Mobiles in pockets hit fertility

November 5, 2008


NEW YORK: An Indian American fertility expert has warned men that keeping their cellphones in pockets and belts while talking on hands-free could affect their fertility.

In a study published on in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility, Ashok Agarwal, lead author, says men who keep their cellphones in their pockets or clip them to their belts while using an ear piece to chat may be compromising their sperms.

An earlier study conducted on some 361 men, he said, had found a significant relationship between cell-phone use and sperm quality, especially among men who used mobiles for more than four hours per day. -We wanted to find out what was going on,” he added. The researchers, he said, took sperm samples from 23 healthy men, and from nine men with known fertility issues. The samples were then divided into two portions to make a control group and a test group.

-We exposed the test group sperm to a cellphone in -talk” mode with a radiation of 850 megahertz, the frequency most often used by cellphones in the US. We exposed the sperm for about one hour,” he told Newsweek.

The researchers, he said, looked at several markers, including mobility, viability and cellular or molecular changes. -There were 85% more free radicals generated by the exposed sperm samples in both healthy and infertile specimens versus the control group, and a 6% decrease in antioxidants in the exposed samples, the chemicals that fight free-radical damage”, he said.

-Motility, or what proportion of sperm are moving, decreased by 7%, and the viability, or the percentage of sperm that is alive decreased by 11%. That was for both groups, the healthy men and men with fertility problems, as compared to a control group that had no exposure”, he added.


Courtesy of Times of India

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