11
Dez
2004

Increase in Scrotal Temperature in Laptop Computer Users

The study:

Increase in scrotal temperature in laptop computer users
Yefim Sheynkin 1*, Michael Jung 1, Peter Yoo 1, David Schulsinger 1, and Eugene Komaroff 2

1 Department of Urology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook NY 11794-8093, USA
2 General Clinical Research Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook NY 11794-8093, USA

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Yefim Sheynkin, E-mail: ysheynkin@notes.cc.sunysb.edu


Abstract

BACKGROUND: Scrotal hyperthermia has been identified as a risk factor for male infertility. Laptop computers (LC) have become part of a contemporary lifestyle and have gained popularity among the younger population of reproductive age. LC are known to reach high internal operating temperatures. We evaluated the thermal effect of LC on the scrotum. METHODS: Right and left scrotal temperature (ScT) was measured in 29 healthy volunteers in two separate 60 min sessions. ScT was recorded from thermocouples on a digital datalogger every 3 min with the working LC in a laptop position and in the same sitting position with approximated thighs without LC. RESULTS: ScT increased significantly on the right and left side in the group with working LC (2.8°C and 2.6°C, respectively; P<0001) and without LC (2.1°C, P<0.0001). However, ScT elevation with working LC was significantly higher (P<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Working LC in a laptop position causes significant ScT elevation as a result of heat exposure and posture-related effects. Long-term exposure to LC-related repetitive transient scrotal hyperthermia is a modern lifestyle feature that may have a negative impact upon spermatogenesis, specifically in teenage boys and young men. Further studies of such thermal effects on male reproductive health are warranted.

Media Reviews:

SHealth
Laptops May Threaten Male Fertility
By Ed Edelson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDayNews) -- Laptop computers pose a long-term threat to the fertility of young men who use them because they can reduce sperm formation by raising temperatures in the genital area, a small new study says.

Keep the laptop on a desk, not on the lap, is the advice of Dr. Yefim Sheynkin, an associate professor of urology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and lead author of what is described as the first study of the effect of heat from the computers on the genital region.

But the warning drew a quick rebuttal from another fertility expert, Dr. Steven J. Sondheimer of the University of Pennsylvania, who said "it is not clear that it [the warming effect] is clinically important."

High scrotal temperature is "definitely a well-known risk factor for infertility," Sheynkin said. "We have known for years that it can affect male fertility and sperm production."

Men who are trying to become fathers are routinely advised to avoid saunas and hot baths, he said, and the new warning is "quite important because millions of young men and boys are using laptop computers on a regular basis now."

The study of 29 men in their 20s and 30s by the Stony Brook group found that keeping a laptop on the lap for an hour can raise scrotal temperatures by more than 2.5 degrees Celsius, enough to affect fertility significantly, said a report in the Dec. 9 issue of the European journal Human Reproduction.

But Sondheimer, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, said there's little for men to worry about. "We've known for a long time that anything that warms the testicles lowers the sperm count, but whether this translates into infertility is not clear," he said. "Most likely it does not lead to infertility. We don't translate this information into clinical practice."

Previous studies have raised alarms about other factors that could affect male fertility by raising scrotal temperatures. French researchers reported in 2000 that driving a car for two hours raised the temperature by more than 2 degrees Celsius. A report from doctors in Kiel, Germany, that same year warned about the possible danger of plastic-lined disposable diapers, which were found to raise temperatures more than cotton diapers.

A 1999 study in the United States found that even seasonal temperature changes had a major effect on male fertility. Sperm production dropped by 41 percent in the summer as compared to winter, the study found, while sperm speed decreased and the number of defective sperm increased as the weather got hotter.

That effect was noted in the Cole Porter song Too Darn Hot, whose lyrics say in part, "According to the Kinsey Report, the average man you know, must prefer to play his favorite sport when the temperature is low."

