Monday, Sept 22, 2008
Is that a cell phone in your pocket?
There’s been plenty of hearty debate between cell phone proponents and critics about potential cancer risks. After one study claimed cell phones had more detrimental health effects than smoking, a major cancer doctor came forward stating that there was strong upcoming evidence of a cell phone-cancer link, the first time a head of a major academic cancer research institution had suggested such a possibility.
Now another new study has been released citing a decidedly different hazard of cell phone use. The new study shows that cell phones are no friends of testes, the male reproductive organs in which sperm is made. In the upcoming study, it was shown that when in close range to the testes and in talk mode, cell phones damage sperm.
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The new study is alarming because of two key problems. First, damaged sperm can lead to birth defects and higher incidences of various disabilities, as seen among the children of older fathers. Second, the scenario tested in the study is a common one. Males who chat using hands free headsets often leave their phones resting in their pockets, in perfect range to cause the testes harm.
Ashok Agarwal, who led the study and is the Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, states, “We believe that these devices are used because we consider them very safe, but it could cause harmful effects due to the proximity of the phones and the exposure that they are causing to the gonads.”
The study consisted of semen samples taken from 32 men, which exhibit similar sperm health. The samples were kept at constant temperature and other similar conditions, while being split into a control group and a test group. The test group was placed for an hour within 2.5 cm of a cell phone in talk mode, at 850 MHz, perhaps the most common frequency.
This article was posted: Monday, September 22, 2008 at 3:47 am