Mobiles adversely affect sperm

Mobile phones may be the most popular item in a man’s life, but they could prevent him from having children.   The problem is that too many men wear their phones in their jeans pocket, right by their sexual organs and research has shown that this is having an adverse effect on sperm. Women may also be at risk too, but are more likely to carry a phone in their handbags.

Italian scientists reviewed research (published in the Journal of Andrology)  into the effect of mobile (cell) phone radiation on sperm and found evidence of damage to sperm. They found decreased concentration, slower  and damaged sperm.   Sperm is constantly under attack from our environment,  including traffic pollution and everyday chemicals, – chemicals in supermarket packaging are believed to have a detrimental effect too.

Although frequently viewed as a female issue, 26 per cent of infertility cases are due to male infertility. In the last 60 years sperm counts have plummeted to between 50 and 60 million per millilitre, compared with more than 90 million in the 1940s and 50s.   See also Infertility affected by lifestyle?  A  Danish study found that one third of 19 year old males had semen counts of only 20 million per millilitre, below the World Health Organisation recommended minimum and increasing the risk of infertility.

A poster campaign to raise awareness to men is being launched in men’s toilets at motorways, in bars and restaurants. It is run by EM Radiation Research.  It has to be said that mobile phone experts refute the evidence, but that’s to be expected, and  is it too much to ask men to carry their phones elsewhere?

The Research

1. Turkish researchers subjected human sperm in lab dishes to one hour of cell phone EMF radiation. The exposure caused sperm abnormalities, including sperm that had problems attaching to eggs.

2. An American study involving 512 couples found that men from the countryside in Columbia had lower sperm counts – 53 million per millilitre – than those living in three US cities, LA -75m, Minneapolis – 69m and New York – 76m. Columbia’s proximity to intensive agricultural land prompted researchers to believe that the lower levels were due to the use of agricultural chemicals getting into the drinking water. They also found that other factors affecting men’s semen included smoking, recent illness and a history of sexually transmitted disease.

3. Italian research into the effects of traffic pollution on the quality of sperm in young to middle-aged men in Italy showed that 85 men who worked at motorway tollgates had significantly lower sperm movement than a group of men who didn’t work there

4.  A study of 200 taxi drivers in the US found that long hours at the wheel also pushed down the sperm count and the number of normal sperm. Researchers believed that urban driving and air pollution affected hormonal function and that heat generated by prolonged sitting could impair sperm quality.

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