The new study was "not designed to look at fertility issues," Sheynkin said, but merely to measure temperature effects. It found that the surface temperature of the Pentium 4 computers used in the study rose from 31 degrees Celsius (87 degrees Fahrenheit) to nearly 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) after an hour of use.

Scrotal temperatures of the men rose by an average of 2.1 degrees Celsius when they sat with their thighs together to keep the computers centered. Temperatures went up more than 2.5 degrees Celsius when the computers sat on one leg or the other.

Many studies have shown that an increase of just 1 degree Celsius can affect sperm formation, Sheynkin said. Just 15 minutes of laptop use produced that temperature rise in the study.

If a user can't put the computer on a desk, laptop use should be limited to just a few minutes at a time, Sheynkin said. But even then, frequent laptop use can be damaging, he said.

"The effect of short-term exposure can be reversible," he said. "But if men don't give themselves time to recover, if they use laptop computers on a daily basis for years, it can take from three months to a year to recover. And the effect can be irreversible, which is very difficult to treat."

Sheynkin said he now plans a study to measure the physical effects of laptop use. "We will identify a group of men who are using laptop computers on a regular basis and see to what extent it affects fertility," he said.

Scrotal temperatures of the men rose by an average of 2.1 degrees Celsius when they sat with their thighs together to keep the computers centered. Temperatures went up more than 2.5 degrees Celsius when the computers sat on one leg or the other.

Many studies have shown that an increase of just 1 degree Celsius can affect sperm formation, Sheynkin said. Just 15 minutes of laptop use produced that temperature rise in the study.

If a user can't put the computer on a desk, laptop use should be limited to just a few minutes at a time, Sheynkin said. But even then, frequent laptop use can be damaging, he said.

"The effect of short-term exposure can be reversible," he said. "But if men don't give themselves time to recover, if they use laptop computers on a daily basis for years, it can take from three months to a year to recover. And the effect can be irreversible, which is very difficult to treat."

Sheynkin said he now plans a study to measure the physical effects of laptop use. "We will identify a group of men who are using laptop computers on a regular basis and see to what extent it affects fertility," he said.

//www.forbes.com/lifestyle/health/feeds/hscout/2004/12/09/hscout522780.html



By CAROLYN ABRAHAM
From Thursday's Globe and Mail

POSTED AT 12:31 AM EST

New medical research is about to hit the technology industry below the belt — a provocative U.S. study has concluded that the last place any male should use a laptop computer is in his lap.

Research published today in the journal Human Reproduction has found that laptops, combined with the thighs pressed-together posture needed to balance them, give off enough heat to raise the temperature inside testicles by nearly three degrees Celsius (5.4 F).

This increase, researchers warn, could endanger the production of healthy sperm and lead to infertility.

"Some people don't use laptops on their laps, but a lot of young men, or boys, have all these wireless services and they do use them on their laps to play games or do all sorts of things, on the sofa, or the school bus, or in the backyard and this is a continuous heat exposure. . . . But in 10 or 20 years when they try to have a family they might have problems," said study leader Yefim Sheynkin, a urologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

So where should men use a laptop? "Use it on a desk," he said, "anywhere but on the lap."

If the findings sound, well, nuts, no doctor is likely to dismiss them.

The health of sperm globally has been a subject of great concern for the past 12 years. Reports, particularly from Western countries, suggest that sperm counts and quality have been declining for half a century, while testicular-cancer rates are rising. The phenomenon remains controversial, but no one disputes that semen has its environmental enemies — and heat is one of them.

Heat is known to mangle the traditional tadpole shape of sperm, as well as limit their numbers, stunt their growth and make them sluggish. Doctors strongly advise men having trouble in becoming fathers to abstain from hot baths, hot tubs, and sometimes saunas. Even serious scientists have compared the cooling benefits of boxer underwear over briefs.

