27, 2004

Mobile phones can cut a man's fertility by a third

Jonathan Leake, Science Editor

(excerpt)

RESEARCH into the fertility of men who regularly carry and use mobile phones has suggested their sperm count can be cut by up to 30%, reducing chances of conception.

The study is the first to indicate male fertility may be damaged by the radiation emitted by mobiles. Men who carry the phone in a belt holster or trouser pocket are thought to be at the highest risk and could one day be advised to put the mobile in a bag or briefcase and away from vulnerable areas.

Details of the research will be released on Tuesday at an international scientific conference of fertility experts in Berlin. The researchers studied 221 men for 13 months comparing the sperm of those who used their phones heavily with others who did not.

They found that heavy users of mobile phones, those who carried their phone around with them most of the time, had their sperm counts reduced by nearly 30%.

Many of the sperm that did survive showed abnormal movements further reducing fertility.

While the research suggests an effect on the sperm, the scientists say further work will need to be done to confirm the finding and establish the mechanism by which it might happen.

In the paper, Dr Imre Fejes of the obstetrics and gynaecology department at the University of Szeged in Hungary concludes: “The prolonged use of cell phones may have a negative effect on spermatogenesis (sperm production) and male fertility, that deteriorates both concentration and motility.”

Unlike previous studies, the researchers believe that phones may cause damage while in stand-by mode. Although not in use, they make regular transmissions to maintain contact with the nearest radio masts. It had been assumed such transmissions were too short to cause harm.

The findings will be presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s annual conference.
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