"If [Dr. Sheynkin] can measure that difference in temperature [with laptop use], it is significant, but it needs more study," said male-infertility expert Victor Chow, a consultant with the University of British Columbia's Centre for Reproductive Health. "We need to know if it actually lowers sperm counts . . . or [if] the only thing you can say about it is that laptops heat up testes."

But Christopher Wood, a 30-year-old consultant with Maverick Public Relations in Toronto and a laptop enthusiast, is already reconsidering his favourite weekend ritual.

Ever since his girlfriend bought a laptop five months ago, Mr. Wood has spent Sunday mornings snuggled in bed, leaning back with coffee in hand, watching DVD movies on the laptop, which is perched, naturally, on his lap.

"I never thought it could impact my ability to have children," Mr. Wood said. "I mean it would be really sad that I would not be able to have children because I decided to watch Shrek in bed."

Most people assume, he said, that the main risks of computer use are strained wrists or aching backs. But he admitted that the notion that a laptop's heat may be hazardous to his reproductive parts is not a complete surprise: The warmth the machine generates through his duvet and sheets on Sunday mornings is intolerable.

"I haven't been able to get through a whole movie yet," he said. "I don't think I'm doing myself any favours."

Dr. Sheynkin, SUNY's director of male infertility and microsurgery, conducted the study over two one-hour sessions with 29 healthy men aged 21 to 35. In one session, researchers recorded the temperature of the subjects' scrotums at three minute intervals as they sat with their thighs together as though they were using a laptop.

In the second session, on a different day in the same room, at the same time and ambient temperature, with the men wearing the clothes they had worn in the first session, the researchers took scrotal temperatures again. But this time, the men had a working laptop that heated up from 31 degrees to 40 degrees at the end of the one-hour experiment.

Sitting with their thighs together increased testicular temperature by 2.1 degrees. When the laptop was added, the temperature rose to a median 2.6 degrees in the left testicle and 2.8 degrees in the right. Several earlier studies have shown that increases of more than one degree can have a negative effect on sperm development and fertility.

"Testes usually hang down away from the body," Dr. Chow noted, generally maintaining a temperature of 1½-degree cooler than the rest of the body.Dr. Sheynkin said sperm may take three to six months to recover from heat damage, since it takes the testes roughly 72 days to produce it. But chronic exposure, he said, may have long-term effects.

"We definitely need more studies," said Dr. Sheynkin, who pointed out that laptops now outsell desktop computers.

"If we disregard this now, this may lead to real problems in the future." There are no known studies of the effects of laptops on women's fertility.

//www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20041209.wlaptop09/BNPrint/National


Informant: Iris Atzmon


Omega: microwaves (like microwave ovens) are heating the tissue. In the Laptops of today are mostly used Wi-Fi (WLAN) systems. Wi-Fi (WLAN) is bad for the health because it is based on pulsed microwaves like cell phones.

Is Wi-Fi Bad for Your Health?
//www.wi-fiplanet.com/columns/article.php/3095831

--------

Wi-Fi mobilize your Chromosomes in Hospital

1. critical aspect of daily "life" in the hospital?

* The human head can serve as a lossy resonator for the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the cellular telephone, absorbing much of the energy specifically from these wavelengths.

2. maturation of the 802.11 standards? (collectively known as Wi-Fi)

* Are the 802.11 "cellular killer standards"? (collectively known as Wi-Fi)

Wi-Fi, Health Care, and HIPAA: WLAN Management in the Modern Hospital

Wireless networking has quickly become a critical aspect of daily life in the hospital IT environment. With the maturation of the 802.11 standards (collectively known as Wi-Fi), hospital staff can remain connected to their critical systems regardless of their location in a facility. Additionally, a new breed of mobile applications has evolved that provide caregivers and administrators with on-demand access to the information and systems they need to better serve their patients. This has led to an increase both in the accuracy and efficiency of hospital operations, which has in turn led to patients that are more satisfied and better served.

//crmlibrary.crmcommunity.com/detail/RES/1075485923_994.html

REMEMBER:

1. OXIDATIVE STRESS AFTER EXPOSURE TO MICROWAVES:

Stopczyk D, Gnitecki W, Buczynski A, Markuszewski L, Buczynski J.

Zakladu Medycyny Zapobiegawczej i Promocji Zdrowia, Wojskowej Akademii Medycznej w Lodzi. e-mail: darstop@poczta.onet.pl

The aim of the study was to assess in vitro the effect of electromagnetic field produced by mobile phones on the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD-1) and the level of malonyldialdehyde (MDA) in human blood platelets.

The suspension of blood platelets was exposed to the electromagnetic field with the frequency of 900 MHz for 1, 3, 5, and 7 min.

Our studies demonstrated that microwaves produced by mobiles significantly depleted SOD-1 activity after 1, 5, and 7 min of exposure and increased after 3 min in comparison with the control test. There was a significant increase in the concentration of MDA after 1, 5, and 7 min and decrease after 3 min of exposure as compared with the control test. On the grounds of our results we conclude that oxidative stress after exposure to microwaves may be the reason for many adverse changes in cells and may cause a number of systemic disturbances in the human body.

PMID: 12474410
//www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12474410&dopt=Abstract


2. CELLULAR TELEPHONES AND EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN:

THE HEAD AS AN ANTENNA AND BRAIN TISSUE AS A RADIO RECEIVER.

//www.hohle-erde.de/body_home.html#bio

Weinberger Z, Richter ED.

Jerusalem College of Technology, Jerusalem, Israel

Abstract:

Headache and other neuropsychological symptoms occur in users of cellular telephones, and controversy exists concerning risks for brain cancer.

We hypothesize these effects result from the head serving as an antenna and brain tissue as a radio receiver. The frequencies for transmission and reception by cellular telephones, about 900MHz for analog and 1800MHz for digital transmission, have wavelengths of 33-35 and 16-17cm, respectively.

Human heads are oval in shape with a short axis about 16 to 17cm in length. Near the ear there will be a cross-section in the head with an axis half the wavelength of RF/MW transmissions of 900MHz and equal to the wavelength of RF/MW transmissions at 1800MHz.

Therefore, the human head can serve as a lossy resonator for the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the cellular telephone, absorbing much of the energy specifically from these wavelengths.

Brain cells and tissues demodulate the cell-phone's audio frequencies from the radio frequency carrier. Low audio frequencies in the ranges of alpha and beta waves affect these waves and thereby influence brain function.

These effects state the case for a precautionary policy.

Med Hypotheses. 2002 Dec;59(6):703-5.

Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.
PMID: 12445512 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

//www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12445512


Message from Dr Miguel Muntané

//omega.twoday.net/stories/245599/

--------

June 27, 2004

Mobile Phones Shown to Impact Male Fertility

A recent study indicates that radiation from cell phones harms sperm cells, and further that males who carry cellphones near their groin region may have up to a 30% reduction in fertility. I have long suspected that there are dangers from carrying cell phones in pockets or on belt clips -- after all these things are microwave transmitters -- it's insane to put them right next to the family jewels! Instead, someone should invent a cell phone that can be worn on the wrist or ankle, as far as possible from any vital organs. Using either Bluetooth, body-conduction, or even a wire, it could then communicate with an earbud and microphone. As I have said before, the mobile phone revolution is one of the largest uncontrolled biological experiments on the human population ever performed. We have no idea what the long-term effects of daily point-blank exposure of vital organs and DNA to microwaves will have on our own bodies, let alone future generations. In any case, until they make Faraday cage underwear, I'll be keeping my cell phone out of my pants!

//novaspivack.typepad.com/nova_spivacks_weblog/2004/06/mobile_phones_s.html

--------

Mobile phone use cuts male fertility by a third
//www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/menshealth.html?in_article_id=308247&in_page_id=1800
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